Information about the practices that Elemental Vessel draws from
Body Weather: Body Weather was founded in the 80s by Min Tanaka and his company at the time, Maijuku. The practices are focused in part on attunement to “both sides of the skin.” By the time I was in Japan with Tanaka in the late 90s, he was moving away from the term, however much of our field of inquiry was based in the same postulates. Perhaps the principle I carry with me the most from the "Body Weather" work is the value of a non hierarchical consideration of the natural world. For a list of the founding members of Body Weather who are actively teaching, you can visit: www.bodyweather.net
Qi Gong is a term that applies to an enormous range of practices, many of which have roots to ancient Chinese culture dating back as far as 4000 years ago. Qi can be translated to mean life-force energy and thus Qi Gong is “Skill with energy, developed over time” or “Cultivation of Life Energy.” Some forms of Qi Gong focus primarily upon conditioning the flow of information through the physical body, some, known as “Medical Qi Gong” are concerned with promoting health and vitality, some Qi Gong practices have a martial component, and some are concerned predominantly with the spiritual cultivation. Many Qi Gong schools incorporate a combination of these different intentions. Integral to many Qi Gong forms is the theory of the Five Elements, which is also deeply embedded in Chinese medicine. I suggest anyone who is interested in learning Qi Gong to try several teachers/schools in order to get a feel of a few different styles and find the one that is the best fit.
At 97, Anna is a living legend and I am so fortunate to have gotten to work with her as a student and dancer in several productions. I have been particularly inspired by the way in which Anna has researched the body in relation to place and nature. You can visit www.annahalprin.org for more information about Anna!
Noguchi Taiso is a movement methodology created by Michizo Noguchi in the mid-twentieth century in Japan. The practice is an investigation into how the body is moved by invisible forces, namely gravity and the hydronynamics inherent in our biology. It is a search for movement that is energy-efficient, relaxed, and fluid. My teacher in Noguchi Taiso is Mari Osanai. (She does not have a website but she teaches worldwide, and if you google her you can find out where she is teaching.)
I have not yet found the right word for this. Humans can certainly be considered a part of Nature. But what I am referring to are the elements/inhabitants of Nature that exist outside of the domain of humanity. Wilderness is also not accurate, because the presence of Nature is everywhere, from remote countryside to the cracks in the urban pavement where the plants find their way to grow. This existence that is un-namable will always be my teacher and I will always remain the student. It has no website, but you can easily find it. There are also many schools and movements out there dedicated to developing awareness and skills in Nature.