1. Susan Garvin on August 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    listening to this again, let me share two experiences with the body scan technique of ‘asking’ a part of your body what it ‘means’. The first time I listened to this talk, I asked my shoulders why they always slumped forwards, whether I am at the pc or not. They grumbled ‘those giuys down there don’t do their job why should we do ours?’ Meaning my less-than-toned abs. 🙂
    (I started going to the gym more regularly!!!)
    Yesterday i asked the middle of my back why it insists, when I am not alert, on really going into a hump, so horrible! i got the reply: ‘got to put your back into it!!!!!’ which is something I was always taught at school and at home, it means do your duty, do your work, try hard always, don’t slop about get on and do something constructive meaningful …. and visible!
    I reflected, while breathing into my back and its bowed state, that putting my back into things didn’t have to mean forcing it – or myself- to do things in that way, and thought about other ways one does ‘put one’s back into it’ more figuratively and without that rather utilitarian old-fashioned meaning. And since then my body has been straightening itself without my doing it consciously when I ‘catch myself’ turning into a question mark shape. It recognises what is happening and rights itself!

  2. CynthiaFast on February 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I really liked this lesson. I wonder if there isn’t a piece in here of what I was struggling with in Chapter 4. That if you can lead from a place of really listening to your body and the people you are relating with can inhabit this space at the same time that the group won’t be moved to certain courses of action that are intrinsically motivated and resonant for the people taking that action. I’ve heard of quaker communities and other communities who get together and contribute ideas more out of silence and the unconscious arising of them than from intellectual discourse.

  3. Ian Rowcliffe on December 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    While we wait eagerly for the next chapter….

    Doing a body scan may be much like soul-searching. If you feel you wish to increase your own receptivity try reading the following poem – Sing the Body Electric. by Walt Whitman at:


    Whatever else you’ll be challenged…

  4. Ian Rowcliffe on December 9, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I was just reading the lesson and find I am a bit confused by the last paragraph:

    ‘Consensual leadership teams can also use their own nonverbal genius to aid in problem
    solving, translating the “Embodying the Goal” exercise with horses to human situations
    calling for collaboration, cooperation, focus, experimentation, and unified vision. ‘

    Is this a summary or a point of departure? The use of ‘also’ suggests the latter. Hence, the ‘Embodying the Goal’ part is yet to be specified, and not the body scan procedure. Is that right?

  5. Ian Rowcliffe on December 4, 2011 at 11:25 am

    The body scan process reminds me of other approaches which incorporate something of the same logic – establishing a baseline and noting differences. For example, as a speaker or musician you often want to check out the place where you will be speaking or playing in advance. Then once there is an audience present you can easily ‘tune’ into differences in the atmosphere. While interacting, you are then able to ‘read between the lines’ and understand the meaning and direction the message is taking.

    Using your own body as a reference gives you an added advantage when you are not able to try out the space you will be speaking in, though. Furthermore, we know what a tremendous advantage this gives us when working with a horse, or other parties, where situations are typically much more unregulated and very much more demanding.

  6. Jayne Jones on December 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    This lesson gives me much food for thought. I haven’t posted in the past only because I am in the process of pondering and digesting how very significant these two chapters and lessons play out for me in my own herd. Consider me the student who is enthralled with the information and busy absorbing the message.
    I do appreciate everything you share with us. I feel I am growing in my leadership skills in a way I would never have been able to before.
    The emotional message chart from the first lesson and the body scan tool from this lesson are very valuable tools for anyone in a leadership position. It is clear to me that these tools can be used for anyone that wants to become a better leader and example to others. I am incorporating them in all aspects of my life and I am having fun experiencing the positiveness of the results.
    I have studied leadership programs in the past and so far your program is not only working for me but it is the most fun because of the connection with horses.
    This is exactly what I was looking for when I signed up for this program and I look forward to hearing more.
    Thank you

  7. Joan Fast on December 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Linda and Mark,

    What a great lesson and demonstration of the body scan. The interactions between the two of you are fun to listen to.

    I had a yoga center and taught yoga for many years, I was immersed in the wonder and power of embodiment. I never made the connection to my head being carried around on the body of a horse, but on reflecting over the last ten years, i can see that the world of race horses is what slowly pulled me out of the world of teaching yoga and into the world of wanting to be a voice for race horses and ultimately out of my body.

    Two years ago I stopped teaching and started an all consuming project with a race horse (and now all the race horses at the training facility). I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible for a horse to be happy and healthy while racing. The horse that I have been working with is close to racing again and still seems quite content and healthy, but is moving into the most challenging part of the journey since racing is stressful and he has history of both physical and emotional stress from previous years of racing. I am not sure if the combination of healthy and happy while racing is going to be possible for this horse. I keep reminding myself to let the universe decide that.

    When I listened to lesson two yesterday i was reminded of the power of embodiment and it deepened my awareness that I am no longer living in my body. I have become so consumed with my life at the training facility and my “being a voice for race horses project” that I have neglected the wisdom of my own “horse body”. For the most part I have been a lone ranger with this project yet have felt such a strong pull that I have continued in spite of some fairly strong opposition. When I started doing yoga twenty years ago I came home to my body and it felt marvelous. Teaching yoga was also marvelous but I sacrificed some of own embodiment to teach it to others. When I create the space and time, I find it fairly easy to go inside and get that messages that my body wants to give me and I am well aware of the power of embodiment, yet am finding that I am so easily pulled out of my body.

    Lesson one got me reflecting on my pattern of living with a low-grade level of fear/anxiety and too often do not taking the time to assess if it is an internal or external threat. I love the idea of using fear as my friend! The title of lesson two “Listen to your horse” really captured my attention since this is what i was drawn to do when i stopped teaching yoga. I assumed that i would be learning how to better listen to my race horse. I was taken by surprise when you said “your body is the horse your mind rides around on” Linda, you commented that it is the horses that helped you understand this and that people often say “listen to your body”, but we really don’t understand how to do that. As for me, I know how to listen to my body when doing and teaching yoga but seem to have a huge resistance to it otherwise. I consistently get huge insights from your teachings as I”m sure that i will from this lesson. I am still working through through the significance of “my mind riding around on my horse body”. Two years ago i felt strongly pulled by the race horses to quit teaching yoga and to spend a lot more time with them and after two years of spending tons of time with them I’m feeling like I have left my horse body in so many ways. I really don’t know how to tune into the information that my horse body is sending while doing day to day life and it seems to be even more the case while spending hours and hours at the training facility with the horses. The thought just occurred to me that maybe it’s also possible for role reversal and for a horse to ride around in a human head. As you can see I am still processing this lesson and am looking forward to hearing more on my body being the horse that my mind ride around on. I would love to learn more tips on how to live day to day life in an embodied state.

    Thanks to both of you for this wonderful symposium.

    • Ian Rowcliffe on December 4, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Agreeing with you that all this is certainly getting us to think, Joan.