I have waited a full 4 days before opening these flood gates knowing full well that I can be a little cynical about my worldview at times, but after several different conversations it appears that I am not insane and it is in fact a bit of a frustration that is shared across the board.
The course begins with a thin skeletal looking woman draped in over sized linen clothing, to me immediately screaming insecurity and eating disorder. She speaks to us in a soft condescending voice and asks us to take our towels and lay on the ground for the opening relaxation exercise. With the same intonation she begins the narration, "Feel your toes. Feel the stress in your toes. Tighten up your toes...tight... (it is usually around here that my head explodes or sometimes my foot cramps up, either way, not good.) tight...tight...with a big breath release. Woof. Feel the stress in your buttox..." After feeling the stress and tightening up every possible appendage her voice leads us into a visualization, sometimes we are walking on water and then drowning (I always worry at this point because I feel that the stress of drowning will lead back to the relaxation thing and that it will be a vicious cycle of anxiety.) Sometimes we have bodies filled with eyes and we can see things and THEN, we walk on water (which also stressed me out because I would continuously have water in my eyes but couldn't swipe it away fast enough because there are too many of them and once again I feel tight...tight...tight."
This exercise usually leads to drawing what you see or writing about it which they (ah yes there is a partner to the over dramatic waif playwright, the ambiguous Argentinian painter with the sensitive ponytail look also wearing free flowing linen clothing) allow you to do for about a split second and then move on to the next thing which usually is an attempt to tap into your childhood traumas so conversations with your Grandmother, letters from your father when you were 16, you know that sort of thing. Forced intimacy with a group of people from all over the world that you don't really know but, the worst part of this is that the leaders never facilitated introductions on the first day, so we are expected to share our innermost thoughts with people that don't even have names.
There may be a revolution in class today, but more on this whole thing later.
Sensitive ponytail guy will drop names such as Jung, Miro, Melville and his associations, as hers as well, are surface level and provide no sense of connectivity to anything, whether it is the understanding of the exercise philosophically or pedagogically.