TRAININGS & WORKSHOPS
EMBODIED RACE-DIALOGUE SERIES
Our inclusive Dialogue work is primarily Embodied Dialogue. Now is a time for listening, speaking & acting.
“To listen is to lean in softly with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” – Mark Nepo
"Our bodies have a form of knowledge that is different from our cognitive brains. This knowledge is typically experienced as a felt sense of constriction or expansion, pain or ease, energy or numbness. Often this knowledge is stored in our bodies as wordless stories about what is safe and dangerous. The body is where we fear, hope, and react, where we constrict and release, and where we reflexively fight, flee, or freeze. If we are to upend the status quo of white-body supremacy, we must begin with our bodies."
- Resmaa Menakem
We hold public individual embodied race dialogue series. Contact us for upcoming dates.
Own Drum’s Embodied Dialogue series brings individuals from different backgrounds together to listen, to speak, and to better understand each other’s perspectives. Our work is intersectional.
This is a necessary step on the journey of identifying and enacting the changes that will fulfil our vision of justice and equality globally.
Our Embodied Dialogue is facilitated through six weeks of sessions, two-hours long. The first four sessions are based on the following themes:
Who Are We?
Why Are We?
Where Are We?
What Can We Do?
Session five focuses entirely on dialogue tools accumulated put in to Forum Theatre influenced practice.
Session six consists of Ubuntu (Bantu for "I am because you are") story sharing.
There is a reflection week in the middle of the six week training.
We practice ‘Embodied Dialogue’, integrating tools from our somatic and storytelling backgrounds with tools from the contemporary dialogue. Through our compassionate and vibrant sessions, you will be invited to participate in simple physical and storytelling practices following our inquiry based approach in to our conditioning. Investigating our conditioning is key as we have all been racialized in society and we need to understand this to create a new narrative. We weave healing power of music and story sharing of our racial narratives in to our creative training also making the experience quite unique. We ask participants to come with the openness to truly listen, reflect and the courage to speak honestly. We connect to ourselves and realize the interconnection that exists between us all.
We respect all bodies and disabilities (visible and invisible). Our embodiment practices are open to all people of differing abilities.
What is “Embodied” Dialogue?
In this experiential methodology of dialogue, we will use various activities and prompts in groups and pairs for discussion. There will intermittently be pauses throughout a session to assist in increasing awareness of the senses and bodily sensations. Many of these tools help us to stay in the conversation on race and accompany traditional dialogue techniques. The tools we offer also help to regulate the nervous system and address stress in dialogue on race.
We also investigate our conditioning and journey of belonging in embodied inquiry based practices. We use embodied inquiry to then see what emerges within us. There is a dialogue if we can slow down to listen to our selves and our sensations. We use these sensations as a gateway to mindfulness, and to create space to unravel the stories our body holds. The stillness with sensations of body, supportive props and breath awareness are some of the tools we use to do this.
Why “Embodied” Dialogue?
A spectrum of emotions could be expected in dialogue work such as anger, hatred, shame, guilt etc. Each emotion we feel are both mental and physical experiences. There are always physical sensations that correlate to emotional feelings. Such as anger could be linked to tension in the chest and perhaps clenched jaw and fists. To begin to work with emotions that block change, we have to take a mind and body approach because:
It enhances reflection, listening and connection with oneself which can feed into greater active listening and communication with others.
Involving the body accesses the least explored or unconscious and is the most direct language we have to understand our lived experiences.
It helps us to operate from the prefrontal cortex in our brains, the region of our brain we need to solve challenges and to reset habitual behaviours.
We use embodiment methods for 3 main reasons in anti-racism work:
To ground the body and calm the nervous system with awareness of our triggers and reactions. This enables us to expand our inner space in order to choose wise centred action in responding to racism.
To find a safe space in the body to allow our stories, stresses and traumas to be told, to be allowed and to heal. The processing of our race-based experiences can be integrated. Disocciation can occur due to trauma. Embodiment helps us to connect to our moment to moment sensations and feelings in the body, which can usher in a sense of wholeness and healing.
We allow the body to be involved in change and process and do not allow only cognitive processes to guide anti-racism work. Bringing the body into this work is a form of self-care and can prevent burnout. Sustainable work and change need self-care.
There will typically be 6 sessions with a 1-week pause after the third session to digest and reflect.
This conversation is overdue.
We help to provide tools to respond to oppression from a place of care. We provide toolkits after the dialogue. A toolkit on how to have Anti-Oppression Dialogues and another on Self Compassionate Care. We also offer a space after the training for continuing group conversations and sharing in order to support long lasting and sustainable action.
Will you lean into this safe and brave space to create a more equitable world?
If you are interested in bespoke dialogues please get in touch also.
REFLECT & RESET RACE SERIES
TRAINING FOR BUSINESSES & ORGS
Own Drum also offers Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Training in our Reflect & Reset training for businesses and organizations. As well as tailored training in Decolonization of organizations and implicit bias. We also support the journey of identifying strategies for organizational action to authentically and sustainably shift the power. We offer bespoke trainings and have developed robust frameworks using our methodologies.
These are for organizations who want to walk their talk and commit to real change from within. Our training is primarily relational not solely transactional. While highlighting context and current thinking, we emphasize learning that is personal, experiential and focused on tangible relationships to oneself and others. Our objective is an expansive work culture where our whole selves are ushered in for a more connected, creative and collaborative new work culture. A culture where people do not have to fit in but where the culture expands according to the people. People feel seen, heard and understood.
We offer a kind and compassionate people-centred approach, not just diversity and inclusion in numbers and tokenism, policies and rules of conduct. We provide tools in responding to racism through our embodied trainings and support upskilling in dialogue techniques. We also offer toolkits on having Anti-Oppression Dialogues and on Self Compassionate Care.
Facilitated online or in-person by diverse facilitation teams our trainings create space to:
Reset existing work culture through sharing, connection and reflection
Prioritize the needs of marginalized groups and individuals
Reveal context and current thinking
Share marginalized perspectives where they feel seen and heard
To listen and shift power in an authentic way.
To identify policies and practices that need improvement and plan implemention of strategies for change.
Address internalized oppression/intersectionalities/microaggressions in a safe, brave and compassionate way
Support organization efficiency by supporting full potential of employees
Support cultivation of inner space to create more choice
Offer potential to change behaviours and communication to create new pathways
Embed work through the body, breath and voice for sustained change
Support racial resilience and stamina in BPOC as well as provide support to brave allyship
Plan for what happens next in strategies for creating an expansive culture where whole selves collaborate using fullest potential.
Our trainings support your organization to begin living the diverse, inclusive and equitable future that you envision so that it can truly become a force for good in the world. We support you in building an expansive work culture where everyone feels they belong and all can create and innovate with a richer capacity.
If you would like to find out more and book a training please contact email@example.com
RESTORATIVE RACE WORKSHOPS
We use mindful Restorative Yoga practices to help balance, integrate, ground and support the body and mind in these workshops.
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."- Steve Biko
"... people who are chronically stressed are not always able to identify the difference between tension and relaxation. Observing and experiencing your body and mind shedding layers of stress and tension, which you may not have even known were there, is empowering. The overall soothing effect on the nervous system during a restorative yoga practice creates calming conditions for the body to restore itself."
- Dr. Gail Parker author of Restorative Yoga for Raced Based Stress and Trauma
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
- Audre Lourde
To do the important work of dismantling structural racism, we need to feel full and present.
We have to work on dismantling the oppression that resides within us first in order to interrupt structural racism externally. In the workshops we facilitate an inquiry that is embodied to shed light on our racial conditioning, which is where our implicit biases stem from. We have all been conditioned in terms of race. We investigate our racial narratives that create our stories and sense of belonging.These workshops resource those seeking to move beyond external action and embed their anti-racism journey in the body for sustained change and also to help resource people to feel recharged and avoid burnout.
Our restorative yoga workshops and embodied work slow us down to process, integrate and soothe our nervous systems and find our feeling of safety and to choose a response rather than a reaction based on our emotional triggers.
Race based stress and trauma can be very emotive and charged lived experiences to discuss. Conversations on race can become very unsteady ground to tread for all parties. Embodiment can help as we have mentioned, to support resilience and racial stamina when we lean into discomfort if we routinely come back to the body. When we can slow down to allow our feelings to be felt instead of avoiding them, they can move through us. Dissociation from the body is common due to stressors and traumas. We can reconnect with our bodies in this practice in a soft, safe and gentle way.
We scaffold support and provide techniques that help our nervous system becomes regulated. When we become emotionally regulated there is an ushering of restoration, stillness and balance which is a good point to start from in guiding you to the best course of action in discussing race and healing from race based stress and traumas. Our workshops can help support all people doing anti-racism work for these reasons.
The restorative yoga workshops we offer are for everyone. We are all interconnected. We are all conditioned. We are all needed in the path of untangling systemic racism and its intersections.
We are delighted that Own Drum work is currently backed up by the American Psychologist and yoga therapist Dr. Gail Parker. She recently published the first of its kind book that invites everyone, not just those directly impacted, to explore the intersection of yoga, race and ethnicity, and to consider the psychological impact of race-based stress and trauma on everyone. It describes how Restorative Yoga can be used as an effective self-care tool that helps you navigate the stresses and traumas that arise from daily lived experiences associated with race in her book Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma.
What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative yoga can calm and balance the body and mind.
Restorative yoga consists of a set of poses that are held for an extended period of time in gentle stillness using supportive props in order to enable deeper relaxation. There is opening within the poses but not stretching. It is a receptive form of yoga that is very different from active yoga.
The supportive props are used in a creative way without actively straining the muscles. Surrendering weight to supports whilst softening allows the body to access the calming parasympathetic end of the nervous system and the two vagus nerve branches that support rest, digest, recharge, safety, flow, social engagement and recovery. Breath is used to focus on awareness and attention throughout the practice. Tired bodies and over active minds can rest and restore. Restorative yoga calms the entire nervous system and nourishes the body down to the cellular level whilst also cultivating self-compassion.
The pillars of this unique practice are silence, stillness, darkness, warmth and time.
You are not working with the particular race based stress or trauma in the practice, but you are working with the nervous system to evoke the relaxation response. When you are dealing with chronic stress and anxiety, your nervous system remains active, causing muscular tension even as you sleep. Because of this the body never fully gets a chance to fully relax. Restorative yoga allows you to come into a state of deep rest without falling asleep, enabling you to notice where the body holds tensions and the points of relaxation. The stories of the body can unravel in their own time, as your body recognizes that it is safe for them to emerge and release in this space.
It rejuvenates, supports resilience by giving you an opportunity to recover before your next experience of stress, and prepares you for wise action. This is vitally important for people experiencing continuous, cumulative and recurring stress from microaggressions/aggressions in the present to past traumas. Because it is practised in stillness, Restorative yoga teaches you how to immobilize without fear. As you learn to navigate being safe through stillness, you are less likely to react and act out when under stress, but can instead find a choice to respond from the expansion of your inner space through the practice.
Rather than acting on impulse, pausing first enables you to see with more clarity and make more life-enhancing and deliberate choices both during practice and beyond, in all of your life spheres.
Restorative yoga is an accessible self-care tool. Anybody can do it and everybody benefits from it, everyone is welcome. Our Restorative Workshops create a compassionate, healing space.