Race and Settling the Body

“The first step…is settling our own bodies, one by one… The next step is bringing that settling out into the world and getting our bodies in sync with others.”

Resmaa Menakem from
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and
the Pathway to Mending Our Hears and Bodies

“Race in America” has been a headline for as long as we can remember–shorthand for all the injustice and discomfort that we can’t say and don’t want to feel. Right now, many of us are asking, what can I do to interrupt racial injustice? You might wonder why I bring this up in the context of bodywork. Emerging research is showing that the hurt and difficulty of race in our society lives not just in our culture, but in our bodies, too. At our movement and bodywork sessions, I have seen you use body awareness to create change in your physical body. The body-mindfulness skills you’ve already started developing can also be applied toward our collective healing of what author Resmaa Menakem calls racialized trauma.

Learn more about how race lives in our bodies in this On Being Podcast interview with author and therapist Resmaa Menakem.


“As we gradually learn to see from within the body, we find ourselves in a limitless terrain, one that perhaps we did not even know existed. Most important, we begin to realize that the body knows experience in a very different way from our diurnal, digital, logical consciousness; the body beholds things directly. It has the capacity of what is called in Buddhism “direct perception,” the ability to experience the phenomena of our life nakedly, without the overlay…”

Reginald A. Ray, The Awakening Body

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