Awareness Through the Body
A practice that enhances concentration, relaxation, self-knowledge and self-regulation in children and adults
What is ATB?
Awareness Through the Body (ATB), started in July 1992 as a program to improve the posture of school children, but quickly evolved into a practice to help children develop their capacity for attention, concentration and relaxation, while enhancing their ability for self awareness and self-regulation.
ATB is a practice that assists children and adults to come to better know the complexity of their own being and find ways to manage this complexity more effectively, so as to become a more self-directed beings organized around their psychological center, the inmost, truer part of their being.
The activities are creative and often fun. They develop gradually and encourage concentration, focus, relaxation and a sense of accomplishment. The practice works by first bringing the individuals in contact with their own body felt sensations and into a state of receptivity in which they can better “listen” to the many and varied inputs they are continuously receiving from both their inner and outer world. The exercises then allow them to gradually discover the complex amalgam of which they are made and to find the tools to manage this complexity effectively. A key point in ATB is to discover and cultivate the witness attitude: A positioning of our attention that watches and witnesses all the movements in our being, without judging, analyzing or getting caught by any of them.
“The study of oneself is a subject that is rarely included in a school syllabus. ATB is a practice that addresses that need through a personal body felt experience.”
ATB in the school
Usually in schools children are taught different subjects through different approaches, depending on the philosophy or pedagogic approach of the school.
Rarely schools include a subject that is the study of oneself.
And in the few places where attempts are made to address this shortcoming, often they approach it through a conceptual understanding or in an often unappealing way to children.
We all find ourselves in a complex body, learning how to use and regulate ourselves, the best we can, on the go, and with no instructions/owner’s manual to refer to. Over time, to some extent, we tend to run into dysfunctional or maladaptive patterns for ways of using, regulating and directing ourselves. Most often adults seek a better understanding of themselves and ways to get back to their body, to learn to manage their body, mind and emotions in more fulfilling ways. Even to some extend adults tend to run into the query of who I really am?
ATB is a practice
ATB came out of this query and has been part of the curriculum of Auroville schools since 1992, as subject to “study oneself”, so the children do not need to wait to be adults to begin this inner journey.
ATB is a practice that uses the personal body-felt-sense-experience of oneself to assist children and adults to develop soft sustain attention, concentration, self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-regulation.