Notes About Our Work
Our work in Spiral Praxis began over twenty years ago. I met Stephanie as a modern dance student at Ohio State University where I was enrolling after my physics undergraduate degree at Cornell University—she was the body and I was the mind. We were very influenced by the Judson School of Modern Dance—Steve Paxton, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainier, etc.—and inspired by the minimalist art of 20th century artists like Beuys, Pollack, and Rothko. Those artists were primarily concerned with perceptual experiments and the subtle variations of their works gave us an enormous field to explore.
We started our somatic work from scratch, beginning by trying to devise a modern dance training system that respected the natural flow and spontaneity of dance. This spiral dance technique was based on the oscillations of the body in different equilibrium positions which, when gradually amplified, would resolve into different kinds of locomotive movements. Besides being a choreographic tool, we noticed that moving in these spiral motions lead us to various kinds of heightened states of consciousness—we felt easy, free and flowing after our rehearsals. Trying to evoke this state in other life situations created the seed for our work in Spiral Praxis.
Later in our dance career, we were asked to build a motor curriculum for children with special needs. This small project soon blossomed into an entirely larger field of action. Our children began to make tremendous progress through movement and parents and teachers were very grateful to us. We realized that perhaps our dance-inspired principles could have a much larger social significance. In the intervening years, we spent a large amount of time—including two years of solitary sojourns in the desert—trying to make our techniques more universal and comprehensive, so that they could be used by anyone. My science background imparted a need for rigor in our work; Stephanie’s artistic side imparted a need for free individual exploration.
Over the past 25 years we’ve refined this work so that we can help people from all walks of life. At our studio today we work with people who have been profoundly injured and also with people who have strong, unexpressed aspirations in areas of mediation, work, art, athletics and more. What we’ve learned is that there is a great need out there for somatic awareness and for people to heal and excel through their own self-guidance. The methods we’ve developed in Spiral Praxis are not a compilations of old techniques but a self-consistent, coherent system that makes use of spiral dynamics to deal with all bodymind phenomena. We truly believe we have discovered a radically new bodymind paradigm that is practical, profound and will help many people learn how to self-direct their inner functioning. In the next few years, we hope to show our methods and ideas to the world and we invite you to be part of our journey. Whether you bring support or criticism, questions or confusion, passion or ambition, you will find bodymind demystified through Spiral PRaxis —at heart, the bodymind cannot lie and the work of bodymind exploration will reveal itself.
Cheers, Yuji & Stephanie