Body, Brain and City memory.

I read the article, ‘Your brain does not function like a computer’ published by Aeon, as I prepare to launch two retreats in the next few months. One in the the Pacific ocean another one in the megalopolis of Mexico city.

In this radical article about how we are overusing technology metaphors to describe how our mind and body works, it made me reflect on what kind of language I’m using during my classes. And what metaphors I use to talk about the emotional memory stored in our bodies.

I’m currently living in the same apartment where I experienced the terrible earthquake of 1985 when I was just one month old. Thousands of people died and the city crumbled.

Earthquake of 1985 in Mexico City, the biggest in our history

In recent years, I deepened my self study and focused on healing emotional wounds, with different massage therapists, acupuncturists and healers. Quite a few of the intuitive ones told me __without knowing that I survived an earthquake, that I had a memory stored in my body probably caused by a big shock, something like a bomb or a car crash. They mentioned that my natural temperament was anxious and was a bit altered, perhaps too sensitive to pressure or noises. My sympathetic nervous system, or fight or flight response, appeared to be over stimulated.

That is perhaps why I was so drawn to learn yoga and meditation at a very early age. I knew I had to learn to self-regulate my somatic responses to strong emotions and stress.

I fervently believe that emotions are stored in the body, and with conscious movement, breath work, yoga asana, meditation and healing massages, you can actually release stored memories, heal them and enter a totally different dimension of health and awareness.

In yoga we refer to this process as transcending samskaras, the conscious visualization of releasing a memory stored in a particular body part, organ or tissue.

Literally a mental impression, recollection or psychological imprint that lays dormant in the body’s intelligence, and eventually connected to karma theory.

illustration by Daniel Martin Diaz

The author of the article ‘The Empty Brain’ is mostly referring on how the field of cognitive science uses information processing metaphors, or ’the brain functions like a computer’ metaphor… and questions how is it that according to this metaphor, memory is stored in the cells.

“The idea that memories are stored in individual neurons is preposterous: how and where is the memory stored in the cell? A wealth of brain studies tells us, in fact, that multiple and sometimes large areas of the brain are often involved in even the most mundane memory tasks. When strong emotions are involved, millions of neurons can become more active.” Robert Epstein, The Empty Brain.

Studying human behavior multidisciplinary is a passion of mine, and many of us who operate in between disciplines. That’s why I’m adventuring into taking this lens of body memory, and explore how a city, region and cultural context influences our behavior as a society. Im curious to tap into the collective memory that precedes an era of cultural flourishment, as I’m just so inspired by what I see is emerging in Mexico city.

Pablo Cruz photography, Mexico city seen from above

So I’m partnering up with Marcos Jassan on the best yoga teachers in Mexico, wellness entrepreneur and architect, to host an urban yoga & cultural immersion in Mexico city.

An experiential journey designed for curious global citizens, who are actively searching ancient and modern ways of living wisely, while learning about different cultures, disciplines and meeting passionate experts. Travel to learn about oneself and the world.

We prepare the body-mind for deep self^world inquiry with daily yoga and meditation practice-studies. To complement the perspective of self, we are highlighting the cultural richness of our city: pre-hispanic history and modern architecture, traditional gastronomy reinvention, contemporary art and social design. The intention is to listen from diverse experts, and tap into the collective memory that weaves across disciplines, eras and perspectives and allows for multi-cultural flourishment.

We want to bridge the micro with the macro. And give opportunities to replace updated thinking with knowledge gathered by direct experience.

Physical, social and environmental regeneration requires that we operate from a systems perspective. Thus our effort in gathering experts in traditional wisdom and innovative wellness practices, as well as social anthropologists, visionary entrepreneurs and critical thinkers. The more we understand who we are, as nations, tribes and humans, the more cooperation and peace there will be in our world.

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We know that change is up to us. So join us in this urban yoga and cultural immersion in CDMX end of June.

‘We believe that when small groups of thoughtful people gather, the world begins to change, and windows open for skillful action’.

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Contact me if you’re interested in attending. We are now accepting applications.