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Mac Talla is my favorite workout of 2024

Updated: Jan 18

The buzz has started about Mac Talla, both the January 27th workshop and the weekly Saturday classes starting February 3.

And you all have lots of questions, which I'm happy to answer :)

Mac Talla is how I "thaw" out, especially this time of year. It releases the internal pressure that I hadn't even sensed was building up to an intolerable degree. Mac Talla frees me up, sets me free, and reminds me that nothing could ever take away this deep inner freedom.

Mac Talla is a movement practice created by Sarah Tolan-Mee, a Master Somatic Therapist. She and I first met July of 2022 at a Mac Talla workshop hosted by Grateful Yoga. I loved the experience so much that I took every MacTalla class I could find. After getting to know one another better, we hosted monthly gatherings with my women's group "Covenston" using a version of Mac Talla as a way to bond, mark the seasons passing, and hang out.

Now we find ourselves excited to collaborate professionally. Mac Talla is symbiotic with the energetic and visualization work I already offer to my private clients with chronic pain.

Mac Talla similarly uses movement as therapy. Therapy removes the obstacles to healing, freeing up the body to heal itself. Obstacles can be thought patterns, reactive emotions, physical conditions and more. Mac Talla uses the body both as tool and as object sought. The therapy becomes Somatic when felt internal experiences are trusted, honored and allowed to help us return to a state of wholeness. Beyond logic, reason or categories, lies the Bodyscape, wild and cyclical. Mac Talla explores this terrain, allows you to map its rhythms, invites you to simultaneously witness and embody.

Skilled somatic therapists guide clients through these landscapes, offering metaphorical flashlights, maps, and helpful detour escapes. The client is in charge of their experience while the therapist is a knowledgeable guide.

There is no more gorgeous and terrifying frontier than the human body and all it can feel. It's lovely when you realize that frontier, your 'Bodyscape', is yours--it's you. You can choose to look after it, protect it, celebrate its bounty and grieve its natural disasters. And to skillfully, tenderly, poignantly repair.

Mac Talla is a way of tending to that inner landscape on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for a crisis, choose to dialogue with your body. Practice courting this inner knowing and feeling. A somatic approach is just this; the body isn't a problem. It isn't an impediment. It's also much more than a vessel or vehicle. It's consciousness realized, tangible, pulsating.

So what does a group Mac Talla class or workshop look like? You are indoors, on a yoga mat, maybe barefoot, maybe in sneakers. After a sentence or two of introduction the music starts. The instructor guides you into gentle repetitive movement, till you feel the beat in your bones instead of with your brain.

As the songs change, the repeated movements change, progressively intensifying. This is a cardio workout, but one that pulls you deep into presence. Expect to move, expect to sweat, expect to meditate to sound and breath.

Throughout, the instructor offers prompts to refocus your journey, re-center you, keep you on track. The conclusion of class is once again, an echoed gesture, inspiring bravery, inspiring resonance.

Like I said before, Mac Talla, "thaws" me out, so I don't turn into an Ice Queen. It releases the pressure and frees me up, but it does so with guardrails. I'm not left "dancing by myself." Instead, I'm with like-minded fellow travelers, anchored to my deepest wisdom and concrete physicality.

Mac Talla means 'resonance' in Gaelic. For us, it is Liberation on Repeat.

Join us January 27, 2024 for the Body Freedom workshop. 1-4pm CST at Heartwood in Evanston, IL.

Join us for Somatic Sweat weekly group classes starting Saturday February 3, 2024.

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