Thursdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 || 5:00-7:00 pm PT (Zoom)
Online via Zoom || Prerequisite: Rewilding 101 Recommended (Not Required)
Four weeks, $95 || Space is limited
The vast majority of human health problems have arisen from transition from foraging to agricultural subsistence and living in captivity within a State labor force. While the human body is amazing at adapting to changes in environments, it has its limits. When those limits are exceeded it leads to diminished quality of life and illness. In this class we will examine how domestication harms the body, mind, and soul. Through reading, lecture, and group discussion, students will learn about the complexity of what the human animal needs, based on the scientific study of our environment of evolutionary adaptation. We will break down these needs and look at various methods for reclaiming much of our health. It’s hard to focus on more systemic aspects of rewilding when we feel sick all the time. The goal of this particular class is for students to walk away with a deeper understanding of how domestication affects us on many levels, and how to live our lives in a way that can diminish those effects–so that we can better focus on taking rewilding even deeper.
This class is not prescriptive, but informational and communal. We do not provide medical advice to individuals, but rather, resources for people to explore on their own within a communal setting. Many people are looking for practical steps that they can take as an individual toward a deeper practice of rewilding for the health of themselves, as well as their friends and family–and a place to discuss these ideas, values, and the implementation of them. Think of this class as what your basic health class in school should have been growing up.
Why a prerequisite? Before embarking on Rewilding Your Health, all students must take our Rewilding 101 class. Rewilding isn’t just some new health fad to try out. It is an entire movement away from the culture of civilization and extraction, toward a culture of reciprocity and regeneration. Rewilding promotes the health of not just an individual human, but of whole ecosystems. The information in this class builds on the foundation of what we mean by rewilding: it’s not a life hack for shredded abs. Life hacks may help you look and feel wild, but they are superficial and do not change the systemic causes of our pains, illness, and ecological destruction. Rewilding Your Health, as an addition to Rewilding 101, takes aim at going deeper than life hacks, making steps toward systemic changes beyond yourself.
Week One: Mind
The most difficult aspect of personal growth is changing our current habits. We’ll cover various methods for doing this in a rewilding context. The effects of modernity on the psyche are the cause of much anxiety and other ailments. We will also look at the ways in which we can improve our mental health through a deeper connection to nature.
Week Two: Fuel
We are what we put in our bodies. We have to eat and drink to live, but what we eat and drink can greatly impact how we live. We’ll cover theories around food, digestion, hydration and more.
Week Three: Rest
Rest is one of the most lacking aspects of our lives. Through work regimes of bizarre hours and harmful concepts of laziness, we are desperately in need of reevaluating how much rest we should actually be getting. We need to rest. But how long and how much?
Week Four: Movement
As animals, we need to move. Everyone has differing abilities when it comes to moving, but there are principles we can all share. How can we integrate rewilding concepts into our lives? What are the simple steps we can take to help us make giant leaps?
Peter Michael Bauer is an anthropologist, experimental archaeologist, and historian. His work focuses on the social and environmental impacts of the neolithic revolution, and how understanding these impacts can provide us with solutions to the sixth mass extinction. Since the early 2000’s, he has been an integral catalyst in the human rewilding movement.
Our instructor is not a doctor, a therapist, personal coach, or lifestyle guru. He is someone who has done a lot of research and experience in this area and enjoys sharing the knowledge and resources of what he and others have found. He does not offer medical advice and we recommend talking with a licensed doctor or therapist before implementing any lifestyle changes. In fact, we recommend before class homework of finding a naturopath and therapist if possible.
Sheila Henson (she/they) is an ADHD coach and educator who brings her knowledge, experience, and passion for neurodiversity, accessibility, and transformative justice to her position on the Rewild Portland board of directors. She grew up in Thousand Oaks, California, close to forest, desert, and the beach, and now lives in North Portland. She holds undergrad degrees in History and Psychology, a Masters in Education, and has worked in education and behavior for nearly twenty years, including teaching in a self-contained behavior classroom at Serendipity Center, a therapeutic school in SE Portland. Sheila has mad skills in crisis prevention, de-escalation, collaborative problem solving, and mediation work. She heads our Transformative Justice committee and receives formal training in this area (most recently in Equity-Informed Mediation and Restorative Justice for Organizations), which she brings to the rest of the board.