Authentic movement is a practice where one or more movers move in silence and with eyes closed in the presence of one or more witnesses for a pre-determined period of time. The mover follows her bodily felt sensation and allows her being to be moved from inner impulse. She surrenders to the movement rather than controlling it while in a deepened state of consciousness, a state where she only observes rather than engages with her mind and body. In this state, she may experience personal narrative, connect with the collective unconscious, or experience transpersonal information. She may uncover personal pain, trauma, access healing energy, or experience deep prayerfulness.
The mover doesn't know what will happen until the movement, until she listens to her body. She just lets it happen and sees where her impulses lead as she listens and responds to "deeper levels of kinesthetic realities."
The witness, the person who observes, simply brings a "specific quality of attention or presence to the experience of the mover." This quality of attention is nonjudgmental and compassionate and allows the mover to feel safe, both physically and emotionally, and to deepen her process. The witness also becomes aware of what the mover awakens in her own psyche. In other words, while compassionately witnessing the mover, she becomes her own inner witness. In a sense, it is a dance where body listens to body, suspending thinking and judgment. In this space, the witness cultivates presence in its fullest sense, and in this spiritual practice, it feels like a privilege.
Another level of witnessing happens within the mover herself. As she moves she also notices what is emerging from a place of meta-awareness. She moves, is moved, and notices this with the same quality of self-acceptance, non-judgment, and compassion. There is no concern for performance, only a deep listening to her body's movement while noticing and fully accepting what arises. The practice of unconditional personal regard for self is part of the dance.
After the allocated time, the mover(s) and the witness either move their dance into another creative form of expression like through pastels, clay, poetry, journal writing or they might choose to speak briefly about their experience. In a typical peer authentic movement circle, this is not a deep psychological processing time but rather, the mover selects particular parts of the experience that she wishes to share or chooses to remain silent. The witness might share her experience as well as it is always about her own experience to the mover. The mover or witness might share using movements, sounds, or visuals without words. It is important to say that interpretations or judgments during this form are not appropriate.— Nancy Mangano Rowe in The Wisdom of Listening by Mark Brady