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Books & Publications

As a writer, I specialise in practice-based research, eco-psychology and environmental philosophy perspectives. Over the years of my therapeutic practice I have been developing movement-based approaches toward more embodied ways for being well with the natural environment guided by processes of somatic Felt Thinking.

 

As a grounding methodology of reflexive and expressive self-inquiry, Felt Thinking in Movement opens up a whole new realm of philosophical contemplation on what it means to be human and on experiential movement as the basic ontology of relating to the living world within and around ourselves. 

Hope you enjoy these publications as a self-inquiry support resource!

 

Feel invited to send me your reflections and comments. I would love to hear them!

Dr Anna Dako

Endorsements

 

'Walking to Wellbeing' is a simple guide to putting one foot in front of the other and also a complex cosmic journey. Like our lives. Dr Anna Dako, with decades of inspired and dedicated somatic practice in her fingertips, has created a practice of felt thinking which is of real use. The words on the page are like her voice in your ear, showing you breath by breath how to connect with the earth as it is, as your body and mind are, and tap into the strength and wisdom needed to navigate these times. She speaks with soft practicality, precision and a deep freedom.

 

Dr Sarah Luczaj

 

On this series of walks I experienced a slowing down of tempo, and with this, a softening and opening to what is… I noticed how nature is in process and not progress. I noticed how nature, just is! It wears no mask. It is un-apologetically itself. The guide enables one to view oneself as bigger than our usual ‘personality’ selves. It expands us into our ‘bodyminds’ and the encompassing resonances with the organic ecosystem we reside in and are a part of. The guide takes us on a journey right down to our cellular existence; and our exchange and interplay with the surrounding air/atmosphere. It helps us question ‘when and where’ from the various perspectival shifts taking place through the course of the walks, accentuated by the changing of the seasons, the landscapes, and the soundscapes. The openings, offered within the guide, help one to become more consciously aware of the elemental transformations taking place within, by turning our attention to different ways of being-in-process. Via the process of active receptivity, ‘Walking to Wellbeing’ offers a rich dive into one’s inner landscapes, and into the parasympathetic nervous system ‘where and when’ we can restore and rebalance.

 

Shayne Lilith-Moon

It is a great pleasure to invite readers to Anna Dako’s feast for thinking somatic sense and sensitivity in 'Dances with Sheep'. I marvel at what she accomplishes here with her comprehensive engagement of the natural world and well-studied view of human nature. I have witnessed this book mature over time, first with Dako’s doctoral work so extensively based on biological sciences and analysis of the human in culture and philosophy.

 

Is the book really about dancing with sheep? Yes, quite literally, but more about what the dancing, the sheep, and the land have to teach us about ourselves and our responsibility to all life. I hoped the dissertation would become a book and said I would buy it.

Prof Sondra Fraleigh

WALKING TO WELLBEING  

A Guide to Practising Self-Care in Somatic Felt Thinking

Walking to Wellbeing is an experiential guide that introduces walking with embodied receptivity as the grounding principle of ecologically-minded wellbeing. 

 

The book presents twenty-four walks as guides to self-care outdoors, which form the first part of an ecologically inclusive practice of Somatic Felt Thinking in mindful movement, and invites to re-think wellbeing in wider contexts of being-well-with-nature. 

 

Presented together with inspiring imagery of versatile landscapes, the guide offers therapeutic instruction on personal development while walking outdoors in creative self-reflection as self-help, therapeutic methodology of practice.  

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DANCES WITH SHEEP 

On Re-Pairing Human-Nature Condition in Felt Thinking
and Moving Towards Wellbeing 

Dances with Sheep details the methodology of Felt Thinking in movement as an eco-somatic practice inspired by re-thinking the nature of being human, as well as contextualising it within the wider frameworks of cultural, philosophical and therapeutic viewpoints on wellbeing.

Combining insights from performance studies, art therapy and counselling, Dances with Sheep is about the depths of personally-felt narratives awakened in movement and which are offered here as a step towards more compassionate living. 

 

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BODY SCAPES 

Celebrating Seasonality of Wellbeing
in Somatic Dialoguing with the Natural World


chapter in 'Female Dancer - a soma-scientific approach'
by Routledge

In this paper I introduce professional motivations behind eco-somatic movement sessions offered to groups of women, called Body Scapes, and present an in-depth, dialogical reflection upon the embodied experiences coming from the first six months of the project.

 

Body Scapes has proven helpful in developing self-help strategies for building somatic awareness and experiential flexibility necessary for navigating year-round challenges of being and/or feeling feminine, and that the cyclical nature of seasons as experienced in monthly intervals can be an ongoing guide for self-reflection and self-knowing.

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OPEN SPACES, OPEN SENSES 

On Sensuous Presence in Eco-Somatic Practice of Felt Thinking and Therapeutic Walking with Young People

chapter in 'Arts in Nature with Children and Young People - a guide towards health equality, wellbeing and sustainability'
by Routledge

In this paper I offer an overview of walking with sensuous presence as part of a wider methodology of eco-somatic Felt Thinking, and consider its integrative benefits when working with children and young people in therapy. The practice is based on walking outdoors with creative focus on engaging the nervous system in ongoing dialogue with the living environment, while the offered guidance helps to expand the sensual apparatus with listening, smelling, touching, and noticing.

 

In my experience, working with embodied receptivity has proven valuable in re-educating the young people about their inner agency of choice as well as in re-patterning their habitual ways of distancing themselves from the environment.

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