My name is Ana Villas Boas.
I’m an urban sociologist and runner based in São Paulo, Brasil, focused on studies about body movement, landscapes, sounds, silence and senses.
My current work has been on cultural heritage and preservation studies and I’m also yoga teacher, certified by Kundalini Research Institute.
A running until the top of Lycabethus Hill. Athens, Greece, 2016. Photo by Ana Villas Boas
The body is a profusion of senses (1)
Almost the finish of 35 km running on the mountains – Barcelos, Portugal in 2014. Photo by Anonymous Runner.
“Keep Moving Flow” approaches the body in movement by many ways that converges to a hypothesis based on the thinking: people in movement benefit themselves physically and mentally. Thus, the body movement could be an awakening to a poetical sensibility on real and imaginary ways, such as running and sensory experiences from that.
Running is the path as well as life is. Why we run? There are many reasons. There are a several ways to explain that. My question actually is about my own reasons. To understand how and why something special happens within me, I have read a lot of articles and books. And I have written and shared ideas with other runners. Then, the next step will be develop a methodology to understand the reasons of other runners as well…
Running is something natural to me. The movement is an extension of my own body. I prefer to run alone. I mean, I appreciate the solitude on running. I adore to pay attention on my breathing, on my body, on my posture, on my thoughts. And I like very much to be present in those moments to feel everything around me. Then, I feel the senses augmented.
However, departing from this physical practices, my movements have also been made through the imagination and around a few of my memories adrift. By watching/listening films, musics and reviewing photos, for example, I am able to describe senses as well.
At the moment, I have developing the following lines: ‘In Flow’, ‘Moving Text’, ‘Running on Memory’, ‘Carreras de Montaña’ and ‘Moving in the Moment’.
Running provides us with an opportunity to indulge in a kind of kinetic empathy with the world around us.(2)
In trance along the 55km on the Endurance Challenge Agulhas Negras – Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 2015. Photo: unknown photographer.
The origins of this blog…
The first insight was in Athens – where there are invisible cities, invisible beings, invisible places with layers of time crossing me along my daily running and walking.
My intention had began to write something about running, but not exactly how have a healthy life, because feeling pain is an inevitable reality in that practice. On the other hand, to continue or not support that, it is something that every runner must decide by himself/herself.
On my running experience for many years, I have perceived that when I resolve to write on sincerity about running and to write on sincerity about myself, is almost the same thing.
Thus, after a cold season running around some cities in different countries like a wandering, I am getting started my writing.
Something has turned inside me.
This is the process which I am writing about.
(1) David Le Breton. The Taste of the World: an anthropology of the senses; original title in French – La Saveur du Monde: une anthropologie des sens, Editions Métailié, Paris, 2006. Edition in Portuguese: Antropologia dos Sentidos, Editora Vozes, Rio de Janeiro, 2016.
(2) Vybarr Cregan-Reid. Footnotes: how running makes us human. Penguin Random House UK, London, 2016.