UZAZU is a way of connecting your mind, body and emotions so you can deeply engage with yourself, others and the world we live in. A language that ‘speaks’ without words, UZAZU uses simple combinations of vowel sounds, thoughts, and movements to tap directly into different dynamics of energy—it gives you the tools you need to unlock the enormous potential of your body-mind connection. UZAZU empowers you to quickly access new levels of both wellbeing and productivity.
Like yoga and tai chi, UZAZU has been born of embodied experience and extensive collaborative discovery. Like riding a bike, or brushing your teeth, after a short period of repetition, you’ll find that UZAZU goes beyond something you learn or do—it quickly becomes an instinctive part of who you are.
UZAZU is grounded in 10 years of original research into the effect of sound on physical behavior and subjective experience with hundreds of subjects from diverse cultural backgrounds. It connects a broad range of principles both modern and ancient. UZAZU integrates a core set of sixteen physical movements, vowel sounds, and thought patterns with several leading theories of emotion, quantum energy medicine, developmental psychology/sociology, personality typology, and core principles from Chinese (Taoist) and Indian (Vedic) philosophy.
UZAZU is organized around eight different vowel sounds, each breathed both in and out (in a whispered voice), and paired with a specific, full-bodied movement and a simple thought (like ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ or ‘gaining’ and ‘loosing’). Each of the sixteen resulting energy patterns has it’s own clear character and function. These energy patterns, or dynamics, play out in every aspect of our personal and professional lives as well as in society at large, evolution, the natural world, and beyond.
And different moments call for different dynamics… Naturally, we need to have access to all of them in order to cope and thrive in life. And here’s the key: the degree to which any dynamic can be truly present and manifest in our life depends on our capacity to allow and support the flow of that particular dynamic on both the mental, emotional and physical levels. To just think it, is not enough, to just ‘go through the motions’ is not enough. Remember that energy is polarity, and the most central polarity you have is the mind-body connection. By empowering you to quickly align your mind and body, through sound and emotion, around any given dynamic, UZAZU opens up a whole new range of potential in your life.
Once the movement/sound/thought patterns are learned, you will find you naturally start to integrate them into their daily activities (ranging from doing sports, to managing challenging emotions, to staying focused on tasks, to being creative, to relating to others more easily) as a way to energetically support and enrich those activities.
UZAZU is a Language of Energy
- Imagine you could intuitively understand and joyfully adapt to virtually any situation…This kind of flow becomes possible as you learn to understand and ‘speak’ the native language of the universe: ENERGY.
- Imagine you could create and move into any state of being and doing at any time… It doesn’t take years of intensive meditation practice to do this. You can begin accessing this innate capacity at any moment, in any place, in any context–from the family dinner table to the company boardroom. The language of energy gives you tools to become more joyous, productive, present, and focused.
- Imagine living with greater ease and abundance in how you relate to others…At a core level, the true exchange in all relationship is energy. When we engage on that level, all our relationships become much more loving and deeply gratifying.
Many of us struggle with trying to manage our increasingly complex lives—and in trying to control our situations, we tend to get caught up in our heads. In a culture so dominated by verbal language, our habit is to try and process everything in our lives with our rational minds. We so easily throw around words, like “ I need to be more assertive” or “I’m not good enough” or “Is this the right thing?” But what do we really mean by that? The truth is, we often don’t know! So we use more words — books, writing, discussing, arguing, theorizing, debating, and we engage in years and years of talk therapy to try and figure it all out. At a certain point, many of us start asking ourselves if this huge reliance on mostly thinking and talking and then more thinking (cognitive-heavy processing) is indeed the most effective way to go about understanding and engaging ourselves in life.
Energy is the fundamental force of all life—indeed, of all existence—it is the source of our vitality and ‘aliveness’. When you know how to interact with all that is happening in your life as a clear series of energetic states and processes, you’re working with the power of life at its core—you’re co-creating with life on a ‘Cause’ level rather than remaining a victim to the ‘Effects’ level. UZAZU is a simple yet powerful way to use thought, feeling, sound, and movement to tap into how energy works in the world—polarity.
What are polarities? Think about two polarities you work with every day: Mind—Body and Self—Others. We experience the tension between these two poles in almost every waking moment. When they are dynamically connected, we feel a life-giving, vibrant flow of energy. When we contract and feel them as separate, we become less alive, less healthy, less connected to ourselves and others. Isn’t it surprising, then, that we learn so few tools that enable us to directly engage with these key ‘opposites’ in our lives as the connected pairs that they are?!?
Learning and practicing UZAZU, the language of energy, supercharges your intuitive understanding of yourself, others, and the world around you. The ‘old school’ dualistic model of ‘thinking versus feeling’ or ‘wanting versus having’ or ‘just observing versus fully participating’ quickly lessen as a more fundamental way of relating to ‘opposites’ emerges. We discover we can enjoy the dance of each polarity in our life as a limitless, flowing source of inspiration and energy!
For many, doing UZAZU feels like ‘coming home’—what had seemed abstract and remote, possibly even ‘woo-woo’ or New Age-y, suddenly becomes obvious and intuitive. Huge revelations and insights resolve themselves into simple truths and naturally accessible skills for virtuosic living. The results are immediate and palpable, and yet the growth and process of discovery continue to unfold and deepen over time. UZAZU, like energy itself, is both surprisingly simple and beautifully complex.
Since 2002, Dylan Newcomb has been conducting extensive and unique research, in collaboration with specialists from a wide range of disciplines, into the connection between sound, mind, body movement, emotion, and energy. What began simply as one person’s personal quest to find joy and fulfillment has now developed into a vibrant new mind-body based theory and practice that is quickly becoming known as ‘a missing piece’ in understanding how our feelings, thoughts and actions can work together synergistically to promote inner harmony and outer, interpersonal mastery.
Leading an over-full life as a classical composer, a modern dance choreographer/dancer, and an avid practitioner of Buddhist Meditation, the American-Dutch multi-talent, Dylan Newcomb was looking for a place where the elements of sound, movement, and pure awareness and inner-happiness could come together.
Studying how hundreds of different people naturally wanted to move their bodies and how they felt while making specific vowel sounds, Dylan Newcomb discovered that indeed people tend to respond in specific, predictable ways depending on which vowel sound they utter. Each vowel sound seems to stimulate a specific pattern of movement throughout the whole body and creates a specific kind of subjective experience or mood.
Remarkably, these consistent patterns of reaction the vocalizing of vowels sounds turned out to bear striking correlations with the ancient patterns of the Yin/Yang polarity dynamics as described in the classic Chinese book—The I Ching (trans. The Book of Changes). The fact that Newcomb’s contemporary research into people’s instinctive reactions to sound and movement unintentionally came to such similar conclusions as The I Ching, a book which many people hold to be the oldest and most important book in Chinese culture, was a ‘coincidence’ worthy of further investigation!
Chris Lofting, in his ground-breaking work on what he called the neuro-cognitive roots of the I Ching, revealed that leading emotion-researcher Robert Plutchik’s theory of eight core cognitions and emotions perfectly align with the Yin/Yang interactions as mapped by ancient Chinese. It was this pairing by Lofting of Plutchik’s work on the core patterns of cognition and emotion with the I Ching which enabled Dylan Newcomb and his fellow researchers to bring together in this way and understanding of the fundamental connections between human sound, physical movement, thought patterns and emotion.
A further important influence on UZAZU has been a leading model of psycho-socio development called Spiral Dynamics. This work, first developed by the American psychologist, Clare Graves, and later by Don Beck and Chris Cowan, offers a breakthrough in understanding the relationship between the specific life conditions and resulting coping mechanisms that people adopt which create core values and beliefs, which in turn motivate people to do what they do—both on an individual psychological and collective cultural level.
Several months of research funded by the Dutch government with Newcomb and Spiral Dynamics specialist, Peter Merry and others, revealed that the UZAZU movements and core cognitions seem to ‘tell the story’ which the Spiral Dynamics model of human development points to, while simultaneously adding a completely intuitive and directly psycho-physical perspective. In doing so, it simultaneously posits a Yin-Yang and Mind-body based theory of natural human evolution, which is both linear and non-linear in its structure and function. Since the discovery of the connection between these two theories, leading figures from the Spiral Dynamics community have been embracing UZAZU as a powerful means of connecting the body-mind with the wide spectrum of increasingly complex values and behaviors that the Spiral Dynamics model has so skillfully identified.
In the fall of 2008, more extensive research was conducted into the relationship of the sixteen essential energy dynamics with several existing theories of personality – the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), Raymond Catell’s 16 Personality Factors, Ayurvedic Typology (The Three Doshas) and William Sheldon’s theory of three Somatotypes. Not surprisingly, striking correlations and interconnections were discovered…These research experiments brought significantly more understanding to how energy patterns play out in our personality, our interactions with others, and our bodily functioning.
Since January of 2009, workshops began to be offered in four levels of training, at that time under the name: The 16 Ways. As word of the benefits of the practice quickly spread, founders Dylan Newcomb and Kyung-sun Baek began to travel around the globe, teaching and exchanging knowledge. The understanding of exactly what these energy patterns are, and how they can be used in all the different aspects of our lives is still rapidly expanding…
In 2010 the work changed its name from The 16 Ways to UZAZU, as a way of better reflecting the energy and spirit of the work. UZAZU looks forward to a bright future of growth and further discovery as more and more people from different backgrounds bring it into their lives and feed back into the UZAZU community what they are discovering.
May UZAZU be something we all use and continue to shape to be a creative, positive force in the world!