hanging in the balance …3-16-23

Twenty years ago, in a corner clinic office, I languished yearning to be free.  Literally boxed in, held by a rectangle so rigid it was hard to move and fully breathe.  So much responsibility, liability, adulting.  Up on my wall, next to an endless have-to calendar, hung a ragged piece of poster paper, hastily sketched with a giant triangle.  At each point on the triangle, a circle: dance, yoga, physical therapy.  They were so connected inside of me.  I fantasized manifesting them as a woven entity outside of me.

Fast forward twenty years: a back-to-back contrast experience bears an aha moment.  Fate? Destiny?  Maybe just dumb luck.  Last Saturday I spent all afternoon hunkered down with a posse of yoga teachers in training.  In the course of four spirited hours we explored the juicy world of experiential anatomy.  I absolutely adore when learning is driven by a group’s curiosity, totally hands on.  An education that happens directly through the textbook of the body.  In a way that’s my aim whenever I’m teaching.

Anyway, in the afterglow of our time together I told them I’d be holding space for dance at Sweat Your Prayers in the morning.  What?  What’s that?  We had just spent four intimate hours together, exploring all the held stories in their bodies.  Finding connections between those stories, their practice on the mat and the shape of their teaching careers.  And they had no idea I did this other work.

Next morning: by noon, I’m sitting in a circle of sweaty dancers who often share the illumination of their two practice hours.  I am lost in the beauty of the shares; they are incredible.  It never ceases to astonish me how much is happening out there.  I look around the circle and see a few folks I’ve seen for physical therapy and a couple others that show up for yoga.  And I realize that most of the people present have no idea I do this other work.

So after twenty years, that triangle so inter-woven inside me, is really still not manifesting in the outside world in the way I envision.  I would like these worlds to be coming closer together.  For the yogis to get off the self-contained rectangular mat for a spell and allow the body to engage in non-linear free form movement.  Invite the meditation past the confines of internal experience.  Allow the relational realm of connection to enliven and challenge their practice.

And it would be equally great for dancers to gain the basic skills needed to care for their active bodies.  I would not be dancing at the ripe age of 72 without these skills.  Many of us come to the dance floor with physical challenges that are quite often aggravated by dance.  Or we develop injuries when we get swept up in the dance and stop paying attention to what our bodies really need.  Actually the very same thing happens on the yoga mat.  Which is why the form of yoga I teach is so uniquely self-care oriented.

Workshops give us an opportunity to explore and expand, consider the place movement holds in our lives, maybe even question the proper balance of it all.  These two are on the horizon :

Rhythm and Release: 

Not since Covid have I offered this unique combination originating right out of that hastily sketched triangle.  Come experience the essence of body joy in a moving dialogue between myofascial roller release and 5Rhythms dance. Release feet and legs, then ground right into your fluidity. Free up hips and shoulders and release into your natural power. Unleash spine and head, feel the freedom of surrender. A two hour breathing and moving journey into the dual joys of healing self-care and expressive movement. Varying density rollers provided or you can bring your own.  Saturday April 8 11:00-1:00.

Tune Up: physical therapy best practices:

This is the meeting ground of yoga and physical therapy.  Our human body is a miracle in motion. Until it’s not. Injuries, genetics, habitual ways we sit, stand, work, sleep all create challenges. And these troubles compound as the years accumulate. This is the norm. Neck and shoulder, back and hip, knees and feet share very common and often easily treatable patterns of pain and dysfunction. I’ve been helping patients heal more than 50 years. Come for a dollop of self-empowerment in this three class series or drop in to a single session.  Saturday April 22, 29, May 6  12:00-2:00.

So I’m talking to you out there.  Some of you receive this missive because you show up to dance.  And some of you I’ve connected with on the mat or the treatment table.  And all of us may want to consider the place movement holds in our lives and question the proper balance of it all.  We want bodies fluid and supple, strong and toned, vital, thriving….alive. Sometimes it just makes sense to re-imagine our priorities.  I’m here to help with that re-imagining.