leaving the backpack at the door…4-4-22

I laid in funky dread bed this morning, pulled comfort over my head, delayed the rise. Coffee/newspaper (see headlines above) just confirmed the everything-feels-broken sensibility.  And I’m old enough to know it has felt this bad before.  Hasn’t it?  And yet right here, right now, my feet covered in felted wool, nested into this oak hardwood.  My hips sunk deep into a red cushion, the miracle of light rain falling on this teeny urban acreage…breathing.  Still.

And ruminating on the value of my work in the world, when so many same-age friends have laid the work-a-day world to rest.  Beneath the covers I let myself bathe in memory.  And 2005 arose, the year I un-tethered from hard-core work, an attachment that captures so many of us in middle age. The sale of Dreizler Physical Therapy was imminent and I was seeking a name, an identity to facilitate a graceful pivot into what was next.

Except I really didn’t know what that was.  I only knew it was about healing, about bodies in motion, about dance, about yoga.  In a whimsical moment, without much thought, the name Body Joy was coined.  Despite the fact I’ve gone in and out of feeling it as a good descriptor, it has stuck as the umbrella name for three offerings: yoga, dance, physical therapy.

So it fascinates me that I’m back to the Joy part.  A respite, a re-fuel, a release from the everything-feels-broken sensibility.  Sacred moments to touch inside and feel our wholeness/holiness.  Revel in the glory of sensation, luxuriate in breath, take pleasure in the miracle of a body in motion.   We carry so much in our backpacks—personal, communal, global.  It’s heavy.  And each time we gather there’s an opportunity to leave those relentless burdens at the door—on the mat, the treatment table, the dance floor.

Those backpacks don’t go away.  We pick them right back up as we leave.  And sometimes, as they say on the airlines, the contents may have shifted during flight.  So here are ways you can shift the contents, participate in some body joy.   Take respite.  Re-fuel.  Luxuriate.  I’m gonna keep offering what I feel we need. Put your backpack down for a bit:

  • Wilbur Hot Springs  April 25-27:  Ninety minutes from Sac, I’ve been Wilbur soaking for years, always dreamed of teaching on the outdoor deck.  This is my second gig.   Rollers and balls come with me for Roll, Release, Align; mats already there for you.  Release is such a natural pairing with the hot soaks.  All class sessions included with your day pass or overnight stay.  Don’t wait; summer is heat/smoke season.  Class times      Wilbur day use/ overnight reservations


  • Taking Pleasure Wednesday Waves April 6, 13, 20, 27:  Seizing the moment to dance together indoors at Clara again.  Four sessions utterly dedicated to luxuriating in the pleasure of being in motion. This is an invitation to move toward ease, tenderness, softening…fun.  Pre-enroll in all four or drop in to any one.


  • Roll, Release, Align Friday mornings, on line:   The current chakra map exploration delivered me to this pleasure focus.  Really, this practice is so chakra 1 & 2 derivative.  An utter focus on the body, feeling weight, the affect of gravity, connection to earth AND noticing the juiciness, the entangled dance of sensation and emotion arising.  Loving the return to integrating more yin time in combination with uber-soft release.  Come feel.


  • Moving Outside April 14 & 21:  celebrate Spring’s emergence in a large garden on the Sacramento River. Grace of earth and sun, sky and wind; feel the lay of our unique home land.  Co-teaching with Judy Tretheway, proprietess of this property.  We go way back, two elders holding decades of embodied wisdom—Qigong, 5Rhythms, chakras, orienting, forest bathing—guiding a journey through dance, movement, connection and breath, moving with the great outdoors. Come feel.


  • Sweat Your Prayers Sunday mornings, live: There is just nothing else like this.  Over two years we have dance-pounded the earth into a natural floor.  Lately I’ve been barefoot out there and it is total pleasure.

So maybe you feel called to create some sacred moments, touch inside, feel your wholeness/holiness.  Leave those relentless burdens at the door.  You never know…the contents may shift during flight…..