practice moves through a sea change…4-4-23

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Sea change: a profound or notable transformation.  Lately I’ve been curiously at watch as our communities of practice move through a sea change.  Something is different in this post-Covid spell.  Or whatever you call this relative break from pandemic-based living.  It feels like a paradigm shift and, for the last couple months, I’ve been trying to place my exacting finger on it.

In my non-practice, real world life, I’m continually seduced into behaving like this virus never happened.  Brazenly unprotected, despite the pile of masks moldering in my glove box, I stop at the store for groceries. I saunter by a hand sanitizer dispenser lingering unused at my sink as I head out to indoor dining.  I lounge in living rooms and chat with friends.

We, every single on of us, just moved through a world-wide plague.  An epidemic that took out so many of us and infiltrated every aspect of our lives.  It used to be the first and sometimes only topic of conversation. And somehow it just evaporated.  Man is inherently a meaning-seeking being, yet it seems that no one wants to talk about what it all meant.  Maybe it’s just too soon to have any perspective.  It feels like there is an unstated agreement, an undercurrent pull, to just move on.

But really, the fact that an entire global population proceeded through all the highs and lows of a shared traumatic experience is extraordinary.  It’s just plain weird that it feels relegated to the unspeakable ordinary.  But like I said, something is different in the communities of practice in which I participate.

Life can be counted on for delivering us to states of radical vulnerability.  Tragedy happens to us one by one or family by family.  In the case of catastrophic weather events and war, disaster happens to many in a geographic region.  But this huge and immediate drop into radical vulnerability affected every living being on the planet at the same time.

All of us stared down the gun barrel of our own mortality and for some of us it was the first time we even considered there was a gun.  I know this is so subjective, owning my own projections here, but there seems to be a deep hunger to get real, to explore and practice effective ways to deal with crisis and be with trauma.  And when we resonate with embodied practices like yoga and dance, we come in touch with the beauty available in this new state of radical vulnerability.  We have experiences in practice that can be passionately expansive, mind-blowing-ly transformative.

We’re emerging from a prolonged and painful isolation, looking for meaningful ways to connect.  There is a longing to belong.  I find the new students (of which there are many) incredibly open and courageous in this seeking.  I find the seasoned students deeply committed.  We are all actively looking for authentic ways to be with others and open to re-imagining skills that create real connection.  I heard the term “relational home” the other day.  The way we can be in community and provide a “relational home” for each other even in the face of trauma.  The practice floor is very much that: a “relational home”.

If you are ready to explore and expand, opportunities are listed here.  This Saturday, for the first time since Covid, I’m offering two hours fusing yoga and dance.  Come-as-you-are to this studio and leave with an embodied imprint, a visceral breathing experience of fluidity, power and surrender.  Rhythm and Release is for you, a perfect introduction, if you’re:

New to rolling and dancing: you’ll love learning the basics of releasing with roller and balls combined with a gentle drop into 5Rhythms dance.

New to rolling but already have dance experience: learn the self-love techniques that heal the kinks that keep you from fully falling into your dance (and life!).

New to dance but know how to roll: feel the joy of moving off the confines of your mat, so free after the releases you know and love.

Instead of going to practice being a thing to check off the to do list, this habitual thing to accomplish each week, it has become urgent.  Critical.  Fundamental for survival and well-being.  Indeed, it has always felt that way to me.  And a few others. But something has changed in the communities of practice in which I participate.  We are down for it.  And that feels good.