Archive for April, 2017

Moving to Heal

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Hello Everyone,

Last Spring, I travelled to Toronto to take part in a Moving to Heal workshop with Debbie Rosas, founder of Nia Dance Movement.   As many of you know, I am certified as a White Belt Nia Teacher and have practised and studied Nia teacher routines for years.  Although I do not hold formal Nia classes, I have included Nia inspired movement and practices in the women’s groups I have held in the past.

Dance is definitely one of my passions.  I truly love everything about dance and many kinds of movement art forms.  I was drawn to Nia, however, for not necessarily the obvious reasons.  Yes, I love to move to music and desired to find a body movement art form that I could learn, practise and teach, but I was drawn to it mostly because I recognized that it was also a way to heal.

I have studied and worked a lot with trauma and know what it feels likes to hold trauma in the body.   Following a car accident, the signs of any kind of trauma were not so evident as my body appeared to heal easily.  But years later I found some symptoms were showing up.   As I dug a little deeper, I realised that I was holding some unprocessed emotions around this accident.   I used Tapping to connect to any limiting beliefs (e.g. this can only get worse) and release some of the negative charge that had built up.   As I started to feel better, I recognised that navigating this experience was an opportunity to embody more of more of myself and in the process understand trauma and how we might best integrate traumatic experiences into our lives.

When I saw that Debbie had created a program called Moving to Heal I knew I needed to be a part of it.  In many ways, I was already moving to heal in my life.  Daily I would listen to my body, how it wanted to moved, where it wanted to move to, how it wanted to exercise or simply rest.   I spent many months truly listening and became excited at uncovering and discovering “My Body’s Way” of being in the world.

Even without injuries or accidents, many of us do not move in ways that feel most natural to us.  Our cultural conditioning does not necessarily encourage authentic movement.    Alice Miller in her book “The Body Never Lies”  explores how many socially accepted practices can cause havoc in the body-mind connection.  In Gabor Mate’s book, ”When the Body Says No”  Gabor says “when we have been prevented from saying no, the body says it for us.”

Fortunately, our world is changing and we are waking up to the fact that the old ways of doing things are not working any more.   With burn out, stress related diseases rampant, corporations are offering yoga, meditation and movement classes during lunchtime.  Similarly, teachers have found that children learn better and are less distracted with regular physical activity.

Spring is a perfect time to listen to how your body might want to move. We all have habitual ways to move or exercise.   Some of these ways may be working for you, however, others might feel mindless, robotic or just not you anymore. Listening to what our bodies might want is a practise, especially if we have ignored its signals for a long time.  However, if we do listen what we might hear is our body telling us all kinds of things, including how to cultivate more aliveness, vibrancy and ease in our everyday lives.

At some level, some might say that there is no right or wrong way to move but to use Nia terminology maybe there is a way to move which is your “Body’s  Way”.  Especially feel into movements that are pleasurable and create a sense of dynamic ease in the body, mind and spirit.

This spring I invite you to take the time to feel, breath and dialogue with your own body’s intelligence.  You might want to put on some music that touches and inspires you and allow your body to move freely without judgement.  See what arises and how you feel.  If you notice some stuck or frozen places try softening and leaning in as if you were comforting a hurt child.  Sometimes we have learnt to stiffen or brace ourselves against the world creating a discomfort in the body-mind.  Accept any thoughts and feelings without judgement, and with lots of compassion for whatever arises.

Be patient and gentle with yourself, and let your body lead for a while.  You might be surprised where it will take you.  I offer one –on-one, Moving to Heal sessions at the Harmony Health Center where I can assist individuals in their self-healing journey.

Have a great month everyone,

Much love,