My meditation practice helps me sit still, observe my mind, connect with and listen to my spirit. This is harder to do when my body is tense, which was the case this morning. I’d awakened with a stiff neck. When my neck, a bridge between my body and mind, is stiff and shut down, I experience congestion, both mental and physical. So I moved my body.
I used to feel guilty moving during meditation. I thought I was supposed to sit absolutely still. But there are many ways to mediate, and as much as I savor stillness, movement is as life-giving as breath. Intuitive movement also breaks habitual patterns and helps you discover untapped resources. It creates additional pathways in the brain, which leads to new and original thinking.
A couple days ago my friend, Kathy Dolin, a massage therapist and yoga teacher, was talking to me about fascia, the layer of soft, connective tissue that runs through our bodies and protects our muscles, blood vessels, nerves and other structures. She mentioned the work of John Barnes, the leading authority on Myofascial Release, a holistic, hands-on therapy designed to treat a range of maladies, including back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, painful scars, sciatica, Fibromyalgia, women’s health issues and more. Barnes is the source of the wonderful quote: “Healing is not an event, it is a process.” Therapeutic release can occur directly—with hands-on pressure, but also indirectly, through dance. “Dance is a way of myofascial unwinding,” Kathy said.
The body is a wise teacher. Intuitive, creative movement is a great way to listen inwardly, relieve stress, and heal. It doesn’t matter if you move alone or with others. I recommend both. To find creative movement venues in your area check out Conscious Dancer Magazine.
Here are a few creative movement facilitators and venues in the Los Angles area: Spirit Weaves with Anneli and Michael, Medicine Dance with Fred Sugarman, Body Freedom with Tarnie Faloon, Moving Theater with Camille Maurine, and Soul Dance with Alisha Hayes.
I will be offering my BodyTalk Creative Movement and Writing Workshop this summer or fall. Movement and writing are exquisite muses that work beautifully together. Giving voice to body parts is a powerful, surprising, and joyous process. It’s also a wonderful way to integrate body, mind, and spirit.
Comments? Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!