As a transformational somatic dance facilitator I see that people are constantly seeking outside for the answers, when we have all the answers within
When the Beatles went to India in 1968, they officially gave up their hedonistic habits to study Transcendental Meditation and returned as 'hippies', helping to put Rishikesh on the Western tourist spiritual map.
I first went to Rishikesh several years later, and started studying yoga furiously with one of Iyengar’s senior students. It was already then full of schools and with the main ashrams (nb ashram being traditionally a place for spiritual retreat) for yoga, and many more have sprung up since, as people continually flock there to study.
Like many spiritual places in India, Rishikesh has its own magic, sitting on the edge of the river Ganges, but it has also its fair share of charlatans. I have heard some particularly unsettling stories about teachers taking advantage of vulnerable tourists (though this is not endemic to Rishikesh or India, and there are many Western ‘spiritual masters’ who have not always come from a place of integrity.) A slight digression, but in reference to this blog title.
When travelling, and especially in India, there are many seekers. In some ashrams there are people glowing, their hearts filled with joy and love. Then in others, I have encountered some souls who are really struggling with a deep emptiness, who hang onto every word of their spiritual master.
There are many incredible teachers out there with deep words of wisdom and insight, that can give much guidance and support, often giving you new ways to look at an aspect of life. I have certainly devoured teachings when I have been travelling (though to embody them is another skill).
Yet I sometimes feel that we can disempower ourselves (I totally own this subjective point of view) by reaching out to a spiritual master. Basically I have never had a ‘guru’ who would be the one I look to for the answers (well not until now at least).
We are all so unique, that there is never one size that fits all for any of us. We may apparently have the same problem to solve, but the solution will differ because we each have a different cultural landscape, family history, personal belief system, obligations and responsibilities.
And paradoxically, in the end, we may ask five different teachers or guru’s about an issue, and they may have five slightly different answers, but the roads all lead back to the same place – back to our original source, back to us. And ultimately we look beyond our differences to see the things that unite us as humans. I am not Rastafarian, but Bob Marley encapsulated it in one word ‘unity’ – or two ‘one love’!
And it is the same with somatics. In coming back to source - coming back to ourselves, we are coming back to our living being, our ‘soma’. When we drop into our bodies the mind chatter releases from our overstrained frontal cortex.
Absolutely on occasion we need to be in busy beta brain mode to get things done, but sometimes we need to drop back a bit into ‘being’ rather than ‘doing.’ When we realise abstract concepts in an embodied way the fluids of our cells take on a different resonance. We don't just have a brain lodged in our skulls, but we have layers of intelligence filtering down through our whole body.
We have intelligence in our hearts, in our tissues, in our gut, our nervous system and in the biggest muscle that runs through all of our creative center which has been called ‘the muscle of the soul’, our psoas muscle.
The term ‘wisdom in our bodies’ may sound ‘woo woo’ to some, who are often more familiar with a rationalistic way of looking at the world. Yet knowledge and wisdom there is indeed sitting right there in our bodies…
Movement and dance give you the opportunity to find mental space. It is a dropping away from consciously driven cerebral activity, to enter into deeper realms of experience.
We can access realms that we didn't even realize were there, without having to go to Rishikesh. Although it is preferable to have a dedicated place, that will then become filled with positive energy, or even better, the grounding, calming and energising frequencies of being outdoors in nature.
And so I have just birthed a program that enables you to access the knowledge and wisdom that you have deep within. It cleanses, detoxifies and flushes out your whole physical, nervous and energetic system. And it enhances your emotional wellbeing.
This program Roots and Wings : A Calling of the Soul has seven modules. Each module is a pillar of the niio body map that I have created for niio dance, and is the result of all the elements that have come back to support me time and again in life. There are so many ancient energetic maps of the body that we can look to for healing. However this is a map of the symbiotic qualities from martial arts, yoga, somatics, classic and conscious dance that I have experienced for support.
and Wings : A Calling of the Soul
body, mind, heart and soul offering to help us to connect more in
this modern world. For us to be more connected to ourselves, to each
other, to our environment and to society at large.
have just finished writing a submission for my recent presentation at
the World Arts and Embodiment Forum, the title of which was, 'Merging
Science with the Sacred : Self-care
through Somatics, Dance, and the Spiritual Wisdom of our Indigenous
We have a body that science loves to dissect – it has visceral structure; blood, bone, organs, tissues; and yet through this ‘body’ or ‘soma’ we can access the sacred. We can enter into dimensions that are beyond our physical spatiality, that are truly transpersonal, that border on experiences of the divine.
If you have an interest in the body mind, and would like to know how somatics and dance can support you in both your personal and professional life – to be a more deeply grounded and impactful version of you in the world, then please take a look at the founding launch offer for my signature program.
would love you to be on this journey with me.
Please click on the link below for the details: