Stay tuned! I am taking a short break from teaching a weekly yoga class but fill in quite frequently at It's All Yoga /www.itsallyoga.com
My husband, partner in life, best friend is Bob Dreizler. He is a financial consultant with a specialty in socially responsible investing. His political voice and the evolution of his art work continue to amaze me.
For more information about all his worlds www.bobdreizler.com
Q: What are the 5Rhythms?
A: 5Rhythms is a movement meditation pioneered by Gabrielle Roth. In this unique practice we put the body in motion to still the mind and connect to spirit. When we dance the 5Rhythms in sequence it is a wave:
Flowing: we let the dance in, feel our feet on the floor, the weight of our bodies and the fluid, continuous glide of our own movements
Staccato: we let the dance out and express ourselves through the percussive, pulsing beat of our hips and hearts
Chaos: we let the dance go releasing and shaking into the unpredictability of our dance
Lyrical: when we move through the portal of the first 3 rhythms, we feel the possibility of lightening up, letting go of all effort, delivered to integrated alignment of body, heart and mind, space for new expanded possibilities.
Stillness: we let the dance be and surrender to quiet, gentle movements rising and falling with the breath, emptying enough that spirit can fill and move through us.
Q: What if I want to just dance, don’t really want instruction?
A: Here is what is always true: you never have to do anything that does not feel right to you. You are always your own best authority and can participate in a way that feels like a fit for you. That being said, Thursday night is an instructional class and if you NEVER want to follow instructions, this is simply not a good night to show up. Consider this though: often when we drop our resistance and try on new things we move from our habitual this-is-how-I always-dance into something brand new. And as new movement emerges, new insights often follow. I am grateful for the many hours of instructed practice that have helped transform the things in my life that really needed to shift. Certainly insight and transformation can happen without instruction as well and time to practice in both fields is ideal. Sweat Your Prayers on Sunday is an opportunity to move with your own inner guidance.
Q: Why is it called a moving meditation?
A: We can practice presence in many ways and traditionally we learn to meditate sitting on a cushion. This is a great place to become familiar with the formidable workings of the mind and realize what we are up against in our quest for stillness. The practice of yoga gets us moving on our own mat, in our own internal world in some predictable ways as we continue to explore this same territory. The dance floor takes meditation to a new level: infinite movement possibilities, interaction with other people, eyes open, music coming in. This is as close as it gets to the real world and ultimately we are practicing so we can be increasingly present in our lives outside of class.
Q: Do I have to dance with other people?
A: 5Rhythms is a meditative practice and the dance floor is a way to explore how we are in the world. Many lessons include an invitation to connect with another so we can feel what that brings up for us and explore new ways to relate with others. If this is too much of a stretch for you at first, then it is totally OK to remain in your interior world. When you are ready to stretch, the opportunity will be there.
Q: What do I wear to class?
A: Wear clothing that is loose, comfortable and allows you to move freely. Foot support may be needed; soft-soled shoes or dance shoes are the best choice. Dancing barefoot will help to ground you, build your balance and reflexes and strengthen your feet. Many dancers slowly build tolerance to barefoot by beginning a session without shoes and then slipping them on as soon as they feel any foot discomfort.
Embodiment: a deep, internal perception of our own body---how it moves, feels, breathes, responds to gravity, generates power, releases.
Core stability: our body's ability to effectively recruit the deep muscles in the front and back of the torso that respond to gravity, physical demands and motion.
Lengthening: the capacity for muscles and connective tissue to elongate as we gently position them for stretch.
Connective tissue: ligaments, joints, tendons and fascia
Power: the ability to generate muscular contraction on demand, often utilizing breath to facilitate action.
Release: the ability to let go of muscular contraction on demand, often utilizing breath to assist the release.
Bhandas: the energetic locks (root, diaphragm and neck) utilized in a yoga practice that provide core stability and also move energy from the root to the crown
Grounding: using breath and the sensory input of contact to the floor to establish a connection between body and earth.
Centering: using breath to connect with and move from a center of gravity that varies form body to body and lies between the pubic bone and sternum.
Foam roller: a firm bolster used to loosen stiff joints, connective tissue and muscles and exercise core stability
Pokey ball: small balls used to massage tight connective tissue and muscles and release trigger points
Free form dance: the unique dance that emerges from our spirit's response to the beat
Safe space: ritual space held by a facilitator that allows freedom for full self expression
Self-care: techniques using breath, alignment, optimal positioning, power and release to loosen tightness and access core stability to decrease susceptibility to injury and increase comfort in daily life
Musical wave: continual variety of music fading one track into the next, formatted in a way that starts slow, steadily picks up to a peak and then gently comes down to end quietly.
Cardio work out: moving your body at a pace that brings your heart rate into a training zone for aerobic benefit