Movement has the capacity to take us to the home
of the soul, the world within, for which we have
no name. Movement reaches our deepest nature,
and dance creatively expresses it.
Dance has the profound power to heal the body, psyche and soul.
-Anna Halprin (dancer, choreographer, performer and activist)
Movement- a universal language
Movement is a universal language that all humans and beings hold in common.
Movement holds the power to communicate, create relationship, to evoke emotions and to have a dialogue with the Mystery. Even if the physical body is looking still from the outside like during sleep or when the body is paralyzed, our inner movements continue to unfold. The heart is beating and pumping blood, the breathe is rising and falling, food is being digested and our imagination is fully alive, creating entire internal worlds.
When we redefine our understanding of movement in this way, movement is continuously happening in moments when we are aware of it and in those in which we are not.
The secret messages of the body
How we are feeling and thinking expresses always in some degree in how we are holding and moving the body. Our external movement patterns reflect our internal patterns and act like a mirror of our inner world.
For example, when we are experiencing self-doubt and anxiety, the body will respond through hanging shoulders, the torso slightly collapsing in on itself, tension in the muscles of the face and jaw and the breath becoming shallow.
Most of the time we are ignoring these signals of our bodies even though they give us information about our current state
In todays especially western society we have tremendously shut down from our range of motion, sensations and emotions. We focus a lot on the senses of hearing and sight and devalue our tactile and kinesthetic experience (our perception of the body and placement of body parts to each other) even though they offer us information about our current state and needs in every moment.
In this we limit our experience and what we know about ourselves, about each other and about the world.
Break the patterns & labels
Through free movement we practice breaking out of the patterns of the body which allows us to break out of the patterns of the mind. We explore meeting ourselves in a space beyond labels and judgement in which we can meet our experience fully. We return to a raw form of expression, beyond aesthetics and beyond the limiting framework of the mind.
Dance can become a container to meet ourselves intimately in the present moment. This can be a very pleasant, playful and uplifting experience but it may also make us face limiting beliefs, doubt, irritability and emotions like anger, sadness or fear. In our daily lives we often avoid rather uncomfortable feelings and cut off our emotions. As a result they get stuck in the body and can manifest in a variety of ways. Feelings that many of us hold aversion against can bring up feelings like shame or resistance when they arise.
Through free movement we can cultivate compassion for ourselves and learn how to hold space and express emotions including shame and resistance in a way so that they can gently dissolve.
Movement as a path of self-discovery
When we use movement beyond its functional aspect and beyond labels we explore the expressive quality of the movement. This is when dance begins.
Dance is our pathway into profound self-discovery by allowing us to express through the body, what can't be expressed through words. By reinhabiting the body in this raw and intimate way we can tap into our innate potential to create and develope a deeper understanding of the mystery of life.
Movement is a tool that is always with us. Deep breathing becomes a dance when we tune into the rising and falling of the body and approach every little sensation with curiosity. Cleaning the dishes and sweeping the floor can be a dance when we have the intention to fully give ourselves to the activity that we are doing and observe what is arising in the very moment. When we start to see life as a dance we begin to witness an ever present aliveness in all that is.
Expression allows integration
What is expressed and brought into form can be integrated into the wholeness of our being. Integration of all the different aspects of ourselves is essential in embracing our human experience.
When we start to see our experience as a tool to meet and express all aspects of ourselves intimately, we move beyond what we thought was possible in terms of: self-expression, creativity, our capacity to feel emotions and our self-worth.
We can learn to express ourselves with more confidence and gain greater clarity on who we are and what we are here for in this world.
Experience dance as a healing art in our upcoming Online Workshop:
Dancing Silence: devotional movement & art 4 online classes starting on July 12th, 2023
Written by: Tara Nendzig
Photography: Tim Christian Kirchhoff