What does your Body crave?
“Nobody has to tell you how to move energy throughout your body, your body knows” – Rikke Brodin
Have you ever felt so free in a moment? So connected and present that it was almost like you weren’t your body, or rather your your body but also you are air and earth and everything around you? Recently I attended an ecstatic dance in celebration of the summer solstice hosted by wonderful Rikke Brodin. This was very new to me, but over the last while my body has been calling for something, craving for something else. (And honestly I think the fact that it was online felt a bit easier and not as intimidating as in person?). So there i was, right before it, saying to myself ‘Why have I signed up to do this?, I’m tired, It’s 2.5hrs, it’s Monday evening….(I was doing all those human frontal-brain bits that question our souls deep yearnings, you know?!)
So I set up my space and lit an incense, I laid out my mat, got my props and I let my partner know I’d like the respect and space for that time. And I logged into zoom.
In many ways it was like a yoga class, Rikke discussed the ritual and seasonal turn, the sun rising for the longest time and the celebration of everything that was warm and light. Rikke described the turning of the summer solstice toward the winter solstice as the “journey of the long exhale”! Let me say that to you again…
“The Journey of the Long Exhale”
We moved through various ceremonies and through shaking, a physical standing up and shaking. For what felt like forever, and we then shook a bit more till we stopped and let it flow through us. This alone felt like something shifted, something started in me. We were invited to begin to move as Rikke began to DJ, to let the sound and music lead us, to ignore rules or reasoning, to move as it feels good to move and get weird. (I’d like to let you into my thoughts here – ‘ohhhhh I don’t know what to do, oh she’s moving slowly, Ill try that too, oh f*** I don’t want to be on camera, can I turn my camera off? Oh god, I don’t think I can do this, she’s not instructing our movement?! What! How long are we going to be dancing for?!’) Ego, ego, ego!!!
And then I began, headphones in, I stood on my mat and began to sway, eyes closed I felt into my body, I turned the music up, I felt a little more this way and that way, I started slow and then it became a bit less stiff, a bit more free, I ignored my ego…
I closed my eyes again and it felt like me, it felt like this is what my body wanted and tears began; my body flooded with emotion from the movements I was making.
I let my body feel, I let it happen! I knew this was why I’d arrived here, in my bedroom on a Monday evening, crying and moving to my bodies beat. Once the tears finished I danced my little heart out for 2hrs! Sweating, swaying, lifting, folding, jumping, rolling, swinging, stepping, all the ways, any which way, every way. I smiled as I danced, at the freedom of my body, the ecstatic joy of moving in this way. Dancing in this way for no one else, (without any intoxicants, in the past I couldn’t have imagined it!) The experience of the journey I went on, me, my body and I. It was alllll mine. All mine for me to have and to hold.
*(I’ll credit my parents here, cause it may be an I told you so moment for them. They have been dancing since I’ve known them, whilst cooking curries on a Saturday night, to world music festivals, to faithless concerts, to 5 rythym dance classes, they’ve done it all. I get it now mum! I get it!)
Our bodies store every single experience we ever go through. They know it all, they feel it, process it and respond. Our thoughts and feelings; our individual neurological pathways from mind to body and body to mind travel through our nerves.
The fascia in our body, this fine silk like protectant (imagine cutting into an aloe Vera plant, the stringy, gel like glue) that permeates our entire body including our nervous system, loves multi-dimensional whole body movement. Fascia gets brittle, hard, stuck. Often we can talk to our fascia during yoga and dancing; think somatic, intuitive range of movement.
Moving our head, torso, limbs, whole body in a freeing, self exploratory, intuitive way feels right. It feels good. It feels soulful, somatic, therapeutic. I implore you to feel into you, in all of your glory, in all of your highs and lows, in summer and winter, in light and in dark.
Deep, knowing embodiment. Let go of the ego and let it all through. Thank you Rikke.
As always what I learn, feel and experience I offer to you as opportunity and exploration,
(Photograph above – is from a recent shoot at Belhaven Beach with the wonderful Nora Aranguren @wheatfieldroadart, that’s a story for another time)!