follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
I’m in Bali for two weeks taking a training called Embodied Dance Temple Keepers!
This is the first training of its kind, since the movement explorations and specific dance journeys were created by a woman named Mana Mei. Today was the third day of the training, and we have already gone DEEP. The explorations are so simple in their direction, but so incredibly vast in what can be felt, and discovered.
At the core of these movements is the feminine essence. Softening, Sensitivity, Creativity, Releasing, Curiosity, Sensuality, Flow, Allowing, Vulnerability... With our senses heightened by the amount of Opening we're doing each day, myself and each of the women in the training are becoming more aware of just how much the body is able to feel in simplicity, and how our bodies can truly be an alchemical space for moving and processing emotions and stories. And above all, that expansion and growth need never be forced.
To give some context: embodied dance, to me, is allowing the body to be moved by the truth of the present moment. There’s no need to worry about what it looks like, if it’s too weird or too big or too anything. All that matters is that the dance is an authentic expression of that moment, and that it feels good for the mover. I started exploring dance like this about five years ago, and it has become an essential part of how I come home to myself and how I approach my art. Spaces that can hold this kind of movement have drastically shifted the ways I relate to my body and the ways that I take ownership of my internal life. Spaces like ecstatic dance or contact improvisation jams. These spaces are safe and accepting and powerful. Temple Keepers, are those that hold and facilitate these kinds of spaces. ⠀⠀
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I’ve been pretty in love with this kind of movement ever since I started. I used to dance when I was younger, but didn't stick with technical dance because there were aspects that felt too rigid for me, and too focused on getting it "right." And when I absolutely embraced free-form embodied movement as a part of my personal practice, I didn’t imagine myself facilitating one day. Until that day came. And it felt so natural and fluid and amazing. I facilitated workshops focused on embodied movement for actors and performers a few times when I was still living in LA—I even did a kids class! My main focus was on how this movement can deeply assist performers in their ability to be fully present with what is happening in each moment, and to connect authentically with the other players without trying to “make something happen.” And then I led a few workshops focused specifically on embodied movement for self love and primal voice work while I was at Burning Man... and that was the final confirmation for me that this path was calling me to step in further.
This work is important, and needed, and transformational, and incredibly therapeutic while still being so gentle and intuitive. It invites the mover to be so loving and kind to their body, and to allow their body and emotions to move them.
It's both awesome and scary to witness myself breathing life into the facilitator part of me. Mainly because—as was discovered in the training today—there can of course be pain and discomfort when we resist our growth, and there can also be pain and discomfort when we embrace it. Because no matter what, we are letting go of something. I think it takes both courage and curiosity to follow our natural transformation, from our caterpillar selves to our butterfly selves, and however many forms we take in-between.