Drop the word “exercise,” throw out the term “physical education” and stop cowering when you hear “dance.”
Replace those dreary and loaded terms with the sheer joy and the simple pleasure of moving your body. No matter your size, your shape, the flesh that jiggles, the bones that stick out, the maleness or femaleness of your contour—you will find in your moving body an expression of your deepest desires, your visions, your dreams, your one true voice that is inside you always.
“Nothing is more revealing than movement,” said pioneering modern dancer Martha Graham.
Graham understood the body as a source of insight into some of the core issues of one’s life—a source of knowledge and transformation, a pathway to awareness.
When we “move to learn,” rather than “learn to move,” we enter unknown inner territory. We begin to discover aspects of ourselves and our lives from fresh and refreshing perspectives. The personal history stored in our body becomes accessible for examination and dialogue.
The value of movement in giving expression to one’s inner life traces back to earliest human history, when disease was seen as a loss of soul and dance was an integral part of the healing process. In many cultures still today, dance and movement are vital and profound ways to touch the center of one’s being. When we reduce our body’s movement to losing weight or burning calories or winning over someone else, we lose so much.
So go ahead. Find a quiet, private space. Suspend self-criticism and your conscious and habitual directives to your body. Engage your curiosity, respect, honesty and courage.
Finally, move your body and listen to its magic.
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Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications