Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Lasting Impact of Dance and Movement
Category:
Healing

Davida Taurek has been practicing dance for more than 33 years. During that time, she has witnessed first-hand the powerful impact it can offer, and invites us to create significant shifts in our lives by transforming the physical body and strengthening the body-mind-spirit connection.

In her upcoming workshop, Begin Again: The Dancing Path of Renewal, Davida, who is a psychotherapist and a faculty member at Prescott College in Arizona, will lead seminarians through a variety of dance practices and incorporate mindfulness modalities that help us unravel the bonds that keep us stuck in old patterns.

Esalen News: In what ways can dance help us create opportunities for lasting change?

Davida: Dance certainly changes our physical energy, which really has a great impact on our perception of the world. We’ve come to know that when we’re able to change our perception of the way things are, we have more choices and we feel more empowered to make the choices that we want.

Physically, the increased blood flow to the brain and release of those stress-reducing neurochemicals helps activate the part of the brain that is also responsible for emotion and memory.

Dance also stimulates the brain enough that we become more clearly connected to what we want, what feels right to us, what doesn’t feel right, so that we can be stronger with our yes’s or our no’s.

There are studies now that reveal how dance can increase our cognitive awareness and build new neuroconnections that prevent cognitive decline. But dance is also a sense of socializing. It’s different from having drinks. When we’re dancing, we feel like we are part of something and that we belong.

Esalen News: What are ways 5Rhythms® helps us create significant shifts?

Davida: 5Rhythms® is a moving meditation and a practice that can serve as a foundation for how we relate to ourselves in the world around us. The practice allows us to physically embody the different rhythms of what founder Gabrielle Roth described either flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical or stillness. It enables us to be with each of those rhythms in a more harmonious way when life either calls for it or when one of those rhythms is more predominant.

Esalen News: Can you elaborate more on the benefits of each rhythm and how embodying them affects us?

Davida: For instance, sometimes we need to flow around an obstacle in life, rather than charge right through it. If we’re able to embody what it’s like to flow through things, we’re able to trust the natural ebbs and flows of life. When we feel more embodied with the staccato rhythm of the practice, we can remain clear-headed and have boundaries with our desires.

When we can embody chaos, we don’t get scared of it. We know we can keep our ground and allow the magical, wild energy of chaos to lead us so that something bigger than us can happen and we can get out of the way of it. In lyrical, we can lighten up about every aspect of our lives no matter how serious it is.

And when we embody stillness, we can rest and be with the bigger connection to the Universe and the “other.” We don’t have to be rushing around and crazily getting everything done.

Esalen News: What initially led you to dance?

Davida: Drums and drumming, but even as a child, dance was one of my favorite things. When I was five, my dad, who was really into music, would dance around the living room with me. There was nothing more joyful than dancing with my father. Everything was right in the world when the music was on and we were laughing and moving around.

So, that has always been in me. During my late teens, when I was in San Francisco, I got into the Afro-Haitian style of dance and I experienced a connection to the class and the Earth that I never really felt before until that point. Shortly after that I met Gabrielle and that created a lasting impact.

Esalen News: What do you hope people take away from the workshop?

Davida: Some of the main things are: releasing what isn’t serving us, releasing the past year, having a sense of replenishing and re-nourishing our connection with the heart. And maybe even leaving with a new sense of purpose of how to move out into the world during the next year. All of the practices being brought in for the workshop help us bring our attention to our body, our breath, and what’s happening inside.

When we take the risk of expressing ourselves in ways we haven’t before, I truly believe it’s an act of self-love and compassion and with that, our hearts can open in ways that we never thought was possible. There’s such a real welcoming sense of beauty at Esalen, which makes it an ideal setting for such a thing. We are blessed with the amazing quality of nature at Esalen that reminds us that all things change and that we can really rest and trust in the changing.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

The Lasting Impact of Dance and Movement

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing

Davida Taurek has been practicing dance for more than 33 years. During that time, she has witnessed first-hand the powerful impact it can offer, and invites us to create significant shifts in our lives by transforming the physical body and strengthening the body-mind-spirit connection.

In her upcoming workshop, Begin Again: The Dancing Path of Renewal, Davida, who is a psychotherapist and a faculty member at Prescott College in Arizona, will lead seminarians through a variety of dance practices and incorporate mindfulness modalities that help us unravel the bonds that keep us stuck in old patterns.

Esalen News: In what ways can dance help us create opportunities for lasting change?

Davida: Dance certainly changes our physical energy, which really has a great impact on our perception of the world. We’ve come to know that when we’re able to change our perception of the way things are, we have more choices and we feel more empowered to make the choices that we want.

Physically, the increased blood flow to the brain and release of those stress-reducing neurochemicals helps activate the part of the brain that is also responsible for emotion and memory.

Dance also stimulates the brain enough that we become more clearly connected to what we want, what feels right to us, what doesn’t feel right, so that we can be stronger with our yes’s or our no’s.

There are studies now that reveal how dance can increase our cognitive awareness and build new neuroconnections that prevent cognitive decline. But dance is also a sense of socializing. It’s different from having drinks. When we’re dancing, we feel like we are part of something and that we belong.

Esalen News: What are ways 5Rhythms® helps us create significant shifts?

Davida: 5Rhythms® is a moving meditation and a practice that can serve as a foundation for how we relate to ourselves in the world around us. The practice allows us to physically embody the different rhythms of what founder Gabrielle Roth described either flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical or stillness. It enables us to be with each of those rhythms in a more harmonious way when life either calls for it or when one of those rhythms is more predominant.

Esalen News: Can you elaborate more on the benefits of each rhythm and how embodying them affects us?

Davida: For instance, sometimes we need to flow around an obstacle in life, rather than charge right through it. If we’re able to embody what it’s like to flow through things, we’re able to trust the natural ebbs and flows of life. When we feel more embodied with the staccato rhythm of the practice, we can remain clear-headed and have boundaries with our desires.

When we can embody chaos, we don’t get scared of it. We know we can keep our ground and allow the magical, wild energy of chaos to lead us so that something bigger than us can happen and we can get out of the way of it. In lyrical, we can lighten up about every aspect of our lives no matter how serious it is.

And when we embody stillness, we can rest and be with the bigger connection to the Universe and the “other.” We don’t have to be rushing around and crazily getting everything done.

Esalen News: What initially led you to dance?

Davida: Drums and drumming, but even as a child, dance was one of my favorite things. When I was five, my dad, who was really into music, would dance around the living room with me. There was nothing more joyful than dancing with my father. Everything was right in the world when the music was on and we were laughing and moving around.

So, that has always been in me. During my late teens, when I was in San Francisco, I got into the Afro-Haitian style of dance and I experienced a connection to the class and the Earth that I never really felt before until that point. Shortly after that I met Gabrielle and that created a lasting impact.

Esalen News: What do you hope people take away from the workshop?

Davida: Some of the main things are: releasing what isn’t serving us, releasing the past year, having a sense of replenishing and re-nourishing our connection with the heart. And maybe even leaving with a new sense of purpose of how to move out into the world during the next year. All of the practices being brought in for the workshop help us bring our attention to our body, our breath, and what’s happening inside.

When we take the risk of expressing ourselves in ways we haven’t before, I truly believe it’s an act of self-love and compassion and with that, our hearts can open in ways that we never thought was possible. There’s such a real welcoming sense of beauty at Esalen, which makes it an ideal setting for such a thing. We are blessed with the amazing quality of nature at Esalen that reminds us that all things change and that we can really rest and trust in the changing.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Lasting Impact of Dance and Movement
Category:
Healing

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About

Esalen Team

The Lasting Impact of Dance and Movement

About

Esalen Team

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