Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Power of Dance
Category:
Healing

Gabrielle Roth, the passionate creator of the famed 5Rhythms® dance and movement method, once said: “If you just set people in motion, they’ll heal themselves.”

And the environment and the people around them, one could add. To be sure, there’s an undeniable uprising of energy that takes place when individuals come together in dance.

A groovy disco beat has spurred most of us onto the dance floor during a wedding reception but in a workshop setting, the kinetic force of communal dancing is even more palpable, especially at Esalen, where dozens of movement workshops and experiential programs are offered throughout the year.

“Dance and movement are unique because no matter how you identify, what God you bow to, or what language you speak, when we move, we are one,” says Esalen faculty Lucia Horan, who’s been teaching the 5Rhythms® for more than 20 years and facilitates a variety of workshops annually.

“The language of movement leads us to information about one another as we see joy, grief, fear and anger held in the structure of our bones. Even if you don't speak the same language, when you dance together there is a shared understanding. It’s here we can meet and make sense of the importance of unity in ourselves and the world.”

Lucia’s lifelong connection to dance and her ties to Big Sur are unique. She was born into a family of the 5Rhythms® and raised in the Esalen community. She was introduced to Gabrielle Roth by her mother, Esalen faculty Peggy Horan, when she was a child and witnessed the incredible connections that take place when people gather through movement.

“Growing up, dance was a part of my culture and it was alive with music and drums and drum makers,” Lucia muses. “I learned that with dance, the sum of the whole is more than its parts. There’s something about all of these people in their full expression of themselves, individually and then collectively, which allows for something else to happen.

“Esalen has always been a place of investigation and asking the most challenging and mysterious questions, and Gabrielle was a mystic in her own right. She was asking the question through the body. She was really investigating through the movement.”

In addition to that indelible connection one can experience with others through dance, Lucia says it can also allow us to navigate through a myriad cycles and patterns of our physical and emotional reality, such as loss and grief.

She credits Gabrielle for having realized how there were different ways to create an integrative healing experience, and that dance was chief amongst them because it addressed the physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual and emotional aspects of ourselves.

But Gabrielle, whom Lucia lovingly refers to as the Grandmother of Conscious Dance Movement of our times, also believed that there was a stability that the practice of mindfulness and movement offers us that psychedelics and different intoxicants really could not.

“Gabrielle pioneered the idea of removing all of those outside influences to dive deeply inward and ask: ‘Let’s see what kind of altered states we can get into,’” Lucia says. “She saw that in the collective whole, that there was something very powerful. She recognized that we are all people of the Earth and all of our people have danced throughout the history of time.

“It’s only been in recent generations that we have been divorced from movement and the empowerment of movement. But Gabrielle said, ‘Let’s investigate this together.’ I believe there’s great power in that.”

“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 Power of Dance

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing

Gabrielle Roth, the passionate creator of the famed 5Rhythms® dance and movement method, once said: “If you just set people in motion, they’ll heal themselves.”

And the environment and the people around them, one could add. To be sure, there’s an undeniable uprising of energy that takes place when individuals come together in dance.

A groovy disco beat has spurred most of us onto the dance floor during a wedding reception but in a workshop setting, the kinetic force of communal dancing is even more palpable, especially at Esalen, where dozens of movement workshops and experiential programs are offered throughout the year.

“Dance and movement are unique because no matter how you identify, what God you bow to, or what language you speak, when we move, we are one,” says Esalen faculty Lucia Horan, who’s been teaching the 5Rhythms® for more than 20 years and facilitates a variety of workshops annually.

“The language of movement leads us to information about one another as we see joy, grief, fear and anger held in the structure of our bones. Even if you don't speak the same language, when you dance together there is a shared understanding. It’s here we can meet and make sense of the importance of unity in ourselves and the world.”

Lucia’s lifelong connection to dance and her ties to Big Sur are unique. She was born into a family of the 5Rhythms® and raised in the Esalen community. She was introduced to Gabrielle Roth by her mother, Esalen faculty Peggy Horan, when she was a child and witnessed the incredible connections that take place when people gather through movement.

“Growing up, dance was a part of my culture and it was alive with music and drums and drum makers,” Lucia muses. “I learned that with dance, the sum of the whole is more than its parts. There’s something about all of these people in their full expression of themselves, individually and then collectively, which allows for something else to happen.

“Esalen has always been a place of investigation and asking the most challenging and mysterious questions, and Gabrielle was a mystic in her own right. She was asking the question through the body. She was really investigating through the movement.”

In addition to that indelible connection one can experience with others through dance, Lucia says it can also allow us to navigate through a myriad cycles and patterns of our physical and emotional reality, such as loss and grief.

She credits Gabrielle for having realized how there were different ways to create an integrative healing experience, and that dance was chief amongst them because it addressed the physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual and emotional aspects of ourselves.

But Gabrielle, whom Lucia lovingly refers to as the Grandmother of Conscious Dance Movement of our times, also believed that there was a stability that the practice of mindfulness and movement offers us that psychedelics and different intoxicants really could not.

“Gabrielle pioneered the idea of removing all of those outside influences to dive deeply inward and ask: ‘Let’s see what kind of altered states we can get into,’” Lucia says. “She saw that in the collective whole, that there was something very powerful. She recognized that we are all people of the Earth and all of our people have danced throughout the history of time.

“It’s only been in recent generations that we have been divorced from movement and the empowerment of movement. But Gabrielle said, ‘Let’s investigate this together.’ I believe there’s great power in that.”

“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

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