One of my dance students from The Art School in Amsterdam by the name of Karen Ortega Garcia wanted to interview me about body awareness and health. I thought it might be interesting to share this interview here:
What is the connection between our body mind and energy and how do you use them in class?
There is so much to say about the connection between body mind and energy. They all have the ability to influence one another. If I relax my body the mind generally calms down and emotions (energy in motion) can start to flow. If I am very much in my head, my body is tense and generally, our energy and emotions will not be in flow. If I hold emotions in you likely will see the mind is involved in this and the body will have to hold and tense in order to not let emotions flow. Our mind tries to make sense of things and in making sense of things we are not in the experience of them. Generally, our mind by itself has no power, only when we 'believe' our mind and fuel it with energy it has a grip on our reality.
In class, I always use the field of the mind and the energy in order to facilitate a deeper opening in the body. If as dancers we want to reach new openings and move past the known patterns we should use imagery and connect to the energy in and around ourselves. Without a softening in the mind and playfulness in our energy, we won't discover the life that we are underneath these patterns. Once we tap into this inner pulsation and life we can start discovering new places in our body and open ourselves from deep inside. This has an amazing effect on our ability to then use our body in different ways and even the familiar movements will look and feel different. Enriched and refreshed.
What is whole-body awareness to you?
If I would have to give a definition of whole-body awareness I would probably take it even beyond the body. I would allow myself not just to observe my entire physical body but to zoom out into the energetic field that is around the body. From that spaciousness, I would look from outside into the body. This way I can feel and be aware of all of me at the same time. Not just on the level of my body but on all levels. I can then also feel how that whole body is connected to everything that is around and I shift from being aware of my body to experience the field of awareness itself. The awareness that we are.
How do all the body parts relate to each other?
To answer this question I like to dive into the vibratory realm of existence. Each tissue in the body consists of cells and all these cells are in constant movement. They are always talking to each other. So the whole system is a vibrating intelligence. Therefore you can't make a single change in the body without it affecting the entire inner dialogue that is happening on the level of energy, frequency, and vibration. Our body is one big vibratory play. This doesn't just connect to our own body, it connects to us in relationship with people, nature, and the world at large. On the deepest level, there is just an ocean of love, light, and potential that we are swimming in and that everything in creation is inside of.
You mentioned that our physical body is a map of our subconscious brain. How is this so?
To answer this let's go back to the idea that emotions are energy in motion. If all human emotions would be felt in the moment they appear then they would be in motion and we would be in flow. However, this is not the case. We have made certain emotions wrong. We have made them mean something about us and we have stopped their flow. In the history of humanity, we have felt unsafe and therefore unable or unwilling to feel what there is to feel. Whatever our ancestors were not able to feel is carried over from generation to generation. As a species, we have shut our hearts off and we have blocked the flow of energy inside. Everything that is energetically not felt is then stored in the body on top of the generational storage that we inherit. Goodness flows right through us and leaves no trace but what we label as bad and therefore block we keep inside. There is literally a density inside of us energetically that then also brings about physical ailments and illnesses. The good news is that by being willing to experience life from the heart again we can set free everything on behalf of ourselves and humanity at large.
What is the most important thing you want to bring to dance classes?
The first thing that comes to mind is joy. We all start moving from a pure sense of joy and we all have a big sense of joy in our hearts for Dance. This is why we started studying it in the first place. The moment we connect to that joy, we tap into a flow of energy and possibility that is beyond what we can reach when we are in a state of frustration or being demanding and determined inside of ourselves. It has a lightheartedness and curiosity to it. The vibe I set out in the class that allows you to find the joy in being you and expressing your energetic signature while moving is the most important.
What is dance to you?
Dance is an extension of our being, it's our body expressing itself fully through movement. The whole play of life is movement and dance is a way of celebrating our own energy through movement into this world.
How do we remember our true nature?
The remembrance of our true nature definitely comes from the acceptance of ourselves. Everything that we think is who we are, is actually a set of collective agreements that we took upon ourselves and personalized. The thought patterns were already there before we were born we just identified with elements of that and falsely made them yours. The same with the emotional residue we talked about from generations on end. Life is always moving you towards expansion regardless of how it looks from the outside or how we choose to perceive it from our limited perspective on reality. Maybe life is not giving us always what we want but it's always giving us what we need. maybe if we can relax into the experience of being us on every level and not in opposition we shift into alignment with the truth of who we are and we are once again in harmonies like nature and everything that thrives in creation. In this harmonic state, the truth of who we are is revealed. It expands beyond us. We become bigger than anything that was superimposed on us. We become the loving presence and the unique translation of this one loving presence that is all of creation and then we are free. All that has to happen on the level of our humanity is to accept everything and be willing to be in the experience of our life fully. Nothing else. It's really quite simple. We make it complicated with words, teachings, and self-help programs and we think the more complex and deep the things are the wiser they are. In my humble opinion, this is not true. The wise is in the simple and the simple is that you are just here to have the experience of being you. So let's just have that experience, shall we?
What have been some revelations you have had through working with the body?
Interestingly enough it took me working with the body, to understand that we can fall beyond it. In the Ilan Lev Method, we use movement to tap into this very fast inner vibration and we run it through our system playing our own energy that of others (in groups) and that of the space. About two years ago we were in a big group doing this game of playing the energy inside and around and I had a moment where I disappeared. So solely by physically inducing this inner vibration, I ceased to exist in form completely. This was a revelation that till today I can't give words to. I have also experienced the opposite where deep meditative states allowed me to fall into vibrations this refined that I couldn't create with my physical body. So what is movement and what is stillness is a question for me. One seems to contain the other inside each others dept. So I guess that would be the biggest revelation
Lovely People, maybe we are looking for things in all the wrong places :D But at least let's smile to ourselves a little bit!