The physical body is one of the best spring boards into the conscious dance journey, and of living a more awake human life. The reason is that it fully embodies the present moment. Unlike the mind - a time traveler into the past and future, the body simply senses the arising changes in the inner and outer environment as they occur and responds accordingly to bring about balance.
The body is a physical object with biological systems that we can perceive very tangibly. There is nothing abstract or esoteric about it. It lives here. Now. Having a body gives rise to form of movement known as Somatic Dance. Not only a good starting point for conscious movement but a great form to return to whenever we get stuck, lost or disconnected in our dancing journey. We all have a body, all we need to do to do is follow it!
When we place our attention onto physical sensations, feelings, and biological patterns in the body and allow our movement to come from this awareness, we are moving somatically. Feeling stiffness causes us to stretch. Feeling pain calls for a more gentle, tender and tentative exploration looking for movements that alleviate it or at least don't make it worse.
We pay close attention to a finger that leads the arm which pulls the torso. Suddenly the whole body is flying around the room, following the fingertip into a new experience. We notice our stiff hips as they begin to open and sway, and the tension drops out from our sacrum, releasing an old trauma.
Conversation is held with our feet, feeling the contact of the earth supporting us, and anxiety and fear dissolve. Each move informs the next and by simply paying attention to the physical, we are taken on a journey that leaves us feeling more integrated and connected. More whole.
Whenever our minds wander away or we become distracted, we just return to the body. This very tangible object of our concentration. Picking up the breath, focusing on a knee joint, feeling heat or cold, and once again we move with it. No matter how many times as we get distracted, we simply return to the body. The body is here, the breath is here. Without judgment, without trying to create or force an experience, without trying to get away from what we are experiencing, we feel it all, as it is, and MOVE!
Conscious movement is really a relationship of cultivating a deep listening and response to what you are ‘hearing’. It becomes a conversation in movement. In somatic dance the listening is focused on the physical experience of having a body in this third dimensional reality, and how it feels to move in it. We follow the body. Through sensing allow it to move in a way that brings harmony and balance in both the inner and outer nature. The body moves to maintain balance or restore balance when it is lost. It follows the cycles of the natural world in which it lives.
There is incredible wisdom living in every cell of the body. The more we are able to focus on and move from the body the more this wisdom unfolds. It naturally leads to relaxation, health and wellbeing. Our entire being is connected and rooted to this physical body, including the mind, emotions, energy and more subtle dimensions. As a result balance restored in the physical body impacts these layers too.
Bypassing the intellect
The real value of this form of dance is in the fact that it bypasses the intellect. Consequently our messy minds. It provides us with another totally valid way of being in the world. Living life through the intelligence of the body. Where often we feel stuck mentally, at a loss as to what to do, the body will find a movement for it. Bring about the shift required. We dance the question and over time, the answer appears in movement. The choice then becomes ours, to follow the body, or follow something else.
Even if we never explored any of the other doorways of conscious dance, Somatic dance, would be enough. All the potential and wisdom inside us would unfold.