School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: July 2009

Movement Medicine Attraction

by Roland

Recently I was talking on the phone to a woman who wanted to get information about Movement Medicine for her PhD.  I was finding most of her questions easy to answer but when asked what kind of people are attracted to Movement Medicine I felt I had given her what was a rather unsatisfactory reply.  A few minutes later, as the conversation was drawing to a close she mentioned that she had recently seen a flier for the Initiation workshop.

            “What did you think of it?” I asked, always eager to do some market research.

            “It glowed in my hand.”

            This was not the answer that I was expecting.

            “Sorry, did you just say ‘it glowed in your hand’?”

            “I did. It felt like it was literally glowing as I held it”

            “So what did you do?”

            “I thought maybe I should do the workshop.  But I can’t – I have to finish my PHD.”

            “Really. You pick up a leaflet and it glows in your hand and you can ignore the signal?”

            “It does seem that way.”

            “You know you asked me about what kind of people are attracted to Movement Medicine.  I think you may have just found a clue to the answer. In fact, we are constantly amazed by the variety of people who come to the workshops we put on. For instance, our first apprenticeship programme has apprentices from 18 different countries!"”

            In the end we left it so that if a last minute place becomes available and she has finished her PHD she will do the workshop.

 

            If you are interested, there are still a few places on  Initiation  Contact me at roland@rwevents.co.uk for an application form. .

 

            We are also now taking bookings for The Alchemy of Stillness in December, Ritual 2010 (all 3 modules can be booked separately ), Awakening 2010, Journey of Empowerment 2010 and The Phoenix Retreat 2010.  All the applications are available online (go the workshop description and then go to the last page of the description by pressing the ‘more’ button at the bottom of the page and click on the link to the application form).  Or email me at roland@rwevents.co.uk and I will send you a copy.   There is no application form for Awakening.

 

            Our full programme, not only for this Autumn but also for next year, is available on the Programme of Events page on our website.

 

            We are all looking forward to the publication of Susannah and Ya’Acov’s book 'Movement Medicine: 9 Gateways to Living the Dream'.  You can pre-order it by going to http://www.amazon.co.uk/Movement-Medicine-Gateways-Living-Dream/dp/1848501447/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241426310&sr=1-3)

 

            Susannah and Ya’Acov are now taking their summer break.  Susanne and I are also off for a week at the beginning of August so the office will be closed during that period.

 

            Wishing you a splendid summer


Roland

Beyond my Dreams
By Ya'Acov

Dear Dancing Friends, I am about to disappear for a few weeks to take some rest. I’ll be out of contact until September 1st and even the workaholic in me reckons I’ve earned a little time out!

What a year this has been since last summer. This time a year ago, we were waiting for a meeting with the Editor from Hay House Publishers to see if they would accept our book proposal. I had dreamt the summer before that they would publish our book, and despite many people telling us that we had to get an agent and that we had to get our proposal sent out to loads of publishers to stand a chance, I was confident that the dream was on track.

When Michelle from Hay House came to see us on a very sunny day just before Susannah’s birthday last summer, we had the a few weeks stretched out before us. The weather was warm and we were ready to party. Michelle is very perceptive. She had read our proposal and the comments she made were completely on the ball. She told us that we were trying to condense 25 years of studying and experience into a tome that nobody would read. The material we proposed to put into the book would better be sorted into maybe 5 books and what we needed to do was to decide what to focus on in our first efforts. She also pointed out several areas in our sample text where she said it read as if we were trying to convince someone of something. “Mmmm, interesting,” said we! She was fairly sure that given her comments and us re-submitting a more streamlined proposal, that the team at Hay House would take us on and publish our first book. We were beyond ourselves with excitement. And then she told us that it would be great if we could get her the manuscript by the end of January. Wow!!! We looked at our calendars. Between that day and the deadline, we had 44 days of possible writing time, and that included the summer days stretching out before us.

 

So, in Darling Khan style, we decided to get to work after Susannah’s birthday party which was the following weekend. We got together a writing plan which included the structure of the chapters, roughly how many words would be in each chapter, approximately how many words we had to write each day in order to meet the deadline, and who would write what.

 

And then we set to work. Roland had found a short writing course on the internet by Nick Daws called “How to write your book in 28 days.” A bit of a naff title but, given that we had 44 days, we thought it was probably an appropriate one. It proved to be excellent, especially in helping to refine our structure and in helping us to get clear about the difference between left brain editing type of work and right brain creative flow kind of work. At about the time we started to write, it started to rain. And it rained and it rained for what seemed like weeks. In 18 days, we were 65% done. We had many challenges along the way and many great days too. We were pregnant with words and as soon as we tuned in, got out of the way and opened the doors, the words just came flooding through.

 

We handed our first manuscript in two weeks early and then came all the processes of editing, designing, writing ‘thank yous’ and bibliographies. And last week, Hay House happily informed us that our book was at the printers.

 

Towards the end of writing, as we reached the last three chapters, I went through a couple of days of difficult times. I couldn’t seem to concentrate, felt irritable about nothing at all, and was generally not a happy bunny. Eventually, I got that I was scared of finishing it and putting it out into the world. It’s such a personal thing to write a book about our medicine and our experiences. And I hadn’t realised just what a weight I had been carrying all these years about the book that I just had to write! When we finished, I was walking in the woods and I felt a deep contentment beyond words. I had the thought that if I had to die now (and I want to be clear that at this moment, I hope to live and love for many years to come), if I really had to die, then for the first time in my life, I would be able to do so with a smile on my face. What a change in feeling and perspective that is.

 

So, our book (and a double CD too) will be on the shelves at the beginning of September. I hope that if you buy them, you enjoy them. The album has 7 Movement Medicine meditations on the first CD and then the same 7 without our instructions plus a bonus track on the second. The book and CD are both available to pre-order on Amazon.

 

And last week, we began our first Apprenticeship programme which included a 48 hour Long Dance. Apart from raising over £11,000 for 36 different projects, it was for me, the deepest and most magical ceremony I have ever been part of. I am so grateful to be working with such an amazing group of apprentices, a great Staff team and of course, the gorgeous Susannah. On the night before the Apprenticeship began, we asked, what is the nature of this programme. What we heard was:

 

The purpose of this apprenticeship is

To Relax in Being who you are and

Grow into who you can become

Through mastering/mistressing the principles and practice of Movement Medicine

 

As I turn in for the summer, I want to shout out a big thanks to life. So far, this Movement Medicine journey has truly been beyond my dreams. Wishing you a beautiful summer on all levels in every way.

 

Ya’Acov. July 2009.

 

If you are interested in joining the community of apprentices, the next opportunity to do so will be in the summer of 2011. The webpage has all the details you need about prerequisites and the dates when the workshops will happen.

Through the Glass Ceiling

by Susannah

We have just completed the first module of our new Apprenticeship Programme.  We thank everyone who was involved and who gave energy to this programme, whether or not you were there with us last week. This really was a co-creation by many, many people.  THANK YOU!

It was a big event in our lives. And the reality of this circle: being, working and making our offering together was even more than we had dreamed of which has given a new sense of direction and meaning to the rest of our work.

The conscious intention and function of this Apprenticeship Programme is to be a space where each of us can relax more deeply into being who we are, and grow more strongly into who we are becoming, and what our offering is in the world.

And it has begun. The Long Dance raised over £11,000 for over 35 charities, and two days and nights of beautiful, focused, deep and light dancing and musical prayer and healing dissolved many glass ceilings for me personally about what we are capable of, both individually and as a community. Many dreams came to pass, and many dreams were born, renewed and empowered through this Long Dance, which, even now, have begun their process of manifestation.

I feel like an archer who used to have a small bow and arrow, and who has just reached down for her how and found it has turned into a long bow. Wow. Lots more potential and lots more responsibility.  My bow of stability and my arrow of intention are for the highest, highest possibility for us all at this time to make the shifts we need to mend our relationship with the earth, each other and spirit so that our lives can become sustainable once more.

And all the other workshops, like the Journey of Empowerment which has just begun with a wonderful group of dancers and singers, and from which I am writing,  with great gratitude for the joy of this shared work of awakening to our potential and embodied, heartful intelligence,  come into a new kind of focus in the light of this lens. 

Initiation is the next big workshop ship to come into harbour. It’s often known as the “washing machine workshop” and all those of you who have journeyed on the good ship “Initiation” will know why; you get a thorough inner laundry on each of the islands of past, present and future, on which we land… This is an intense journey and an important part of the Movement Medicine journey, learning the capacity to be strong AND vulnerable enough to sense, embody, move and be with the energies of ancestors, of prayer for ourselves, each other and the world, of high joy and deep sorrow, and to rest in the mystery of it all.

 

We look forward to seeing you somewhere on the journey,

Wishing you a wonderful summer,

 

Dance, sing, pray, work, rest, be happy!

Family – A Vision for the Future

By Ya'Acov

Dear Friends, our work dances us the banner:

“Dare to dance. Dare to Dream.”

I am aware that the lives we are living now are the result of thousands of decisions, actions and thoughts, that we and all our relations had yesterday. It follows then that what we experience tomorrow will be the result, at least in part, of the thousands of decisions, actions, thoughts and dreams, that we have today. What are we dreaming? What are we part of creating?


There are thousands of visions of the future being pumped into the airwaves every day that come from outside us. For the most part, they are laden with doom. Maybe one of the most powerful choices we can make is to decide what we will focus our attention on. What do we choose to give our precious creative energies to bringing into form and manifestation in this world. It’s recently become obvious to me that spiritual practice of any kind leads first of all to a clarification of and then an expansion of what we mean by the word: “I.” As our practice grows, we become stable enough within our own circle to recognise each other as mirrors. As we continue along the way, we recognise that all life is related and that we exist in a continuum that includes our ancestors and our descendants. The 48 hour Long Dance that we just completed with our first circle of apprentices was both an invocation of and a recognition of that reality. We’re still finding the appropriate language for things as they evolve within our work and a better title for the Long Dance may well be the Phoenix Dream Dance. It’s an amazingly focused ceremony where we get to step into the place of our dreams (or dreamtime) and either give them form or watch in amazement as they take form through us in our dance.

 

We would like to make our contribution to redressing the balance a little in terms of what we dream for our individual and collective futures. So with that in mind, we‘ve set up a page on our website that we invite you to create with us as a place where we can share our dreams, receive inspiration from each others dreams and generally, put out a few well chosen and focused vibes of the positive kind into the big belly of existence.


www.schoolofmovementmedicine/dreamsforthefuture.php

(this link will be working from Friday 24th July)

 

We’d like to encourage you to send in your dreams and visions for the future by offering a £100-00 voucher to be used for any Movement Medicine workshops, for the most creative, uplifting and inspiring vision of the future we receive (as judged by the most non-partisan folks we can find and whilst acknowledging that there’s no accounting for taste and all that jazz). The second most inspiring gets £50-00 and the third and fourth, a £25-00 voucher each. Please feel free to ask us to donate your prize to any chosen charity if you would prefer. Submissions should be in by September 1st and should not be more than 400 words long. I hope this little dream game tickles your fancy a little and we’ll look forward to sharing your inspirations. Please note that your entries may well end up on a public website so please feel free to use a ‘nom de plume’ if you would prefer.

 

Here’s a little go from me to get the ball rolling.

 

Have a beautiful summer. Ya’Acov. July 2009.

 

A dream seed for the future…..

 

I dream of living in a world where we all walk freely and in harmony with ourselves, each other, our environment, our ancestors and the spirit world, and with the oneness of the spirit within and beyond us; a world where individual expression doesn’t have to cost the earth and where unity and community are joyous places of co-operation not coercion. I dream of a future where each has the permission and the support and the inspiration to find their own way, their own truth and their own direct experience of this dance of unity and community.

 

I see people happy and content and delighted with the opportunity that another day on a living planet and in a living body, gives them to create with life.

 

I see a locally produced, gorgeous, organic plenty and abundance  of food and sustenance for all.

 

I see a world in which we have truly understood that like it or not, we are all one family. All of us. Even the ones we don’t get along with and fight with. We’re all family. The trees we chop down or plant, the earth we hold in reverence or trample underfoot, the sunrise over waterfalls and the sunrise through the smog of the city, the fire we sit around to share our hearts and the fire we send in fury against those we call enemies, the waters that bring life and the tsunamis that bring death, all living beings, all living beings are one family. We are one. What I do to you I do to myself (not a new idea this one but a timely one). We are really and truly one family of universal and eternal life being born and reborn in an infinity of unimaginable creation. I dream of a world where we all know this and live from this, whatever our style, whatever our expression, whatever our raison d’etre.

 

I see peace at the core of things. Realised peace. Passionate peace. Peace that grows and changes and allows and encourages and evolves.

 

Dr.Livs de Dreem

Movement Medicine CD
What we've all been waiting for.

Susannah and Ya'Acov are today putting the finishing touches to Movement Medicine CD.


This is a double CD.  The first CD has 7 Movement Medicine meditations designed to help and support you in your practice.  The 2nd CD has the same music as the first but is without the instructions.  It also includes a bonus track which includes chello playing by Mathew Barley.  The CD will be available on September 7th but you can pre-order now from Amazon by going to http://www.amazon.co.uk/Movement-Medicine-Gateways-Living-Dream/dp/1848501250/ref=ed_oe_a


Enjoy


Interview with Ya'Acov

by Christine Ottery - Freelance journalist

CO: What is ecstatic dance?

YDK: Wow, that’s a deep one to begin with, straight in there. Ecstatic dance is an ancient, ancient human experience that you can find across all nations in every corner of the world, whereby people are able to – through listening to the beat, and through their own sweat and through their own effort – to surrender to a force greater than themselves, which we call the spirit of the dance, or the Great Choreographer.

In that surrendering to something greater than themselves, they see their lives in a much, much wider perspective: and see whatever issues they have going on, see whatever struggles they have going on, see whatever dreams are… in the perspective of what has come before, what has come after and the perspective of belonging to something eternal, something that is just beyond any individual life. At the same time, it’s a state of extreme awakeness and consciousness, where it’s as if you have been driving along in a sports car  all of your life, but realising you’ve been driving this sports car in just first gear, and suddenly you discover you have second, third, fourth and fifth, and you have a lot more energy at your disposal and a lot more potential than you may have been aware of. So, it’s like getting an overview or eagle’s eye view of your life and what’s going on, and your own potential.

 

CO: And this is all accessible through the dance?

 

YDK: Absolutely

 

CO: How is that possible?

 

YDK: Basically, simply on a physiological level, if you dance, you keep putting your feet down in rhythm, you keep the body moving in rhythm, you’re releasing within the body all kinds of hormones which are feel-good hormones, which change your state. And when you change your state your perception changes: The perception of  both who you are, what’s going on, changes. And through concentration, on rhythm, and sometimes through repetitive rhythm or repetitive movements we are able to access are more right brain kind of awareness, and that awareness, which is accessible to all human beings, is aware of the interconnectedness of all of life and aware of our position and our place within the circle of life.

 

It happens through trance, and trance is not just some mystical experience which belongs to special people, it belongs to human beings who are prepared and willing to dance themselves into that state, and to open up to a bigger energy. And the bigger energy might just be… in the modern day, it might just be coming through some big speakers, or it might be coming through a whole group of people drumming, or it may be coming through doing the same step as a large group of people – going beyond the illusion of the separate sense of self.

 

CO: So it makes people linked into a sense of community as well?

 

YDK: Very much so. Ecstatic dance is a community experience; whether it is happening in a movement medicine workshop or in many of the other forms of ecstatic dance that are available, or whether it is happening on a club on a Saturday night or whether it is happening in Glastonbury this weekend. You recognise in that state of ecstasy, your relationship with – you recognise the life that’s moving through you and feels good. It’s the same life that’s the same as whoever’s standing next to you, whether they’re a complete stranger or your best friend, you recognise that it’s the same life force that’s moving through everything on this planet. So you experience yourself directly as part of the community of life on earth.

 

Basically, that helps you to become a much more responsible human being, if you are able to ground that experience, it gives you the inspiration to be a far more responsible human being. It’s not just about feeling good, it’s also ecstatic dance may also be about releasing all forms of tensions or emotions – whether they are personal or collective stories, people come together to dance and to acknowledge what is true, and release whatever may have been heavy or difficult or traumatic. And call in a deeper inspiration, which allows us to return to our lives refreshed, renewed, and ready for the next challenge.

 

CO: On an emotional and mental level  is it like a form of therapy?

 

YDK: It’s definitely therapeutic. There’s no doubt about it, it’s therapeutic. It can help you… One of the things that’s good about it for people who have been brought up in an industrialized society, like we live in, is that it gets you back into the wisdom of your own body, kinaesthetic wisdom, your body intelligence, it gets you back into your own emotional intelligence – the intelligence of your heart, and it gives your mental intelligence a  place. So what it does, is it brings together your kinaesthetic, emotional and mental intelligence. Most of the time we are just taught to use our intellect, And, it’s like trying to walk up a mountain on one leg. We’ve got far more at our disposal. So when we get into the wisdom of the physical body, we are much more able to listen to and understand what’s going on inside us and have knowledge of who we are, on a much deeper level.

 

You know, most people in our society, unfortunately, they reach their deathbed without realising or knowing who they are. That awful question: “Was that it? What was that about?” We’re not encouraged to ask the deeper questions about: Who we are and what we’re doing here, and what our purpose is and what our particular contribution is in this life, and we live in times now, where those questions, which may have been considered somewhat alternative questions, actually it’s a matter of our very survival that we ask those questions. It’s a matter of 'there are no alternatives'. We have to ask those questions if we are going to survive. And we need that sense of our own physical intelligence, our own connection to the body, which connects us to the body of the earth, which we all know, as we read in our newspapers every day, is not doing so well with all us humans polluting it. So it brings us into that kind of intelligence.

 

CO: From a purely fitness, physical point of view, is it something that the practice of doing the dance that’s really healthy and good for your body? What are the benefits?

 

YDK: What’s that beautiful song “I don’t know but I’ve been told if I keep on dancing I’ll never grow old”? It’s basically like that, yes of course, if you listen. It doesn’t matter what age you are, it doesn’t matter what shape you are, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, it doesn’t matter what background you’re from – if you start to listen and you start to move your body and if you find your own dance, rather than trying to track somebody else’s, find your own dance and your own way of moving and you learn through different practices, and Movement Medicine has a lot of very specific practices designed to help you with that – you learn how to listen to your body, how to move within your limitations, how to encourage the natural circulation of your life energy and that is good for all of your systems – your physical, emotional and mental systems. And, yes, it won’t get you fit in the same way as riding a bicycle will but it will give you a much better relationship with your physical body and it will increase your fitness in a way which I think is more fun than going to the gym, it’s a little bit more creative.

 

CO: Absolutely. And the more you listen to your body, the more we can be aware of health problems?

 

YDK: We do live in times, like I said, where we are not listening to the messages of our body, and yes absolutely, if we start to dance with that kind of consciousness it’s much more likely that we’ll be aware of what is going on inside us and will be much more aware if anything is out of balance before they start to shout in a very loud way in terms of disease or the other kind of complications that we face.

 

CO: Do you think that ecstatic dance is growing in popularity?

 

YDK: We’ve been teaching for 20 years all around the world, and I was just in Switzerland running a three-day workshop for 150 people. It’s certainly that people are beginning to get that dance is good for you and the fact that we’ve lost… It’s not that long ago that all communities used to dance – I don’t just mean at weddings once you’ve had a few beers, but there were far more carnivals and opportunities for people to dance – and they did. Everybody danced, and there wasn’t this kind of thing that: dance is for professionals, or dance is for a particular shape of body – it was a normal part of life – and we’ve lost that to our detriment, but people are remembering and it’s coming back.



Christine's article for the Guardian Online can be found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/21/ecstatic-dance


THE JOURNEY OF EMPOWERMENT
by Ali Young

I have just returned from the first Module of The Journey of Empowerment with the task of writing about it. This is my gift to Movement Medicine, in return for the opportunity to be present upon this group as a researcher. Come October I will join the Centre for Leadership Studies at
Exeter University, as a PHD student, in order to conduct fieldwork on embodiment, holistic visioning, sustainability and well-being, within an overall context which examines the relationships between leaders, followers and our future on Mother Earth. Having worked with Ya’Acov and Sussanah, on and off for 19 years, and learned much of what I know to be embodiment from them, they are my first port of call.

To begin with I wish to offer deep gratitude for the grace and beauty of this particular group of intrepid explorers, to Susannah’s deeply compassionate holding and wisdom and the work itself. I also want to celebrate what an awesomely loving woman she has become over the time I’ve known her and to say a simple Thank You to the life which offers us all the remarkable opportunity to be alive at the time of The Great Turning.

 

Having had a six year break since I last worked with them the most profound thing which struck me on becoming acquainted with their new work, is the depth of loving kindness which is present at it’s heart. It’s as though, having spent years building a temple which could house all the rage and grief, the complaints and moaning, the sense of being a victim and all that dark material from which new worlds are born, the temple has flooded with the sunlight of hope and compassion, of peacefulness and above all LOVE and tenderness.

 

The temple of course, to quote one of our beautiful assistants on our Journey, Marold, is not only the work represented in Movement Medicine, but also “the body”, housing the self. The body, the ground of our being. And as we allowed it’s earth to turn, under the careful attention of our care, we find that we are actually on a deeply mysterious archaeological dig, into it’s very foundations. One moment finding the debris apparently carelessly left by the ancestral originators of the temple and in the next, see-ing it as a precious, priceless inheritance beyond compare, the chance of being alive enough to hear the heart buried in the body under the rubble. Whether we move to it’s rhythm or not, lying in our power of choice.

 

We gathered together, in a heroic attempt to bring Mind, Heart and Body into Alignment. It’s such tiring and challenging work at times that in the darker moments it’s easy to joke that we must all be slightly mad to be paying for such exquisite torture. After all who in their right minds spends their vacation trawling the unfathomable depths of their uncharted oceans? Those of us who wish to hear the deep dreams held in the heart and to dance them to life, for ourselves and all our relations.

 

I guess it must be the same thrill that under-sea treasure hunters chase. Times of boredom when no wind blows us forwards as we go through the dancing motions in the doldrums, times of fear as the jaws of the great white rise ,devouring old ego-patterns in bone-crunching encounters and times of being engulfed in storms at sea. And yet as the ship sails forward, there is the most beautiful sense of unity in this crew, as we see our shared humanity in our hunger to dive beyond the surface of the water, to embrace the life within the ocean of the soul, teeming with life familiar and unknown and to search for the key to the treasure chest. So, where does that leave us? Ah yes, attempting to align, heart, mind and body in all our complex, fragile “humanitree”, to use one of the quotes of our time together. Perhaps one of the most instructive elements of our practice together is that of simply bearing Witness, both to ourselves and each other. And of course, the better we are able to offer ourselves the love of acceptance, the more we can begin to extend this into our surroundings. Given acceptance, all states change and indeed taking on the role of witness, rather than judge, jury and executioner, gradually allows us to access the perfection in every event, feeling, and person in our life. All personalities and interactions which arise from Being Alive a part of the passing carnival, all faces, many aspects of the One, all simply embodied fragments of the Divine. Unhooking from the realm of the verbal, which is so often the domain of the culture’s conditioned state, into the beingness of the body, and the practice of just moving, one of the most potent ways I have ever experienced of accessing this acceptance. Acceptance alone though, can lead to the inertia of passivity and so we must also work with intentionality, the backbone of all alchemical transformation, as we move from what is, to what we dream of. Why have we come here to this place, to move boulders from the caves of the ancestral burial grounds? What dreams call us forth? And as the body releases the grip of it’s history and the muscles relax, we can come home to the still place at the centre of our being, home to our hearts and we can remember, why it was we came here in the first place. We can remember the dream we came here to birth.

 

As we are re-born into our own hearts our tribe welcomes our arrival. We bear witness to the shared pain of the vast cultural dis-memberment in the land of the lost and forgotten dreams. We bear witness and love each other for our ability to keep moving and keep breathing. Our hearts open in deep tender love for our collective wounding. We remember that we are the Divine and we sing the dream back into life. We sing for freedom.

 

Love to you all!

 

Ali Young

Dancing with your belly, rocking with your baby
by Riet van Rooij

“The permission to dance with passion and to dance forever jolted me from unconscious inertia and self-conscious imitation to the intuitive dance of my soul.”

— Gabrielle Roth Maps to Ecstasy

Put some music on again. Stand squarely on both feet and run through the points for attention in ‘Standing strong’ once more. Then mentally lay your baby in the middle of the dish of your pelvis. Ask him to dance; tell her that you’re now going to move in contact with her... Your child lies in the centre... Move fluidly around your baby, in circles, in semicircles... Just imagine that you are turning round him or her like a hoop, left... right.

Next rock him back and forth in your pelvis, bobbing from left to right... or shaking playfully... place him against your spine, at the back of your pelvis... Place him against your abdominal wall, far to the front... Experiment a little, caress your baby with your movements... flow with your body along her... and enjoy. Fluid as a stream you twist around your baby: dreamy, voluptuous, nurturing... Look for your own forms, discover your own game.

Allow your arms, your hands and your upper body to join in as well. And carry your child through the room with you. Submit to your shyness... or whatever you feel. Devote your feelings to your child... talk to him... sing... and keep moving. Do your dance together. Dancing is going with the flow, dance creates joie de vivre, dancing facilitates changes. Celebrate together: subdued or exuberant, sad or happy, on your own or with your partner.

Finally settle with the music. Have a nice lie down or sit comfortably.

How do you dance with your baby as a ‘pregnant’ man?

You stand behind your lady, up against her, and lay your hands on her belly. Her hands can rest on yours. Together, then, you constitute – with both of your pelvises, bellies, arms and hands – one big womb. What’s more, you could lift up her belly a little bit; your baby can then nestle in your hands. Often the baby’s movements can be felt if you support the pregnant belly in this way.

You could also dance with your baby and his mother by gyrating around them with your own flowing movements and enveloping them both in these. This offers more freedom, space, and it also makes eye contact with your partner possible: another experience. You could devote this ‘couple dance’ to each other and to your baby, honouring your ‘trinity’ with it.

A third possibility is this one: try to imagine that you are carrying your child in your belly, that you’re laying your child in your pelvic dish... (see above for instructions). Inconceivable? It is for many women too! You see, knowing that there is a child in your belly is rather different to actually experiencing it. If a mother-to-be feels movements in her belly she doesn’t automatically have contact with her child... In short, even a woman is making use of her powers of imagination and her will to tune herself in. Give it a go!?

Riet


Riets book on pregnancy and birth with exercises and visualizations on cd for mothers and fathers-to-be 'Pregnant with heart and soul' is being published in the UK Binkey-Kok Publications in August.


Paperback, 160 pages, ISBN 9789078302247

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www. schoolofmovementmedicine.com