A Different Kind of Saturday Night: Inner Dance at Nūn Center

Gettting back into the Cairo swing means not just starting up Mysore Zamalek but also bringing people together in a different kind of dance party. Inner Dance is back at Nūn Center, Saturday, September 30 at 8pm.

The moving meditation and healing modality from the Philippines is about discovering your highest vibration and letting yourself move to its peculiar and particular ebb and flow.

Wear comfortable clothes. Book through Nūn Center, we@nuncenter.com.

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Spirit(ed) Inner Dance

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It’s amazing how a great deal of work, deep excavation can happen so quietly.

Inner dance can be wild, there can be a great deal of movement and noisemaking.

Likewise, it can take on the subtle work. Participants dive inwards. The shifts are are massive tremors underneath the surface, with only some signs above ground. Facial fissures telling tales of secret journeys, openings. Release comes in tears.

My experience here in Japan is that inner dance, which is evocative but profoundly quiet.

Last Sunday’s ID was no exception. Felt particularly blessed to work with participants who I have been teaching nearly everyday for the last month. A Mysore program has it’s own special alchemy. Trust is there. So is the willingness to go deep. Feeling blessed that one tool can help support the other. That ultimately the goal is the same, remembering who we really are.

PHOTO: Sacred Inner Dance Circle last Sunday, 27 July.

The next scheduled ID here in Spirit Yoga Osaka is Sunday, August 31, 11:30am-1pm.

Inner Dance: Back to (ENERGY) School

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Pi organized a two-day offering during my brief “stopover” in Manila– giving me a chance to see the babies and catch up with him and his wife Daniw, to take a refresher course and see what new things he has been trying out with Energy School, and giving me time and space to stop and dance myself.

Though it’s only been a little over a year and a half since I last saw Pi Villaraza, the young Filipino healer, at the forefront of the Inner Dance movement, it felt like a lifetime since I saw him last.

At the heels of the much anticipated end of the Mayan calendar, December 21, 2012, we had just barely concluded a three-week free-flowing Inner Dance immersion/training, when Pi announced that he was going for a walk.

Now… the last time Pi went on walkabout, he disappeared for years from society at large. He lived as hermit on a remote island and drank only coconut water, emerging with the healing inner dance process, which he then began to share across the Philippines and South East Asia, and to the many global healers and seekers who have sought him out in Palawan, Philippines.

So as a group of us, who were at the Maia Earth Eco Village at the time of his departure, watched as he walked away, there was no knowing what to expect, other than things were changing. That was the only certainty. I didn’t feel sad exactly, seeing this dear friend go, but felt strongly that something was ending.

Inner Dance, the community as much as the process itself, was like a serpent, at this time. It was renewing itself, shedding its old skin in order to move forward with fluidity and grace, and, most of all, with a new lightness.

Pi returned. Much sooner than anyone might have anticipated. Some might have thought he was never to return. Life went on. But differently. Daniw, Pi’s wife, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Issa, growing their family.

Seeing Pi last weekend, I realize that he too has been giving birth to something new. How inner dance continues to evolve under his stewardship. How in essence the process is the same, if not more authentic than its ever been but also how the methodology is developing, how there is more logic in its form, particularly in its facilitation. And how more than ever it is a marriage of science and mysticism–and I only use the word “mysticism” for the lack of a better word to explain the presence of the divine in our lives that isn’t necessitated by a leap of faith but rather of actual experience.

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The two days were a deep exploration on the ID process. It was exciting to see how the methodology is inspiring both deeper and more authentic results. I saw people swirling in movement, singing, crying, speaking in tongues, wriggling on the ground, releasing blockages by screaming–all kind of typical of the deep release work that happens with inner dance. What was new could be found in Pi’s facilitation. The ID process is finding a balance between form and fluidity, Yin and Yang, Shiva and Shakti.

It was also affirming to see how certain things have come to me during my own facilitation these two years, through the traveling, exposure to other tools, and through my own experience as a student of yoga and as a teacher, that are very much aligned with the direction that Pi is moving in. A testament, I think, to the great universality of Inner Dance; that it has It’s own energy, that It will move its practitioners in the direction It needs us to go.

Furthermore, it was a great to meet some of the Manila Inner Dance community. Having sought Pi out in Palawan and returning there often, I have never danced in Manila, though it is where I am from. So it was a great opportunity to connect with this segment of the community I have no experience with.

Lastly, I am so grateful to Pi for believing in me all these years–even when I had no belief in myself–for supporting me in my own process and for encouraging me to move forward in this work. I feel truly blessed to have this beautiful soul in my corner, reminding me who I am, lest I forget it again.

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F
ood by Asha, Pi’s sister, who runs Dahon Kusina, a source for raw food products, raw food workshops, and a favorite at the Sunday Legaspi market.

Dance Like Shiva

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We are all dancing.
We are always dancing.
We are dancing with ourselves.
Dancing with our friends, colleagues,
family, even strangers we meet on the
streets.
We are dancing with our work.
We are dancing with our practice
and in our playtime.
We are constantly dancing with this/in this
Whirling Wonder we call Life.

PHOTO: Nataraja, Shiva dancing with Osaka City in the background. It’s a pleasure to be back in Japan. I will start teaching for Veronique Tan here at Spirit Yoga on Sunday as she goes to India. Will be teaching the Mysore program here until the end of August.

No schedule yet for Inner Dances but am excited to offer the moving meditation and healing modality as well!

A Look Back: Ashtanga Yoga & Detox Retreat in Gouna, Egypt

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This retreat with Nūn Center in Cairo was a total surprise. The day I decided it was time that I finally book a ticket out of Cairo, where I have been lingering for nearly over two months, Nada from Nūn called to see if I would like to lead the retreat, thus happily extending my time in Egypt.

The week-long retreat was a marriage of so many beautiful methods, all promoting nourishing the body, mind, and soul. Meditation, breathing exercises, Sanskrit chanting, yogasana (ashtanga and gentle classes for those on juice fast) were woven through an expertly planned and executed nutritional program with a juicing or (delicious!) vegan detox diet and body work. Inner Dance, particularly, moved participants to new depths, allowing people to feel free, release and flow in new ways. Everything just dropped so beautifully into place.

 

 

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There were a variety of yogasana classes. We started with a gentle welcome class introducing many to their first taste of yoga. The following mornings, more experienced practitioners opted for ashtanga class with the first two days being foundation-building led classes, followed by mysore-style self-paced classes, while juicers and beginners were treated to gentle flow and yin-style classes, focusing more on allowing students to cultivate greater awareness of their bodies.

 

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One of the best things about teaching a week-long retreat is the luxury of time. There is time to develop a stronger connection with students, to cultivate greater awareness in the body, to dive deeper into the multifaceted yoga practice. We had time to meditate each morning, to practice chanting mantras like the Gayatri Mantra, to sample yoga nidra and kirtan.

AND There was time to dance–inner dance, that is. In all, there were three sessions. The first session was an (inner)eye opener in which participants felt awe and surprise at the experience of their own healing energy. The second, which was a partner session, was a playful and loving exchange between participants. The final dance was one of deep surrender and beauty, spontaneous and heart-opening.

 

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I love how after the week, I could clearly see the transformational power of yoga combined with a rich slew of holistic practices, how everything beautifully supported each other. Grateful for this final offering in Gouna, Egypt. Excited at the possibility to work further with Nūn Center in the future.

PHOTOS: Nada in headstand, background is The Palace pool in Sheraton Miramar and the Red Sea behind it. / Asana classes. / Partner inner dance session. / Chanting together. / Final group picture.

 

 

 

End is the Beginning

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End is the Beginning

It’s surreal to be back in Manila, an entire year since I first set off. Again, coming to full cycle.

So ends an incredible journey of both teaching and learning, which has taken me to North Yorkshire, the Spanish Pyranees, Barcelona, Japan, Egypt, Barcelona again, London, and Cairo for a second time. So ends a series of sharing in Egypt, so begins new opportunities to share and grow. So ends a year of travel, so starts a new adventure. Always: the end is the beginning.

Over a week ago, I was leading a retreat in Gouna, Egypt through Nūn Center. There, away from life in Cairo, overlooking the Red Sea, we found respite from the day-to-day madness. We were coaxed deeply into process: the detox diet coupled with yoga and inner dance facilitated some deep purging. Some kilos, tears, and a lot of old limiting ideas were shed. We were all sad to see this special time come to an end.

In truth, however, the end of the retreat marks the beginning of the real work ahead: the challenge of how to bring the lessons and impressions of that week into our “real” everyday existence. Returning “home” carries the weight of our old samskaras, our old patterns.

Sometimes, these cycles may make us feel like we are on some strange loop, things interminably repeating. And we struggle when we see that we ended up exactly where we started.

But nothing stays exactly the same. Change is inevitable–even if we appear to be revisiting a similar place or moment. One teacher/friend likes to point out that these cycles become more and more refined over time. It’s true; as I sit in my old room here in my family home, where nothing appears much to have changed, I cannot help but notice the biggest difference: me! I am different, and through me, things will continue to change.

 

PHOTO: Closing Circle for the Ashtanga Yoga & Detox Retreat with Nūn Center in Gouna, Egypt.

Into the Sea

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Into the Sea

I love it when yoga and inner dance are a surprise. Yoga, particularly, has hit the mainstream. We all know what it quote-unquote looks like, and from there extrapolate certain ideas. But when we really experience it, everything changes…

It’s a little like walking down a long pier and then getting to the end and seeing the expanse of the sea before us. We can look at it. Observe its beauty. Be in awe of it. We can take in its coolness, its freshness with our eyes.

Or, with a little courage, a little effort, we can walk to the pier’s edge, and plunge in, bathing in the cool clarifying waters, being surrounded by it, being in it. It is a different experience altogether.

The sea and its depths may continue to be a mystery, but we have a deeper (more sea-level) understanding of it. There is an experience of the sea, which often–in the yoga tradition–is a metaphor for Consciousness–with a capital “C”.

Yesterday, when we closed the Ashtanga Yoga and Detox Retreat in Gouna with Nūn Center, more than a few people expressed what a wonderful surprise the whole process was, particularly the yoga and inner dance process, how both supported the detox but also opened up the body, heart and mind.

I loved teaching this group for a week. A week program gives people time. It allows to people to slowly get their feet wet, to take a dip, then wade, until they are ready to dive.

Into the sea. Of consciousness. Of change.

PHOTO: Steps to the ocean. Off the pier near Sharaton Miramar’s Palace, the setting of the week-long retreat. A beautiful end to a very special time here in Egypt. And I think also a beautiful beginning, no, many beautiful beginnings… Gratitude abounds!