Day 3: Balance, Breath, and Breaking Open
Morning time is special here in Bali. It brings promise. As the rooster crows and we begin to rustle and rouse, the potential for exponential growth is real. The sun was streaming in the window as I opened my eyes. The light reminds me of who I am, who we are, and why we are here. We are here to remember. We are here to dance. We are here to realize ourselves and each other. Today is the first day of instruction. We begin.
After a super yummy breakfast and orientation, the Instructors for the week took the mic to speak on their curriculum and demonstrate the teachings. The healers (including myself) also took a moment to give insight to each ones unique offering, delivered with love to help attendees who choose to receive sessions a chance to expand greater and integrate deeper. Once we covered all the bases of hoop etiquette (don’t leave your hoops on the floor or steal another hoopers hoop) we were ready to receive our first teaching of Week One of Sacred Circularities Bali 2015. Yay!
Tiana Zoumer was the first to teach and presented an amazing workshop on Balance. Through poetic metaphor and somatic wisdom she took us on an inner journey of core stability and micro-movement, as we practiced balancing the hoop on our palms, finger tips and faces. Yes, faces. It is amazing to see just how well practiced Tiana is at balancing the hoop on her forehead. It’s a wonderful meditation, and truly a practice that will take a lifetime to master. Balancing the hoop is like balancing life. It takes practice, dedication, learned skill and repetition. Micro-movements. Core stability. Making adjustments that become more and more refined. Thank you, Tiana for taking us deep into the worlds of inner and outer balance.
Next up was Babz’s workshop on combos. I learned so much with just the first move! It was really fun to play and watch everyone get inspired to put their own flare on the given combo. It was also very inspiring to witness the way that everyone helps each other out. This is not a competition sport. Hoop dance is all about sharing and sweetly encouraging each other. I love seeing my sisters in this way! I wish all of the women of the world could see it just even for one day. Babz filled our hearts with inspired movement and helped us push the boundaries of movement and motion. By the end, we were all excited to put our spin on this new and fun series of movement, and thankful to Babz for delivering such a fun challenge.
The final workshop of the day was a beautiful delivery of Caterina’s Breathing Breaks. I have taken this workshop in a more original form in Sedona. I loved it then and today, wow, next level! We worked on the technical elements of breaks and paddles (hoop vernacular, there will be much hoop speak in these blogs, comment if you do not know what something means and would like to!) And also worked deeply on the breathing techniques that Caterina has been using to meditate with these movements, also helping to strengthen her practice. This workshop became so much more as Caterina took us further into the practice of gratitude, and had us use our focus to create intention and also to share this cultivated love with special people who need it in our lives. It was very touching to hear each participant speak into the circle the loved ones they wished to dedicate this practice to. A bittersweet moment, and a highlight of my day. We completed our breathing and breaking practice and you could feel the energy in the room. Everyone was feeling their hearts open and blessings received. If it couldn’t get any more amazing, there was an epic thunder and rain storm that poured down during all of this, and a few brave hoopers took their hoops into the rain to feel mama Bali blessings of water from the sky. Thanks to Caterina for giving us a beautiful practice that incorporates the most important element of any meditative movement....gratitude!
As I type this there is yet another epic experience happening in the Wantilan. Malaika is leading her infamous 5 Elements Ecstatic Dance Activation! What a wonderful way to integrate the epic string of awesome moments that created today! The 5 Elements Dance is always life changing for many participants. The work is deep and profound when you combine movement, breath and beat.
I am currently having to practice something we have deemed ‘JOMO’: Joy Of Missing Out. As a certified 5 Elements Dance Facilitator and student of Malaika’s, I so want to be dancing my face off right now! But my writing called, and my body is still feeling the effects of a 36 hour travel stint. Lucky for me, there is another one on the first day of instruction next week. I will certainly be rested by then and be extra ready for the juicy goodness that Malaika always brings. I love this dance and I love that woman! Thank you Malaika for always giving us the best of yourself, the essence of the elements, and the adventure of the journey inward.
Other highlights of my day include walking through misty rice patties after a fresh rain, the tears in a sisters eyes that I know came from the depths of her soul, swimming in the pool and sunning with some of my best friends in this family, and writing this blog so that you can live these moments with me. Until tomorrow, shine on!