“It’s not about what it looks like, it’s about what it feels like.”
Sometimes when stretching a muscle you need to alter the angle of your body to access different “stuck-ness”. Sometimes our asana practice isn't enough to access the stuck emotional energy patterns held deep in the body.
I was never a dancer. Well, yes, I was the cutest tap dancing tiger at 4 years old, but nothing really after that. Dance just wasn't actively in my life.
I mean, I danced and had fun and all that, but it wasn't as if I was living in the movie, Footloose. I just had the belief that I didn't have a dancer's body and that my balance when in motion is sometimes dangerous, so I just never really tried.
When you begin to link breath, movement and focus, whether on your yoga mat, while you do daily chores, when you eat or while you dance, that activity becomes a moving meditation.
When we begin to synchronize our systems, profound transformation can occur.
Things shifted when I met and began practicing with Dr. Deborah Kern, a nurse, health educator, physical trainer and Ph.D health scientist, back in 2004.
I knew her as the Executive Director of Lifestyle Enrichment and as a yoga therapist at a prestigious resort. She was a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and would talk often about how our body stores emotions. She would talk about how our body holds and buries physical and emotional stress.
As I developed my personal practice, I started to experience moments of emotional release, but I could feel that my yoga practice was only able to take me so far.
I was studying Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy with Michael Lee and moving through my 200-hour Hatha Teacher Training with Deb as my mentor when, I noticed access to the emotional energy held in my body.
Michael Lee says “The body supports the process of deeper awareness on all levels of being. Often we run from our uncomfortable sensations and feelings and never allow them to teach us. If we engage them mindfully without attachment, within the safe container of our body, they will often reveal deeper levels of awareness to fuel meaningful change”
If you’re interested in more about Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Michael Lee will be presenting at Yoga Yoga in September so it’s a wonderful opportunity to be introduced to his teachings and how our fascia holds and transmit emotional energy in the body. Find out more, here.
Discussing this new emotional body access, Dr. Deb invited me to attend her dance class. She says:
PranaShakti cultivates the ability to FEEL feelings by combining specifically chosen themes, music & movement. This facilitates freedom of expression of emotions.
If those emotions are not expressed - moved out of the body - they create blockages.
Asana clearly does similiar - but most women need to dance to tap into and express emotions.
I assumed it would be like a gym dance class, which I love by the way (I am a Dance Jam enthusiast), but when I walked in it felt just as sacred as entering a yoga class.
We took off our shoes and left them outside, we circled up, got centered, tuned in, set intentions and began moving, breathing, using all the tools to clear blocks, realign, and create a feeling of strength & freedom. Weaving all the tools of transformation allowed for an experience unmet by any single lineage.
PranaShakti Dance™ is a conscious dance practice that combines elements from many forms of dance, Ayurveda, Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga to remove energy blocks, liberate trapped energy, reconnect mind and body, reawaken creativity, express emotions, pray with the body and ultimately come home to peace, love and freedom.
Sometimes, our practice needs to move beyond the mat in order to access those deeper blocks.
Our body needs vigorous rhythmic movement. Our mind needs agility & quick patterns. We are made to dance. <---Tweet this!
Our society is so sedentary that it is unlikely that our yoga class is going to offer the movements our bodies require to compensate for our lifestyles.
In kundalini yoga, there are kriyas/sets that incorporate dance to bust through blocks. Since ecstatic dance is not a part of our daily lives, we often don’t know how to move.
Our bodies are made to move. We are designed to use our bodies as tools to open pathways and conduits in our body and move energy through them. There is no easier way to do that than through dance.
Honestly, how do you describe a practice like this? A place where women come together and feel safe enough to dance like nobody's watching.
Last year, after completing Dr. Deb’s first PranaShakti Dance Teacher Training, and only offering classes here and there; I’ve heard your request for more.
I am honored to be sharing this year’s workshop theme:
Beauty, Bliss & Bounty: Unlocking the Magic of Lakshmi through Yoga & Dance.
There will be movement, mantra, storytelling and more. You can expect to sweat, laugh, cry and be set free. Bring with you: water, a journal and a willingness to explore. To find out more and to register, go to the event details.
And ladies, I also recognize that this is Labor Day weekend and you may have plans or you may have children just getting back into the school routine, but we are made to dance, so I put together several videos of led dances plus some full playlists for you to start exploring the PranaShakti Dance concepts in your own home.
Sign up here to get your free guided PranaShakti dance videos plus playlists to move you.
Now over to you:
Did you use to dance, but stopped because you thought it wasn’t for you?
Do you practice mindfulness off the mat? If so, where?
What’s your favorite song to dance for joy?
Tell me in the comments below.
All growth is spiritual growth, including our business growth, but only if we recognize how those lessons may show up for us.
We talked about this is my previous blog, where I included a free webinar to help you stay grounded while you consistently and sustainably build your brand on social media.
I want to talk more about the potent growth opportunities that come from deciding to consciously build and grow a wellness practice.
The internet is shakti energy.
She is expansive and hard to contain. When we decide to grow our wellness practice online, we can feel a rush of expansion.
It feels good when you see that with a little consistent effort you have more clients on your books, more people attending your events, more followers on your email list.
Let’s say you decide to host a workshop to promote an intensive you’re wanting to launch. Your workshop sells out. You make an extra $400 just on attendance, not including people signing up for your intensive. Things are going great, but on your way home, you catch a flat and it turns out that $400 has to go towards new tires. Instead of being thankful you have the money to cover it, you fall into the mindset “Oh great, just when I thought I was catching a break.” You stew over having to spend that money on tires. The “why can’t anything just go right” tape starts playing on full blast.
That success high from your workshop and all the connections you made is lost. Instead of staying present to what has been going right, you focus on all the little things that keep you stuck.
When we expand beyond our usual degree of feeling good, we play thoughts & create scenarios to make us feel bad. ← tweet this
In his book, The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks refers to thoughts and scenarios as alarms which lead to upper limit problems.
“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermosetting, we will do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop us back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure…
Unfortunately, our thermostat setting usually get programmed in early childhood, before we can think for ourselves. once programmed, our upper limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance, and creativity that’s rightfully ours.”
Upper limit problems can manifest as:
As Yogi Bhajan said,
“Happiness is your birthright… the only problem is you have not consciously developed your mental caliber, meditative mind, and the attitude of gratitude and contentment.”
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks is a must read for creating a powerful link between personal growth and business growth. It’s filled with easy practices, affirmations, and tons of example on how to use these techniques.
Learning how to monitor and adjust your thermostat, is key to sustainable expansion. As you expand your tolerance for enjoying all the good that is possible in your wellness business, you can apply it to all areas of your life.
To feel more empowered to navigate the growth of your business as a wellness professional, join us for Claim Your Worth, September 8-10. for more information or to register, check out the event details.
Can’t make it to the course? Sign up here to get my recommended book/resources list so you can start growing your practice now and catch us at the next offering of this course.
There is an opportunity that happens with each of us as we walk the path of a teacher. How do we embody and live our teachings in an authentic manner while also growing our classes and paying our bills?
So, you’ve decided you’re going to grow your practice.
You’ve been getting by fairly well, but you’re ready to expand.
Maybe you teach yoga (or have a certification you would like to use), or maybe you’re a massage therapist or other wellness professional.
It doesn’t matter the modality you use to serve, it matters that you serve your community.
There are several stories of Ardhanarishwara (Parvati/Shiva aka Shakti/Shiva). As I stated in my previous blog, do yourself the favor and check out the devata mentorship when it becomes available.
They serve as some amazing ways to experience the philosophy and mythology around these stories. I know Ana Pilar, Libby & Susan are planning on doing some preview classes, so keep watching.
For the sake of our conversation, let’s simply take a look at the iconography.
This image (art by Ekabhumi Charles Ellik) of Parvati and Shiva statues are depicted as still, as evenly balanced, divided down the middle, unmoving.
But we are living, and life is not two-dimensional.
There is a flux and flow between the masculine and feminine.
Sometimes we are more this, sometimes more that, but sustaining true balance, 100% of the time, is impossible.
As within us, so around us.
This includes how we as wellness professionals engage in business and wealth.
I, very much, live by the principle that everything in life is a part of our spiritual practice, not just when we sit to meditate or show up to a yoga class,all aspects of life are an opportunity for spiritual growth. Sustaining the self-discipline and passion to expand in your career is very much a living practice.
When I was first starting out as a massage therapist and yoga teacher, social media wasn’t even a thing.
I grew my business through the classic finesse, word of mouth and referrals.
Connecting to people and networking was easy for me as “I’ve never met a stranger,” but I understand that there are people who need extra coaxing to actually build in this way.
Connecting and building face-to-face can be very grounding and nurturing.
It’s like the boon (the prize) for putting yourself out there, in person. It may seem way scarier than reaching out into the abyss of online marketing, but the nurturing reward is potent.
*Side note/tip: If you are growing your business online and start to feel super vata-deranged/ungrounded/unconnected, talking with people in person can bring you back to earth. The internet is ruled by shakti and expansion, so working in the ethers can make us a little airy. Get down to earth by reengaging in person, it helps, trust me.
I remember right before I launched my first website, a yoga teacher said, “this is when things really start to change.” It did for a bit, but now just going online and plopping down a website with your hours, isn't enough to attract or maintain clients.
Just being there, just showing up isn’t enough.
More and more people are offering continued value, whether through social media, email, newsletters, or other outlets. With more access to options, being of value while also getting your message out (clearly and to your ideal audience), are both crucial in expanding your private practice and establishing yourself as a trustworthy resource.
And that’s where we start to get hung up. We don't want to be “all markety” or “annoying”. We assume that going online suddenly means the spiritual consciousness has been taken out of the experience.
IMPOSSIBLE! Because even if you feel crummy around idea of promoting yourself or educating and inspiring online, the internet is a representation of the Goddess of Knowledge herself, Sarasvati. (If you want to hear that story again, get into that mentorship with Ana, Libby and Susan as soon as it opens. It will sell out, so if you dig philosophy and mythology, get in there!!)
Barbara Stanny has a great quote on resistance. “The degree of resistance you feel about something is equal to the amount of power that’s there for you on the other side of the resistance.”
That goes for meditation, your finances, growing your business, and so on. So if you are experiencing some form of resistance, there could be some power on the other side.
It’s all yoga, it’s all a practice.
If you ever wondered, “what is Beth all about?”, I’m all about smashing that Piscean, out-dated, limited mindset that to be a healer or wellness professional or a teacher means you are less valuable than a lawyer or a doctor (not that those careers are not valuable. All ships rise, ya know.)
Growing our practice, sharing our light, being of value, receiving value in return: they all are spiritual practices. < ---- Tweet this!
They all start just like everything else, as an inside job.
When we are mindful and present, that which we focus on, grows.
I see this a lot when mentoring new wellness professionals. They want to use the online sphere to grow their practice, but they don't know how to make money inspiring people, so they just keep trying a bunch of different things and nothing ever gets any traction. They may end up popular, but they don't end up profitable. Usually, they just end up feeling burnt out.
Or I see the opposite, they know the web is a tool that could be used for their business, but they’re only comfortable with referrals and networking in person, because posting online is forever.
So they spend a ton of time researching the best strategies, SEO strategies, buying expensive equipment, and so on. They obsess over perfection, they question every draft for days before posting, they check and recheck all the analytics to post at just the right time.
They know all the things they should do, but it’s so overwhelming, they instead end up doing nothing and keep waiting until the website is perfect, until my teaching is perfect, until my body is perfect, until the timing is perfect.
They are deep in that ol’ perfection paralysis.
Shakti energy is expansive and Shiva energy is containing. We need both the masculine, linear, “to-do list” energy and we need the feminine, the cyclical, the creative force to birth our businesses and our offerings into the next level.
Want to know more about masculine and feminine play in receiving value? Check out my previous blog.
Growing your wellness business online is like playing a beautiful piece of music. As Ana Pilar suggests, music is the co-mingling between Shiva as silence and Shakti (Parvati) as sound.
No Shakti, no creative flow. Then you just have silence.
No Shiva, no consistent process. Then you just have noise.
We need both to make music, sometimes more shiva practices, sometimes more shakti.
As most of you know by now, I am all about giving away some extra value because you’re worth it, and the more of us who rise up to claim our worth, the more we uplevel the paradigm for all teachers and wellness professionals.
I recorded an intro to the Shiva and Shakti Practices of using social media to market and brand. I usually save this for in person events, but I heard some of you couldn't make the last few workshops so here you go. No worries, just get to growing!
Click this link to get your free copy of my webinar.
if you're ready to grow your practice, we've put together the Claim Your Worth course.
(AND if you are a 200-hour yoga teacher working towards a 500-hour, this course can count as 20-hours towards that, double bonus!)
I’ll be presenting with some of the leaders in our community, including Alyson Simms, Kewal Hausmann, Scout Chavers, and Fanny Priest.
You can find out more about Claiming your Worth here.
If you’re looking to create more ways to give and receive value or, grow a business that feels sustainable and in alignment with your values, or, you’re just starting out and feel overwhelmed with the 4-hours of business training required by the Yoga Alliance, then this course is for you.
Sign up here before August 8th to receive your early registration discount.
Now over to you, if you’re a wellness professional or yoga teacher, what is you favorite way to share your wisdom?
Do you blog, ebook, video, in-person workshops, etc?
And again, what is your favorite Way?
what feels the best, what feels like home?
Let me know in the comments below.