Have you ever danced and somehow gotten lost in the moment? Or zoned in so much that you felt your body was moving subconsciously to music? Have you ever felt fully alive when you dance? You have just caught the dancing spirit!
We all have different ideas of feeling well. Through a physical manifestation, it could be feeling confident in your body, loving all of your flaws or being mindful in your body in a pain- and injury-free way.
When our physical being is addressed, parts of our spiritual being feel satisfied and fully engaged. Ultimately, feeling good in the body and soul is the fullest, most purposeful expression of who we are.
For the purpose of this article, I will use “soul” to describe our non-physical self and “spirit” to describe the moving soul when it is engaged with the world.
This is what brings me to my life’s work. The story of how I went from dancing professionally to becoming an Ashtanga yoga teacher and, ultimately, a doctor of chiropractic, or as I like to call myself, a movement therapist.
Dancing was always intuitive for me. Ever since I was young, I was told that I had “bouncing feet.” With more than 10 years of dance training, I discovered a deeper connection to the art form than just learning the steps, techniques and choreography. I found myself using dance as a vehicle to address, understand and gauge my mental, physical and spiritual health. For example, if there was a day I felt “off,” what was the problem? Did this make me a bad dancer?
I knew I needed to find more meaning in dance and movement, so I dove into yoga. Jumping from yoga studio to yoga studio in the city, I tried different approaches to movement. I wanted to learn more about the yogic philosophy, and through my yoga teacher training, I learned about the art of removing the ego and the principle of non-attachment. Removing the need to look at myself in a mirror and not having to look like others was absolutely freeing. I could fully explore, move and breathe in my body with no judgment. I was pleasantly absorbed in creating the time and space to heal my body thoroughly by addressing past traumas and outside expectations and finding answers for my being through movement. I also physically healed myself by doing movement that felt good (hence why my classes are called “yoga therapy”) and have much more respect for my physical body than I ever did as a dancer, all because I brought more awareness and self-love to it.
I knew I was onto something: healing yourself through movement. But how could I further impact my communities and beyond? This is when chiropractic work came to me. Chiropractors use their hands (chiro in Latin means “of the hands”) to heal patients’ movement through spinal adjustments, mobilizations and movement therapy. Bingo. I found the right path.
Fast-forward to today: I help patients by addressing their spinal alignment, posture issues and weak or tight areas of the body. I also train them to build stronger mental reservoirs through yoga therapy and healthier lifestyle habits. I strongly believe that all performing artists deserve to move and feel their best, whether it’s onstage or in rehearsal. Your body is the physical manifestation of your soul, and it deserves to be honoured. I know that my work is important because it helps you perform and live your truth.
One last take-home message: dancing and physical movement is a vehicle for movers, like us, to connect to our spiritual health and allows us to fully express ourselves in all our beauty, flaws and insecurities. So next time you say one negative thing to yourself (we’ve all been there), instead, take a deep breath in, set an intention for your movement and dance like no one’s watching.
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