Glow Your Heart: Inspirational Living through Biodanza
By Altair de Almeida (First published in Health and Happiness magazine)
To me, self-transformation means becoming more authentic and truer to my real character (as opposed to living a persona created by my parents and other early influences). As a result of my difficult childhood, I was propelled into my journey of self-transformation from the age of nineteen, some thirty-three years ago. During this time I have explored many different avenues, some of which were very powerful for me and others less so.
The first I’d heard of Biodanza was through a very enticing interview I’d read. It was about the creator of Biodanza, Rolando Toro. He started to create Biodanza in the early 1960’s as a response to what he called ‘the profound darkness that I witnessed during the Second World War’. A professor of Medicine at the Centre of Medical Anthropology in Chile and a Psychologist, Toro was researching for educational ways through which the Human race could be helped to move forward.
I went to my first class in 1999 and was astounded! I couldn’t believe that people, particularly in England, with a reputation for being stiff upper lipped, could be so emotionally ‘open’ and able to express tenderness, compassion, love and joy publicly. It resonated with something deep in my core and I immediately knew that I wanted to delve into this system, because it would enable me to express myself more honestly and profoundly.
What really grabbed me was that Biodanza combined three of my passions:
Self-transformation, music and dance. I immediately enrolled for the teacher training.
Having previously trained as an Acupuncturist, Shiatsu practitioner/teacher and Tai Chi / Qigong teacher I was aware that powerful as those systems are, none engage the individual as much as Biodanza, with the pure joy of expressing our care, tenderness and love for other human beings.
In our society we play safe by expressing ourselves deeply only in our intimate relationships – with our spouses or children, often not very well.
Wilhelm Reich, one of the pioneers of Humanistic Psychology, proposed that every traumatic incident, especially in early childhood, for example being hit by your ‘loving parent’ etc. is ‘re-membered’ in the muscles and tissues of the body. He called it ‘body armour’. The more difficult our childhood has been, the stronger is our body armour. It serves to protect by distancing ourselves from others. If these ‘blocks’ are not healed and dissolved they create dis-ease or being ‘out of ease’ within the mind, body and spirit.
Have you wondered why some people are often ill? There are no coincidences. When we choose to heal those parts of ourselves that had to ‘split off’ in order to survive mentally and emotionally, our lives become more full of passion, joy, love and peace. Instead of thinking one thing, feeling another and doing something else, we become more integrated, authentic and experience more freedom.
Instinctively, when I came across Biodanza, I realised that here at last I had found a system that can dissolve these blocks in a gentle way – through pleasure and enjoyment, as opposed to the often painful cathartic methods used in many psychotherapeutic models.
Biodanza, sometimes called the ‘science of a party’ uses an eclectic and vibrant mix of uplifting music – from tribal drums and hip swaying soul, to soothing classical music. Biodanza is about coming out of the head into the body. The evocative music is always carefully chosen to induce ‘vivencia’ or being fully Present in the Now. There are no steps to learn! We deepen the ability to share our feelings from our Heart, according to our individual capabilities. Nothing is forced; everything evolves at our own pace.
Biodanza uses a wide variety of simple movements. Some are slow, others quicker. There are free dances, shared dances, breathing and stretching exercises, to mention just a few. A great emphasis is made about ‘listening’ to our bodies, so as not to over-exert ourselves and about being in balance.
Biodanza needs to be experienced. Reading about it can only hint at its transformative power. However, research the world over proves that regular Biodanza sessions creates healthful transformation right down to cellular level.
The class is carefully planned by the facilitator to lead you into a pleasurable healing journey. As you deepen the process you gradually become authentic by safely revealing your real Self. The more authentic you become, the more you release behaviours that stop you from being and doing what you truly want to.
You gravitate towards work, relationships and people that enliven you. You let go of stuck patterns like working only because ‘the money is good’ or ‘it’s the done thing’ etc. Stress is released the joyful way. Health blossoms!
Your ability to care for others and yourself improves. You will find it easier to express yourself. Your relationships improve at all levels. Self-confidence increases. You become more courageous. Your ability to set your boundaries strengthens. You can say ‘No’ when you need to, and ‘Yes!’ with passion, when you want to.
The first step to getting your feet, health and life moving purposefully forward is as simple as joining a Biodanza class! Go alone or take your friends along.
Let go of being ‘stuck in a rut’!
Glow your heart. Go Biodancing!