Getting Lost in Yoga Meets Dancebeth | February 1, 2008
Love in Toronto, Canada, February 21, 2008
by Kelly Wilk
“The older I get, the more I want to do things that make me happy,” Kathryn Peterson, Registered Massage Therapist and Certified Yoga Meets Dance™ Instructor, told me over breakfast at the By the Way Café on Bloor. Kathryn was brimming with excitement about her new Yoga Meets Dance™ series. Engaging this desire that Kathryn expressed, the desire to “do things that make you happy”, is one of the best ways to indulge your healthy pleasures. It encourages a state of mind that makes you open to possibilities, and dance is one of many ways through which to explore this openness.
Kathryn looks at dance and movement not only as an expression of joy, but also as a healing tool and extension of her practice. Like many people her age, including myself, Kathryn fondly recalls a time in her life when she used to go to clubs and dance all night.
Designed by Beth Rigby (www.yogameetsdance.com), Yoga Meets Dance™ is a fantastic, healthy way to reconnect with that kind of energizing experience. Kathryn completed her program training in Sedona, Arizona, where she learned to facilitate this combined yoga, movement, and meditation course that can be readily modified for anyone.
Having had an opportunity to attend one of her classes, I was very appreciative of the gentle yoga postures that bring out bodies slowly into movement. At first, everyone seemed wary of dancing in front of strangers, but as we became more comfortable and started to have fun, caution melted away, and we were left to thoroughly enjoy the freedom of movement. I am always blown away by what a powerful effect dance has. Such a focused activity lets me leave behind all the worries of my day and just enjoy my body.
Kathryn’s objective is first to create a safe space for everyone to be grounded. When people are more centred and focused, she explained, they feel more comfortable about their bodies and about themselves. A deep understanding of meditation was a huge part of her training, and bringing people together to discover a pure sense of enjoyment is not only personally healthy but inspires a sense of community between participants.
In every class, Kathryn also strives to create an environment of playfulness that allows participants to be in the moment and experiment. Their adoption of this attitude becomes apparent, she said, by changes in posture and expression. Without the constraints of hierarchy and adult ‘baggage’, they are no longer self-conscious and stop worrying about what others think. website: www.yogameetsdance.com