Interview with Beth Rigby, Part 2beth | April 1, 2002
There’s also the therapeutic side to music. A study was conducted recently in a hospital’s neonatal ward. While babies were crying in the center of the ward’s noisy machines and human voices, a harpist began to play an ancient lullaby. According to Kate Mucci, author of The Healing Sound of Music, nearly all of the babies quieted down and many fell into a deep sleep. Obviously, adults benefit from music as well. “It helps us to open ourselves emotionally and let loose with feelings that may be causing disease,” says Mucci.
Beth agrees. “Music and dance have a magical way of accessing deep levels of emotion, freeing chronic stress, and restoring a sense of lightness and well-being. Gentle yoga relaxes people so they can more deeply feel the music, thus move more freely.” she says.
One of Beth’s students explains her own reaction. “I felt things moving and opening in me great joy and connectedness,” says Cindy Brown from Massachusetts.
All Ages, Shapes and Sizes~
Slow rhythms gradually build into an explosive, wildly fun, and high-energy experience. Energy-sapping emotions such as grief, worry, and preoccupation with the mundane are easily released. Before they know it, the people in Beth’s class are moving effortlessly, freely experiencing the sensual joy of movement. Some of the people in the class are in their early 20s and 30s. The oldest appear to be in their 60s and 70s. These are folks of a variety of shapes and sizes and levels of fitness all going at their own pace, free of judgment by others and more importantly by themselves. At the same time, Beth says, it is also a richly communal experience.
Connected to the Universe~
In his book ‘Contradictations,’ author Erik Hoffman says, “In past cultures, the people’s dance was far more connected to their experience of the universe.” He cites examples of rain dances, harvest dances, fertility dances, and more. People in these societies relied on each other for their very existence, he points out. “Now we live a different life. The old rites no longer hold the same significance. We need a new reason to perform our rituals.” Among these, he explains, are exercise, camaraderie, contact, and love of music and dance. All of which are a part of Yoga Meets Dance™.
As the class continues, Beth creatively incorporates the imagery of our most basic elements: fire, water, earth, air, and spirit, as they relate to our bodies, to the music and to the universe.
As the class winds down, so does the tempo of the music. An overwhelming sense of liberation fills the room, as the people in the class immerse themselves even more deeply into the music and the movement of their bodies.
Sitting in stillness as fresh memories of the entire experience sweep over them in waves the class dissolves into deep relaxation. Beth then leads them in a meditative cool down as each begins to richly experience sense of the calmness they’re finding inside. Michelle of Virginia describes it as feeling “peaceful and really alive all at the same time.”
“We take the magnificent stillness and love we’re experiencing in the class and project it outward around the globe,” says Beth. “We dance not just for own healing but for the healing of all people. Just as a pebble thrown in a still pond ripples out, so does the positive energy generated from our dance ripple out.”
In addition to teaching dance and yoga nationwide, Beth also directs training programs for those who want to become Yoga Meets Dance™ instructors.
“Teaching has taken me to many places inside myself as well as around the world,” says Beth. “My most special classes, however, are those I teach to trauma survivors and to wheelchair-bound patients.”
Why Beth leads dances~
“My greatest joy,” says Beth, “comes from seeing everyone, dancers and non-dancers alike, regardless of their backgrounds or life journeys, coming together and experiencing freedom, laughter, and unity through dance, through the soul-stirring interaction with music. Then, we remember, we are all the same. This is why I lead the dance. We remember some important things about who are and how we are connected.”
Profound meditative experiences have gifted Beth with a powerful intuition and inner guidance. She is a lifelong student of holistic healing who recognizes that there are many exciting paths to a healthful life brimming with meaning and joy. A gifted healer and intuitive teacher, Beth’s journey has led her to enjoy, embrace, and then share with others the benefits of a variety of ancient arts including yoga, dance, massage, and meditation.
Beth has been a featured faculty member and program director at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, on Inner Voyage Cruises, and has also presented her work at the Esalen Institute in California and fitness centers and yoga studios across the country. She has created numerous workshops and self-discovery retreats. She is also a massage therapist, energy healer, artist and long-time student of Soto Zen Buddhism.
Visit Beth at: http://www.yogameetsdance.com
Article by Paul M. Howey, AZ Text Publishing, Inc., www.aztexts.com