International Community Buildingbeth | March 1, 2009
I have been teaching Yoga Meets Dance at Ulpan Etzion for the past 5 months and I must say that it has been one of the most fulfilling things that I have ever done. Ulpan Etzion is an absorption and ulpan (intensive Hebrew classes) for new immigrants to Israel from all over the world.
After teaching for several months, a permanent and consistent group of students has formed. I have students from Chile, South Africa, Russia, India, The Netherlands, and the United States. As new immigrants, they struggle to make their way and find their new lives in this new country – Israel.
As we come together each week to dance and stretch, we do so much more that that. We open our heats to one another by our movements and dance – together and apart. I notice that as the months pass, movements change from restricted and shy dances to open and crazy celebrations of life! There is a real camaraderie that has formed among my students.
“Naomi,” an older woman in her late 40′s, comes faithfully each week. Often she arrives to class tired, frazzled, and stressed. However, as the music begins and as she moves along with it, it appears as though bands of stress fall from her shoulders. Almost every week she ends the class in tears and thanks me profusely for the gifts that I have given her. However, these gifts of free movement and stress release are not given to her by me; they are elements of her own being that are awakened by the music and movement.
Another student, “Rimona,” from India, tells me about how lonely she feels being so far away from her friends and family back home. However, one day after class she shares with me that participating in Yoga Meets Dance has made her the happiest that she has been since she arrived in Israel! This class, Yoga Meets Dance, has become such an important part of my routine and identity. Not only do I love to dance freely to the music, but I feel so fulfilled in my ability to share this amazing experience with others!
I also taught classes at NStreetVillage in Washington,DC at a homeless shelter for women with wonderful responses. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and I currently teach in Phoenix, AZ.
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