Qoya is a movement series that incorporates yoga, dance and sensual movement for women. It is based on the simple idea that through movement, we remember. We remember our essence as women is inherently wise, wild and free. When you move your body in this particular way, you reconnect to a deep knowing and the sacred pulse of life that animates you and all life. From this place of embodied awareness you can heal, express, delight and dream.
Thanksgiving, a holiday tradition rooted in gratitude, is like that too. Being thankful is one of the easiest ways to dive into the deeper truth of ourselves, another or any situation.
Take five to ten minutes to explore writing your gratitudes down on this sacred day. Acknowledge the good in your life in any category; health, abundance, love, work or the way the light shines in your window in the afternoon. Mine for the golden nuggets of gratitude in your life. Here are some of mine as an example.
1. I am grateful for my health; my rockstar immune system that keeps me healthy, my ability to be able to sleep well every night, my physical strength and flexibility that allows me to do yoga, dance and hike mountains (the video today is from my recent hike in the Himalayas!) and my belief system that everything, really everything, is a gift.
2. I am grateful for the abundance that blesses me where all my basic needs are met and I always have a warm and cozy place to sleep, delicious and healthy food for every meal, financial stability to pay all my bills, save money and pursue my desires.
3. I am grateful for the legendary women in my life that I am able to call friends. I am grateful for the ones who will ease any broken hearted moments with laughter, the ones who will giggle with me at bizarre comments from a slightly inappropriate yoga teacher, the ones who call at the perfect time and the all of them who inspire me simply by the way they live.
4- I am grateful for artists! I am grateful for musicians whose music fills my life with a layer of meaning and is the catalyst for the dance. I am grateful for writers whose words stir my soul and show me aspects of humanity beyond my own experience. I am grateful for visual artists who create beauty that feels like a long exhale or sigh that all is well, where the chaos feels like it's in a cosmic order, even if just for a second. And I am so so SO grateful for all of my teachers, for all of the people who have identified their truth and shared it with the world.
Take these couple minutes to write your gratitudes NOW. Not later. Not in your head. Do it on paper or typing on your computer until you feel "it."
Do you feel "it?" For me, "it" is a peaceful zing of being in present time, on the edge between being grateful for all that has led to this moment and enthusiastic for all that is to come.
A truth that guides the way I put together Qoya routines is that, "what you look for is what you see." By looking for your gratitude, you see it. And like Qoya and movement, through gratitude, you remember. Gratitude is one of the easiest portals into your deeper truths and today is a perfect day to step through.
Recap: In Qoya, through movement, we remember. On Thanksgiving, through gratitude, we remember. Put them together for Dancing Gratitude in this video. The first half is to free dance and feel yourself animated by gratitude. The second half of the video is me expressing my gratitude and sending love to all the people, places and events that I am deeply and sincerely thankful for. (This video was taken during a personal peak of gratitude while hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal last month, a dream come true for me and from the landscape you can see an easy place to be inspired.) Enjoy!
Gratitude is a powerful practice you can do in your head while waiting at a red light, before bed with your kids or beloved, over email with a friend or in your journal whenever you desire. Check out the gratitude journals by a dear friend of mine and Qoya dancer Tara Dixon's company, Gratitude Designs. *If you are in LA join us for an Evening of Gratitude Cocktail Reception and Charity Shopping for the Flawless Foundation at Fred Segal in Santa Monica through ZeroMinusPlus Thursday, December 8th, 2011, 6-9pm. To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org
I invite you to dance in the Qoya video here to Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke's lyrics, "You can feel it all over!" and to dance anytime today with your friends and family, alone or whenever the spirit moves you.
Happy Thanksgiving and may your gratitude fill you even more than the turkey or to-furkey!
With love and gratitude for you and for the dance,