True passion is intoxicating, sensual, mysterious, magical, energizing, and inspiring. Toni Bergins of JourneyDance embodies passion in dance and movement.
Our Friday evening workshop at Dhyana Yoga in West Philadelphia was pure joy. The group was much smaller and more intimate than a typical Kripalu group of 60-80 people, so the energy we raised was much more subtle. But it also gave us the opportunity to interact with each person, to share a moment or a movement with them, and to build a gentle trust.
The evening was guided by Toni and we slowly moved our way up through the chakras using movement and expression to experience a vast array of emotions and sensations.
Unlike many other types of dance, JourneyDance is a spontaneous community dance that takes on a myriad of forms and depends entirely on the energy and dedication of the participants.
Friday night, we did dances of love, of dreams, of healing and forgiveness. We danced and moved with partners, we floated through space as if with wings, and we acknowledged each other as beautiful and magical - no matter age, size, ability, or expression. It was pure love and devotion.
One of Toni's methods for using dance as healing is an exercise in playing a duel role as yourself and then as your own healer.
I threw myself open during this dance and found fear, pain, and doubt buried within, but I also found a deep river of hope and joy.
When I acted as myself, I found that my body was in pain from all of the years of abuse. I found that my heart held fear and doubt because of my neglect. It was scary, overwhelming, surprising...I was mad at myself, even.
But I also unearthed an amazement at this new life and path I've been forging. My soul was responding to the yoga and dance and meditation and the challenges of movement. My body was excited by the changes and hopeful that they'd continue.
And as I stepped into my healer role, I began to forgive. I felt my heart opening up towards the heavens, inviting the light, inviting wisdom, inviting acceptance and growth. I showered myself with love and attention; I opened an honest ear and listened; I sat with this knowledge with an open mind and without judgement. I also nurtured this inner joy and watered this seed of hope to give it strength as it continued to grow.
Moving from self to healer and back to self, I felt different with each transition. I felt more alive, more willing to accept this new future - for myself and for my community. It was exhilarating.
The power of dance, especially JourneyDance with Toni, is immeasurable. Connecting with people on such an honest and organic level is transformative! We created a totally unique and beautiful sacred space of love and happiness that the universe will never see again.
I am more excited than ever to continue working on my path towards teaching and sharing the joy of dance and yoga, healing and self-acceptance with our community. It has the potential to have such a powerfully positive impact and it excites me from head to toe.
If you are looking for ecstasy, I dare say that you need nothing else than to get up and move. Dance is passion when you do it from your heart. Toni teaches that lesson with such passion and I can't wait to share it...
*Special thanks to Raymond for including us in this powerful event. For Raymond's thoughts on the weekend, check out his blog post: http://blog.healthpanda.com/2010/05/joy-and-healing-through-movement-in.html
A few upcoming events with Toni Bergins (also available on www.journeydance.com):
- May 28-31 – Tribal Jam: Dance, Drum & Yoga @ Kripalu
- June 3-6 – Midwest Yoga Conference in Chicago
- July 18-23 & October 24-29 – JourneyDance Teacher Training @ Kripalu
- August 27-29 – JourneyDance weekend @ Omega Institute