“Dance until you shatter yourself.” –Rumi
I woke up yesterday morning in a funk. I decided to stop resisting my body’s desire to get out of bed an hour before the day’s first light. One cup of coffee was all it took and I was ready to face this funk I was feeling head-on with some body movement.
I decided to go outside and shake my body wildly. I like to start my shaking practice with an intention to release something held within my body. Yesterday’s shake was about releasing a feeling of hopelessness that I woke up with. I put on some music and warmed up my body by shaking one body part at a time (starting with my legs). Eventually after each part of my body had a couple minutes of individualized shaking, I cut loose and shook my body like a wild woman out of control! I love the feeling of being completely crazy for just a few minutes. After I was done shaking and releasing, I felt AMAZING! A sense of aliveness washed over my whole body, and I could actually feel the cells in my skin buzzing with hope.
In some way, I sensed that what I had just done was let go of old patterns, fears and belief structures that were the cause of this feeling of hopelessness. It’s so empowering to know that I can utilize a nearly untapped intelligence within my body and connect with an energy of freedom than my limited mind could not create.
I was inspired to create this sketch after my morning shake. I love this quote from Rochelle Schieck, “If you feel like you’re in a funk…you have to get FUNKY…so, shake the FUNK OUT. Your body knows how to do this! Just LET IT!”
Shaking is not only cathartic, it also has very healing benefits on a neurological and cellular level in your body. We store trauma in our tissues, and when we shake, this energy can start to move out. Many somatic researchers have shown that fear immobilizes us, that it ‘freezes’ energy in our body. Shaking does just the opposite. It heats up our energy and thaws the effects of our fears, often going back many generations.
Rochelle Schieck, founder of Qoya dance, shares a story about a gazelle to help us connect with the mammalian self-healing nature of our human bodies. “A gazelle is running through grasslands being chased by lions…the gazelle gets away…it doesn’t go to a gazelle therapist for 10 years, because there are no gazelle therapists, the gazelle is left to its own devices….its OWN body….and it shakes and shakes and releases the trauma of that event.”
I really don’t know what the source of my sense of hopelessness was yesterday morning, but, what’s important is that I listened to my body, trusted that it had the medicine, and I was able to transform the negative feeling into a positive one.
Try this short shaking practice by Rochelle Schiek in her Qoya shaking tutorial:
If you’re really inspired, try this 18 minute dance practice. (The shaking takes place at the very end.)
Shelley Rahim is a mother, daughter, wife, birth worker, artist, storyteller, bodyworker, modern mystic and guide and founder of Sacred Birth Journey. She lovingly serves women and families during the childbearing year, as well as supports the emotional, physical and sexual health throughout all phases of life.
Shelley provides a loving and non-judgmental space where women can let go of fear, shame, control, and inhibitions while embracing trust, vulnerability, body wisdom, wild-woman instinct and motherly love.
Serving San Diego women and families with a wide array of offerings. She holds weekly prenatal yoga classes, provides birth and postpartum doula services, teaches Birthing from Within workshops, as well as a variety of healing services and ceremonies.