Thursday, June 18, 2020

How do we know what our bodies need?

How do we know what our bodies need?

Sometimes our bodies whisper to us - maybe with a yawn to let us know they're tired. Maybe with a signal to the brain saying ''I'm thirsty'' if we're dehydrated.

And sometimes, when we don't listen for a while, our bodies need to get loud in order to get our attention. That can show up in the form of ailments, pains, muscle spasms, the ''back going out'' etc.

What if we started listening on a regular basis?

When I first started expandance (the dance company) with Laurie Schneider and Alicia Christofi Walshe, many years ago in Ireland with grant support from the Arts Council of Ireland, we were in the studio 5 days a week doing our expandance practice. From that practice, we created choreography and went on to perform those pieces at various theatres and festivals in Ireland and New York City.

And for those first few years when we worked together, something interesting happened.

None of us got injured.

In a full time working and performing dance company, do you know how rare that is? All because we were listening *deeply* to our bodies every day, and responding to what they needed.

That is why I now teach expandance practice not just to dancers, but to everyone. I know from experience the power of listening, and of moving from that deep listening place.

I invite you - if it's been a while since you did expandance, or if you've never tried it - to join me tomorrow for class. You can tilt your camera up while we are dancing if you don't want others to see you. It's a beautiful, freeing practice. You don't need ANY dance experience, or even a lot of space.

Here are the details:

Every Friday

8am Pacific / 11am Eastern / 4pm Ireland & UK

Register here:
(takes 10 seconds, and you'll get an e-mail with the Zoom link)
FREE for BIPOC & U.S. immigrants
Donation based for everyone else.
Donate here:
CashApp expandance

Suggested donation $5-$20 *or whatever you can do*

* Calm your mind and clear mind chatter

* Find those places in your body you're holding tension and let it go

* Get grounded and centered

* Feel more free, easier in the body and mind, and more uplifted
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow! I'll open the room 5 minutes early so we can all get settled.

Keep moving, my friends,
Rachel x


I'm also teaching Release and Restore (expandance and restorative yoga, with Sarah Jenness) every Wednesday at 5:30pm PDT through St. Joseph's Health. This class is FREE for the cancer community - patients, survivors and caretakers. Please register with the lovely Sharon at and just let her know where you are in your cancer journey. 

Listening within; listening without

It's important to listen to our bodies.
It's also important to listen to people who have been oppressed for hundreds of years.

Here are just a few of the people I'm listening to and learning from online:

One documentary that was particularly helpful to me was ''13th'' on Netflix, and this video (posted this week by @janayathefuture) is beneficial in learning more about racial structures and belief systems:

Feel free to share with me any BIPOC authors, speakers, and artists you know and are learning from.