You might be totally new to Shake Your Soul® or you might be someone who has participated in a SYS (Shake Your Soul®) experience various times but never knew the history or rationale behind it. You don’t need to know any of the following in order to reap any of it’s benefits but I thought I’d share it with you in case you’re curious and also because It might help you understand why it feels so wholesome and good.
Here are the top 4 things you should know about Shake Your Soul:
1. So, Shake Your Soul® was created by Dan Leven who started out as a dancer but moved away from the conventional dance world which tends to be overly concerned with how movement looks but not how it feels. Dan got involved in the Yoga world and became a resident at Kripalu Center which used to be an Ashram back in the 80’s.
2. The one modality that had most influence on what SYS is today is Body Mind Centering®. BMC introduced Dan to the concept of embodiment. Embodiment is one of the most central ideas underlying SYS today. Embodiment means that rather than initiating and feeling movement from our usual body systems, primarily the muscles and the bones, we use all of our body systems including, organs, glands and most importantly our fluid system. Each body system has a mind of it’s own so to speak and when movement is initiated from our fluid body for example, it has a completely different quality and feel.
3. Dan was also influenced by the work of Anna Halperin who was a pioneer in the expressive arts and movement therapy world. In her work she emphasized the connection between our emotions, movement and the creative process. This relationship has become an incredibly important element in the SYS experience, where there is lots of room for people’s emotions which help make it a much more richer and fuller experience.
4. So if you ever wonder why shaking your soul feels so calming and graceful, think about the fact that our bodies are made of about 70% water and that we are tapping into the ocean that lives inside of us. More about that next time.