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Adieu 2020

By Francoise Netter

What can I say about 2020? I thought 2019 had taken me to my emotional knees, and I was just getting my grounding and footing back when Covid-19 went into full “bloom”. Between the pandemic, the isolation, the fears and racial unrest, the political divisiveness, the fires, the volatile behavior of many and the ensuing global and personal reactions, it was a year unlike any of us had ever seen or experienced.

2020 seemed to magnify the wounds and unfinished business in our global and personal lives. It was an uncanny juxtaposition between the way we are all connected and uniquely different. I had never been aware of how something so universal could divide us, sometimes unite us and be so personally diverse in its impact. Some like myself, faced an isolation that seemed like solitary confinement, businesses were lost, lives were lost, fear grew into a daily emotion to fend off, the news got so negative that some of us had to silence our phones.

Personally, what began the year dealing with an old gnawing sensation of being alone, lonely, isolated and experiencing deep loss and disappointment from the events of 2019, only became more magnified. And the fear of getting Covid turned into an empathic play of symptoms.

After decades of personal and professional growth, I have cultivated the belief that we create our reality and are not victims. I teach that we must rely on our inner state for joy and happiness rather than on others or the outside world. The courses I teach educators involve the knowledge that not only must we be mindful of our thoughts, words, beliefs and actions, but that those inner resources are our only true source of freedom as we cannot control people or outer conditions to bend to our will or desires. Those very beliefs became my testing ground in 2020. What I became aware of was that this kind of Self Mastery was on a unique playing field in 2020. Under “normal” circumstances, I could hold my intention and attention and I would get feedback from my life through the people, situations and circumstances in my life. It was fun to see how much “magic,” synchronicity and beauty I could create in the world.

But for the past 10 months, that outer feedback was simply not there. It was a feedback between me, myself and I, and it got intense. I missed the interactions with others in person, the intimacy, the touch, the ability to banter with strangers, the synchronicities that happened while traveling and the laughter that erupted spontaneously with others. Even while venturing out with a mask, nothing was the same. People were either glued to their phones while waiting on line or simply unavailable energetically. Everything seemed like an effort or a hassle, even simple tasks like shopping or trying to get a business on the phone. Was this really how I was going to live in the “new normal”?

This Fall, I began to ask: “So where is the silver lining in all of this”? “How do I not get so negatively swayed by the outer conditions I find unpleasing and sometimes intolerable”? As many of you know, one of my favorite subjects I teach is about resiliency. 2020 has given me an arsenal of material to finally write the book I have contemplated writing for years. As we turn the page on this year what can we bring to the table? What can we aspire to, inspire to and expand more positively and know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel? As I wrote in my blog of 2019, it’s that old cliché of trust and faith, not so much from a “religious” point of view, but from understanding the honorability and mystery of the Universe. As one of my heroes, Alice Hertz-Summers (who was the oldest living holocaust survivor) said: “Every day is a miracle — No matter how bad my circumstances, I have the freedom to choose my attitude in life, even to find joy. Evil is not new. It is up to us how we deal with both good and bad. No one can take this power away from us.” This is more relevant for us living today in 2020 than ever before in our lifetimes.

As you contemplate 2020, releasing what you no longer need and embracing your intentions for 2021 and the aftermath of this Pandemic and global chaos, I invite you to join me in a course, session, reading, book, CD or class. I have on-going weekly Zoom Yoga classes, Graduate Educator credit courses, clairvoyant/spiritual private readings and will be expanding my public classes and workshops and on-line video resources as well as products. Contact us for more information.

No matter how bad or challenging this past year has been, I invite you to join me in embracing a brighter today, tomorrow and future.

To 2021 — may it unfold into a more celebratory blend of inner peace and outer play,



Cycles Of Change Into Graceful & Joyful Transformation

By Francoise Netter

As I contemplate the end of 2018, I am reminded of the quote: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” This year I was an official gypsy. My plants and belongings scattered in five different places as well as storage, I stayed with friends in Colorado, moved temporarily to Coronado Island and traveled to Europe for two months. It was a year of healing and transformational opportunities I had not anticipated.

Coronado Island was like living in Hawaii with a view of Mexico and San Diego. The bay and sea soothed my soul while I immersed myself in the company of fragrant flowers, birds, flamingos and the temperate climate. I was also able to give several workshops at Unity Church, woman’s retreats and Metaphysical Institutes. I taught some Yoga, gave a number of personal readings and coaching sessions, worked with educators and re-connected with the part of myself I had lost in the stress-filled years previous to 2018. As I said to many of my friends, I found my heart in Coronado.

When I returned to Colorado and then traveled to Europe, I encountered a different type of healing. I had many plans to visit several countries around the ocean and Mediterranean, be on a ship with the Abraham-hicks group and rent an apartment in Nice. I never seemed to recover physically from the traveling in the first two days, and had I not pre-paid the trip or had a home to return to, I would have flown back to the US that first week. Amidst the great food, wine and some absolutely beautiful places, I had the opportunity to experience and examine parts of myself and old life-style patterns that no longer served. Many of these issues I thought I had dealt with, but over the course of two months they magnified at such a level, that there was no choice but face and transform them.

The month in Nice became my retreat center. It rained the first 14 days, a friend who had planned to join me cancelled her plans and another significant friend joined me my last week there. I spent hours a day meditating, doing Yoga and listening to Gregg Braeden, Bruce Lipton and Dr. Joe Dispenza. There were days I walked nine miles and I eventually saw some beautiful old towns, forts, art, and exquisite sunsets. But the bulk of my days were re-studying epigenetics and the power of the mind and body. Even though I have spent this life time studying and teaching Yoga and the mysteries of the mind and body, my time in Europe was largely about going deeper into transformation and releasing the past. To make sure I did not slough this trip off to an expensive inconvenience, the last day in France, hours before my two planes back to the US, my left pinky finger got slammed into a metal door and I have spent the last month healing that finger and nail.

I am still in process, but what I have learned from this year, is that there is no perfect place to live, no perfect condition, person or circumstance. Even though this seems obvious, so many of us in the West were reared conditionally thinking that our outer conditions and circumstances determine our reality including our health, well-being and joy. As an empath, I often took on feelings, beliefs and conditions that were not mine and I strived like most of us to “make” things happen by relying on and manipulating things external to myself. I also learned how easy it is to be on an automatic pilot program of stress and survival. The more research I have done on the effect of stress on the body and the mind, the more that I now know how important it is to change our habits from survival to mindful living both personally and professionally.

I invite you to join me in this new year, to gently embrace everything that occurs as an opportunity for expansion, flow and growth and to spend this last evening and the first weeks of 2019 reflecting on what to release and open up to as you discover new doors of seeing, believing and living. I am always sharing with my educators that we must teach our kiddos to be life-long learners.

I am excited to share new courses, products and insights with you as the year progresses and look forward to hearing from you and working with you personally and professionally and being of service through my courses, Yoga and meditation sessions, French classes, products, books and Psychic/Numerology readings. Click the menu links for more information.

In the spirit of joyous, continuous transformation,



A Year-End Story of Wisdom

By Francoise Netter

As the holidays approach, I wanted to share a quote/story by Junaid Tahir that I just received to remind you of how to live with more joy, less pain and enjoy the holidays and end of this year:

“An old Master instructed an unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. ‘How does it taste?’ the Master asked. ‘Not good at all,’ spat the apprentice.

“The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. ‘Now drink from the lake.’ As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, ‘How does it taste?’ ‘Good!’ remarked the apprentice. ‘Do you taste the salt?’ asked the Master. ‘No.’

“The Master sat beside the young man, took his hands, and said, ‘The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, but the amount of pain we taste depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, enlarge your sense of things… Stop being a glass. Become a lake!’ ”

The holidays can be so stressful so use all of the body/mind techniques that you have learned and practice being a lake! You can also think of receiving and giving some practical gifts like CDs, books, Yoga sessions, Movement for The Mind sessions, and one-on-one readings to enhance the quality of your life and your loved ones.

Please always let me know how I can be of service. With my discount code (ask me if you haven’t received it), get a 10% discount on any digital products you purchase and any one-on-one Yoga, Movement Sessions or readings for your self or as a gift for a loved one. Gift certificates are available.

Have a blessed, peaceful and joyous Holiday Season,



Cat Tales, Resiliency and Meditation

By Francoise Netter

So many of you following my blogs know that I write articles about yoga, movement, learning and resiliency. So what do cat tales have to do with any of this?

Let me explain. Yesterday, I woke up to my cat, Bhakti’s meows—“wake up time”—(with a cat who needs an alarm?) and walked into my kitchen only to find that Bhakti had opened a cupboard door and spilled Windex all over the kitchen floor. After cleaning up that ammonia blue mess, I walked into the living room to find throw up (hers of course) in three places. At that point, I realized there was a not so subtle clue to the day that had to do with cleaning—duly noted, but I hadn’t even gotten to the normal morning routines, let alone my coffee. Next stop was going downstairs to the complex’s laundry room to do a load of laundry. Bhakti meanwhile was letting me know in no uncertain, very obnoxious, loud meows that our normal routine was off.

A “normal” day begins with hugs, cleaning her litter box and some other bathroom chores. Then we head off to the kitchen for snacks, cleaning her bowls, giving her clean water, feeding her and taking care of some of my own dietary morning needs. After another short stint in the bathroom, it is usually time for meditation. Now pretty much anyone who has met me either personally or professionally knows that I’ve had a meditation practice for many decades, but most people don’t know that Bhakti has a serious meditation practice and that the day pretty much starts with her sitting on my lap while I light the incense and candle. She purrs her mantras while I recite mine in Sanskrit.  If we don’t meditate by a certain time, things get pretty chaotic in Bhakti’s world and the loud meows and disruptive behavior are irritating and annoying at best.

Now, am I bad? Yes. When I adopted her at seven years old (she is now fifteen), she had a perfectly good American name, “Bailey Marie”. But I had to go and change it to “Bhakti” which is a Yogic path and in Sanskrit means devotional love. So now I have her hooked on meditation and a timely routine. You might ask, “What is wrong with that? I wish I could teach my children to meditate, let alone my cat or dog!”

I’ll get to that point in a minute. Meanwhile my day was gloriously deteriorating. After putting a load in the laundry room downstairs instead of meditating, I thought I’d jump in the shower and wash my hair. Bhakti was loudly meowing her disapproval when I turned on the water in the shower to nothing. Well, a tiny dribble of water. I tinkered with the showerhead for about 5 minutes and finally gave up and started filling up the tub. The only problem is that I have long hair and I couldn’t negotiate my hair and shampooing it with the tub faucet. Now Bhakti was meowing and banging on the door to join me. That was the last thing I needed—a wet cat trying to meditate in a full tub of water!!! Somehow I got my hair washed and rinsed and a half hour later, we did indeed get to meditate and the rest of my day actually worked out quite well.

As I reflected on this day, I noted that so many of the classes I teach about yoga, movement, creativity and resilience are about the business of finding both internal and external ways of expressing these components in daily life for grounding and staying centered, especially in the midst of chaos. I realized that Bhakti and her devotion serve as great reminders of how a daily practice can help us stay centered when everything else may fall apart around us and that we all need practices that can take us to that quiet, peaceful place.

Honing resilience is not just about surviving, but invites us to become triumphant in areas where we might give up or become complacent and for that we need tools (practices) that keep us moving forward no matter what the setbacks are, big or small. I think cats are a great reminder of this. They are ornery, mischievous, never do what they’re told, are known for having nine lives and their greatest weapon of all is purring. Mine just happens to purr in Sanskrit.

In feline smiles,



Fostering Resilience – Part Three

By Francoise Netter

The subject of Resilience, I believe is one of the most relevant qualities that we can develop, nurture and sustain. It is a quality that we too often ignore in this fast paced, technological whiz of a life. In the next few blogs and articles, I will be addressing various ways that you can think about resilience and apply it to your life both personally and professionally.

Part Three

Those of you who’ve read my last two articles on Fostering Resilience, know that it is something I feel passionately about both personally and professionally. If we dive deep into the human spirit, we converge and meet in a similar place. All of us ultimately seek joy, ease, love, safety and peace. We may seek it in diverse ways and call it by different names but those desires are universal and at the foundation of most philosophies and religions. So if we seek all that is fun, joyous and easy why do we need to foster resilience?

Resilience is the key to not only achieving these goals, but also one of the key ingredients to sustaining them. Let’s take a closer look. If life is supposed to be easy, fun, joyous and all the things we want, then why does it so often feel challenging, chaotic and downright difficult? The answer is simple and yet complex.

Growing up in the West, many of us are taught to fill our baskets of desires by going after the things we want externally. We are taught by example that if we are able to accumulate, achieve and control certain outer conditions than our lives will look the way we want and we can achieve the joy that we are seeking. However, for most of us striving, grabbing and controlling outer conditions keep us jumping at best and stressed out and frustrated the rest of the time.

What is so true and yet understated in the story, Carrots, Egg and Coffee, is that the ability to turn adverse conditions into coffee beans invites us to shift our attitude. We don’t coerce the beans to make it happen. The beans simply blend with the water and are transformed. So often we find ourselves struggling against outer conditions that we can’t seem to change, when the change we seek is actually right under our noses. We are so accustomed to looking externally for solutions that we seldom look at our own internal state, attitudes, thoughts and beliefs.

I remember many years ago taking a three day personal growth seminar and when we came back as a group one week later, one of the participants excitedly shared, ” When I got home from this seminar the most amazing happened. Everyone in my family changed for the better!” We all smiled quietly and nodded to each other. We knew because of the work he had done and the deep inner personal changes and insights he had undergone, his perception of others (including his family) had also changed.

In our western society, we often put emphasis on how things look externally. Through that approach, we have forgotten our own inner wellspring of knowledge. Yoga and many other philosophies remind us that we may have it a bit backwards. The control we are seeking is within us, not external to us. Fostering resilience summons us to that place internally where we can reflect and shift our perception and beliefs. Then, ease, joy, true change and what we desire can occur. Through the act of shifting our thoughts and beliefs we can act from a conscious place and resolve the challenges that show up whether we are prepared for them or when they blindside us.

In my own personal experience, the more I identify with what’s wrong with my life, the more life seems to corroborate that belief and visa versa. For the next few weeks, take a few minutes daily to reflect on both your desires and your attitudes. Look within to see if you can shift a negative thought or belief and see where cultivating your resilience can assist you. Then watch as your life begins to transform like the coffee beans slowly but surely.  I always welcome your comments and observations.

On this delightful path,



Actualizing Your Yoga and “Marching” Forward

By Francoise Netter

Isn’t it interesting to look at words and the meanings we ascribe to them? With the Spring Equinox officially behind us, what is “springing” or ”marching” forward in your life? What would you like to be forward moving in your life? It is interesting that our Western Christian New Year starts in the middle of winter. It’s like, we get all revved up for the new to manifest just in time to go back into hibernation.

Summer and fall were always my favorite seasons growing up and into adulthood. Then when I moved to Colorado, twelve years ago, winter and spring became my favorites. Winter for the quiet, stark beauty of snow covered peaks and spring for the exquisite transformation of growth, blossoms and color. Now as the temperatures have unseasonably soared, I sit perched like a Robin Red Breast for spring. Why?

Certainly the fragrances and delicate purple petals and beauty of Lilac Bushes are one big reason, but this year especially, I feel hungry for movement forward in my life. I am craving a new environment to work, live and play in. One that includes sea breezes, long stretches of white sandy beaches I can walk or bike along and the smell of the salty sea water. Most significantly I crave the freedom and endless quality of the sea. When I first moved to Colorado, I needed mountains and red rocks and a sturdy pristine beauty that the Rockies exemplified. But things have changed. A part of me wishes that I could just stay in one place all of my life and not have these soul callings. More than ever it seems we must trust the urgings of our souls and have faith that at the appropriate time we will be able to create and take the necessary steps for their realization.

The ability to take right action and at other times hone patience is such a delicate balance. When I was growing up, the model for success and productivity was the male model of forcing or making things happen. Today it feels like the recipe for change and success is a delicate balance between intention, action and the act of allowing. The approach of forcing or making things happen more and more seems contrived and like an uphill battle. So the question becomes how do we create what we desire and still keep our focus on the present in a positive life-affirming way while making room for the new. So often the only way I knew how to enact change was to be so miserable with my present that the only way up was out. Drama often accompanied big changes. Sound familiar?

As spring expands into fullness with flowers and budding trees, I invite you to join me on the journey of planting new seeds, nurturing their growth with patience, intention and forward moving thoughts and actions. Let me know what is marching forward in your life and what you have discovered in this process.

Blessings on the Path,



Actualizing Your Yoga and Renew, Rejuvenate and Retreat in Spain

By Francoise Netter

After five years of contemplation, we finally have a trip to Spain planned in June.  In the last blog I spoke about slowing down and doing something different. Traveling with purpose can be the positive jolt we need. Why Spain? Why 2012?

Since I was a child, I’ve observed, sometimes much to my chagrin, that I am not only “The Princess and The Pea” in terms of sensitivity but I often act as a conduit for trends happening in my cultural environs. The Barcelona area and the coast of Spain have been calling me energetically for years. Is it the Catalonian culture or is there something powerful and transformational that this environment holds? The sea, to me is not only a place of comfort and rejuvenation; it also holds a mysterious element that speaks to our souls. Every time I’ve been to the Mediterranean, I have been awestruck by the turquoise balmy waters and by the beauty of the landscape infused with a combination of ruggedness and paradise-like charm. To be able to travel as a group to play, learn, grow and shift on foreign soil, not only seems timely, but insistent.

I’ve noticed that as much as we are extreme in this country—I’m either feasting or on a diet, I’m either spending or spend-thrift—I’m either single or passionately in love–I’m either busy and have no time or I have plenty of time and no money—we need a new model of living that it begins with balance. Traveling with purpose (fun and knowledge) affords us that possibility. When we change things up like traveling to a foreign country and combine that with a theme, Renewal Retreat, we not only shift our daily habits, but we also infuse our consciousness with new possibilities that we could never have conceived of in our ordinary lives. Sometimes we are forced to make these changes by circumstances that occur over which we seem to have no control. How much more empowering to make these small changes ourselves before our personal world imposes them by shaking things up.

This trip to Spain has the promise and intent to create the next steps in your life. It will engage you to make a difference in the most positive and life generating way. I invite you to join us on this journey. It can happen. It is happening.  For more information go to



Actualizing Your Yoga – The Evolution of Humanity

By Francoise Netter

I recently volunteered at the Boulder International Film Festival and one of the documentaries I saw, Modern Progress, while not as professionally crafted as I might have liked, did bring up some interesting points. They cited that although in the past 200 years we have progressed technologically more rapidly than at any time in history, we have not evolved biologically or in any other way humanly in 5,000 years. It implied that our evolution as humans has no congruity with our materialistic greed and technological advancement and it alluded that this same issue had been the cause of the fall of many civilizations prior to the advancement of our current one.

For decades we have been seduced and deluded by our beliefs that outer progress, fame and riches would somehow render us free and triumphant over the forces we fear and the conditions over which we have no control. What an interesting web of lies we’ve spun. Can all our technological advancement heal the common cold, a broken heart, the loss of a loved one, the conflict between neighbors or any personal fear? We have spent thousands of years practicing looking to outer events for our sustenance and reality. But how has that evolved us or really brought us what we, as a species, have always yearned for?

Yoga, which evolved 5,000 plus years ago and many other ancient philosophies poignantly speak to the evolution of humanity. For thousands of years, Yogis and other Mystics guarded the secrets of human evolution. But today “these secrets” are being revealed to the masses. The Yogis were not that different than modern man. They also sought what we all ultimately seek: joy, contentment, connectedness, knowledge and peace. They knew that the control and mastery that was needed began from within. The Mount Everest summits and rocket ship explorations started with mastering their own minds and bodies. They sought human evolution not outer technological progress and they revealed states of awareness that we are being summoned to explore and embrace today.

One of the classes I teach, Yoga for the Academic Environment, touches upon the relevancy of the use of ancient wisdom in today’s educational environment. True Yoga bridges the gap between the mind and body, the breath and life and offers us a practical wisdom for this time where we must also bridge the schism between our inner evolution and our outer progress. Our minds and bodies are busier and more preoccupied than ever. We are plugged in to some form of technology 24/7—some people even sleep plugged in. We must begin the process of not only slowing down, but also turning our attention to what we can control: our responses, thoughts, beliefs, feelings and actions. We have placed such importance to reacting to what happens to us and around us while keeping up with the pace of life, that we have forgotten the simplest of practices of being self-responsible and looking within for our answers.

Children are incredibly open to these teachings of Yoga. Can you imagine the progress of this planet if we were taught at a young age how to control our thoughts, breath, heart rate, and digestion? What if we learned how to understand our negative emotional states and transform them? What if we understood that we all are intricately connected and part of a living, breathing universe that is made up of the same essential energy? What if we learned how to focus, concentrate and control the ceaseless chatter of the mind? What would our world look like if we learned how to be kind, gentle, generous, and loving with ourselves and others? If we combined these practices with the ABCs, just imagine how we might begin to evolve humanly.

Progress would no longer be measured by political power or financial success or by the speed of technical toys. Simple isn’t it? Begin today. Do something different. Spend ten minutes a day looking behind your eyes. Breathe, watch your thoughts, sit in gratitude, pet your cat, hug your dog, take a walk and just watch—no iPod, no words, and no distractions. Everyday add a new practice to simplify, observe and get acquainted with the reservoir of quiet, wisdom and joy that lies within you.

In loving practice,



Review of INATS and Sharing Your Unique Gifts

By Francoise Netter

The following article was originally published in my column, “Actualizing Your Yoga” in 2011. I hope you enjoy it. – FEN

Review of International New Age Tradeshow and Sharing Your Unique Gifts

In this month’s column, I’m going to stray off the traditional subject of Yoga and report on a memorable tradeshow and related topics that deal with today’s current issues. In the process, we’ll bring it back to “Actualizing Your Yoga”.

In late June, I attended the INATS (International New Age Tradeshow) in Denver where leading Metaphysical and New Age publishers, authors, entrepreneurs and other vendors gathered to advertise and sell their products to retail buyers and metaphysical bookstores. There were a wonderful array of jewelry vendors and a wide variety of everything you might need for meditation, calling in your angels or exploring other divination tools as well as books, calendars, statues and crystals.

What I found surprising was the amount of new quality products being marketed by the creators, authors and entrepreneurs themselves. Self-publishing seems to be the new route for many talented New Age authors and artisans. Although Hay House, Llewellyn, and other recognized publishers were justifiably profiled, it was the lesser known authors and artists that I found most impressive. For example, Roth Taylor who created The Circle and Robin and Frederico of Xterling who created the Mayan Oracle jewelry and cards had not just extraordinary products that were well designed, but they carried a signature message of hope, humility and transformation.

In this time of financial, ecological and global uncertainty, not only do we need the courage to market new products but we are also being called to create products that are actually going to help others through the present stresses, uncertainties and doubts that many are facing today. What some are heralding as the end of the Mayan calendar, others profess this time as a turning point in consciousness for all of humanity.

In this years INATS, it was the “unknowns” non-celebrities sharing their creativity and wisdom that stood out for me. It is not just the Entertainment or Sports industry that idolizes celebrities, but the Business world and what we call the New Age markets that tend to glamorize certain individuals. It feels timely to take the fame and fortune out of wisdom and emphasize the knowledge and practical applications that many are coming forward to share.

I remember when I was living in Southern California for the first three months of 2011, I heard Michael Beckwith share that we each are being called to not only be our ”best selves” but to share our unique gifts with the world. That might mean sharing with our neighbor, our family or to share our insights in a public way. I do believe something unique is happening globally. Part of it may be due to the access of technology, but I believe it is much more.

What are you being called to discover and share? What are the changes that you are feeling internally and how can you express those changes positively and dynamically? How can you contribute more of who you are in areas of your life you may never have imagined possible?

This month instead of just practicing the physical Asanas (poses) see how you can take the next steps to becoming more of who you are, to sharing that uniqueness and to contributing in new and more expansive ways. Let courage and commitment be part of your internal ”mantra “ and enjoy this path of “Actualizing Your Yoga”.

Namaste on this dynamic path,

© 2011,  Françoise E. Netter, M.A.



Movement For The Mind®

By Francoise Netter

For those of you who have been following my blogs, articles and column, you know that I refer back to allegories and stories of my Yoga Master whom I went to study with in India in 1978. He knew me as a dancer and dance therapist and would murmur “dancer” whenever he would see me even though he did not speak English.

Dance and art were my first experiences of “Actualizing my Yoga”. It was in these moments of creative involvement that I experienced my first encounters with true meditation and Yoga—that experience of oneness, focus and bliss. Although my practice of Yoga evolved on its own, it was always inextricably linked to my life and to my work with dance, which came to be known as Movement For The Mind and the name of my book.

In these blogs, I will be sharing excerpts from the book. It is my hope that they will inspire you and open you to new levels of thinking, feeling, moving and actualizing. Please feel free to contact me for a copy of the book, which will be available in a downloadable form on my website: shortly.

The Power Of Dance

Physically, dance is the creative translation of what we do in this body: move. Dance speaks to every aspect of our being.  It challenges us physically and at the same time satisfies the human need for self-expression, communication, and meaning. It demands that the mind be clear, focused, and attentive. Each movement must be birthed from emotional integrity, so that when people dance, they may experience the oneness that mystics speak of reaching in the highest spiritual state. Yogis refer to the creation of the universe as the Dance of Shiva. French author, Anais Nin, coined the phrase “life is a dance,” and countless poets and philosophers have made similar analogies between dancing and living.

However, in Western culture dance has been less accessible to the general public than perhaps any other art form (not withstanding the current craze of the TV Reality show, “Dancing with the Stars”). When I was a child, everyone was encouraged to draw and learn to play a musical instrument whether they showed specific artistic talent or not. Although I was offered ballet classes as a child, my brother never took dance lessons. After I stopped taking ballet, I don’t remember taking any other class in school that encouraged creative self-expression through the medium of the body.

The purpose of all art is to communicate. Dance communicates through the language of movement. The dancer needs only the body as a vehicle for creative expression. All content comes from the inside and is brought into form through the body. Dancing, singing, and acting are the only art forms that can stand alone without any other embellishments or supportive props. But even the singer and actor need words. Silently, the dancer uses what connects us all to this earth, the body.

In ancient and primitive cultures, symbols and rituals were significant components of everyday life. These cultures, which revered and lived closely with the earth and nature’s cycles, utilized movement intentionally as a metaphor for living. They did not rely solely on words to communicate, but understood the power of the symbolic and the power of living in the body. Dance, through its use of gestures, incorporates the symbolic in the acting out of movement. It also allows man to embrace the sacred within his own body.

In the early twentieth century the pioneers of modern dance—including Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Ruth St. Denis, and Doris Humphreys—used dance to express once again the passions, pains, and spiritual elements of life.  Their dances told stories that contained the emotional and soulful aspects of human experience.

Modern dance pioneers’ vision of dance as a universal expression of life is not limited to the relationship between audience and dancer. Without an audience, the process of expressive communication can be an internal experience.

The Movement For The Mind® technique I created integrates the symbolic value of dance with the healing legacy of dance therapy, and includes Modern Dance’s vision of authentic expression. It brings back the power of dance to the individual and provides a vehicle for creative self-expression, integration, healing, and for better understanding ourselves and connecting to others.

If you feel that you don’t have rhythm or if you would like to experience your body’s innate rhythm and energy, take a moment to do this exercise. (Read the instructions a couple of times and then just repeat them to yourself mentally.)

Stand up. Close your eyes and take four complete breaths and then continue breathing normally. Remember to keep breathing through your nostrils. Now begin to listen to the rhythm of your breath and see how your body responds energetically. You may begin swaying or rocking. Let movements occur spontaneously. Go with any impulse. If your body does not move, continue listening to the breath for a few more moments. Do not strain or try to make anything happen. The point is to let go and become more sensitive to the subtle rhythms inwardly.

If you felt your body moving at all, you may have also become aware of your heartbeat and the rhythm of that pulsation. Listening to these simple rhythms helps us to connect to ourselves and to the moment. It also allows us to move and respond more spontaneously and with less restriction and judgment. The rhythm of the breath in this way is used to quiet and focus the mind and to awaken us to the subtle energies within us. In Movement For The Mind®, we can use this awakening for various purposes. The process alone of pausing to breathe deeply and then observing the breath will relieve the imminent effects of stress, but we can take this alleviation further.



© 2010, Françoise E. Netter, M.A.


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