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I know winter is typically the season for hibernation, but for me summer seemed like the right time to let my blog sleep tight and go dormant.

This is not to say that I was in hibernation mode myself; quite the contrary, but I was faced with the age-old blogger’s dilemma of striking a balance between fully experiencing real life mindfully and that of perpetually living with a documentarian’s mind and sacrificing a portion of my brain functioning to taking notes for the future.

After I returned from the Virginia dance retreat in early July, things slowed down—a bit. Some classes went on hiatus for the summer, yet others kept on trucking, like the every-fourth-Friday 5Rhythms class in South Jersey.

During the July class—held just days before my birthday—a record number of students showed up—close to 20, when classes there normally brought in no more than 12. I was beaming for the full 2 hours, secretly convinced the universe had brought in all those people for me to dance with. Bless his heart, Richard, for continuing to make the drive from Baltimore every month to teach our motley crew, especially that night he got stuck in traffic for 3.5 hours.

And to take the place of some classes that paused for the summer, new offerings emerged, such as the monthly ecstatic dance classes I’ve been facilitating in central Jersey.

(I’ve actually been doing that since March but wanted to keep mum about it until I had reached a certain level of confidence in my leadership role.)

We started in a narrow yoga studio above an antiques shop and have expanded to an amazingly spacious karate studio with forgiving padded floors and a killer sound system. Each class is followed by a potluck dinner, and although I typically loathe the word “fellowship,” we have lots of it going on. And it’s pretty darn sweet.

I took my show on the road earlier this month and led a class at my friend Rhonda’s yoga studio—the studio in which I took my very first 5Rhythms class. I was honored to be invited to teach in a space that is so revered for me, and there’s promise that it will become a regular thing, along with opportunities here and there to work with children as well. Wow.

A few weeks went by where I had no 5Rhythms at all and felt its absence; then in August, my Philadelphia tribe held a full-day workshop with our group’s founder, Rivi Diamond, and recharged me. I danced intimately with a chair that afternoon, a sensual human-furniture friendship that emerged simply from me needing to get off my feet for a while.

And when I wasn’t dancing a Wave I was crashing into them; literally, throwing myself head-first into the salty sea caps that swelled from the Atlantic Ocean onto the Jersey shore. How is it that I’m 33 years old and never knew the secret of surviving big waves? Riding them out gets my swimsuit in a bunch and salt water in my orifices, whereas taking the wave head-on like a boss results in peace and tranquility. Seems counterintuitive, but perhaps there’s a 5Rhythms metaphor somewhere in there.

That all said, I’m banking on FlowtationDevices stirring from slumber in the next couple of weeks, emerging for air and ready to spill words forth onto these electronic pages.

It seems a fitting time, based solely on the fact that one of my last early-summer posts was about trekking to Virginia for a workshop with 5Rhythms teacher Amara Pagano—and now, 3 months later, I’m off to yet another one of her workshops with my home tribe.

Amara_BodyPrayer

A whole season, several steps, few words, and two Amaras. Full circle!

It’s wintertime in the Northeast, and therefore it’s hard for me to convince myself that Yes, going to the pool today is an awesome idea.

But the truth is, once I get over the initial hesitation about plunging into a large body of water when it’s only 19 degrees outside, I really do enjoy swimming.

It’s one of the reasons this blog is named so, because swimming became my new form of cardiovascular meditation after my hips protested to the jarring nature of running. When I couldn’t achieve peace of mind through the open air, I dipped my face into water instead.

Sometimes I fantasize about creating some kind of swimming/5Rhythms hybrid. I haven’t had my gym’s pool to myself in a long time, but maybe one day when I do, I’ll create a water-based Wave. I mean, pool aerobics has been around forever, synchronized swimming is an Olympic event, and grandmoms are now taking Aqua Zumba classes. It’s time.

If that doesn’t work out, though, I’ll just think about how the act of being in water and swimming is its own little 5Rhythms Wave in and of itself.

Flowing: The art of adjusting to this new, wet environment, testing a pool’s depths. Where do my feet go? How can my arms support me? Where should my head be so I don’t swallow sea salt or chlorine?

Treading water.

Staccato: Treading water is tiring after a while. I need to move ahead! My arms need to go Thwack, Thwack, Thwack! Kick, kick, kick, Head up, head down. Freestyle! Breaststroke! Butterfly!

Doing laps.

Chaos: Doing laps is so repetitive; I go so far, hit a wall, turn around, and then hit another wall again? You’ve got to be kidding me. Where’s the fun in that? I need the ocean, somewhere expansive to move freely. Ahhh, yes, waves and currents, sloshing seaweed and sticky sand. Oh fuck, a rip-tide?! Shit, I’m going under, where’s the shore? Short gasps of air, choking, limbs thrashing.

Drowning.

Lyrical: Finding the surface. Air. Breath. Earth under feet. Allowing the calmed waves to cradle my exhausted body, strength returning in my oxygen-deprived muscles, arms and legs finding comfort through a combination of treading water and a gentle freestyle.

Taking long, luxurious laps.

Stillness: My body is one with the ocean. With my head underneath the water, I can hear my breath consume every cell. Salt on my skin, sunshine on my face, buoyant as though I’m in utero again.

Floating.

Ocean

About the Author

Name: Jennifer

Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

Blog Mission:
SHARE my practice experience in conscious dance and yoga,

EXPAND my network of like-minded individuals,

FULFILL my desire to work with words in a more creative and community-building capacity;

FLOW and GROW with the world around me!

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