In my clinical work with women I have discovered that one of the reasons so many modern day women struggle with fertility is because they are disconnected from their bodies.
Modern day living has conditioned us out of our bodies. But our power as women lies in our ability to feel and be present in our bodies. And one of the most powerful ways to re-connect to our bodies is through dance. In my work, I teach women that their bodies are very different than men’s bodies. Our bodies are more stress-sensitive than men’s bodies. We react to stress differently depending on where we are in our menstrual cycle and where we are in our reproductive years.
And the reason why our bodies react to stress differently is because we are the child-bearing, child-rearing gender. So our body’s need to be very clear about whether it's safe to have a baby or not. And because of this the female body has a more sensitive, refined mechanism to detect stress than men’s bodies. Now a lot of us don’t know this about our bodies and therefore don’t pay attention to our stress levels and don’t manage our stress levels in the ways that we really need to preserve our health and well-being and to actually thrive.
And because of this, a lot of us are developing what I call reproductive metabolic dysfunction- which is a hidden root cause of reproductive health challenges like fibroids, pcos, endometriosis, heavy menstrual bleeding, infertility and the list goes on. When I’m treating these conditions using a holistic approach, the very first step in treatment is to restore the nervous system-moving the body out of fight or flight mode and into rest and reproduce mode.
The nervous system is very easily and quickly restored through movement. Now movement is very different from exercise because it’s a physical activity classified as Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis (NEAT). And not only does it burn more calories than exercise but movement helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol which allows the nervous system to bounce back to rest mode and into balance. And once the nervous system bounces back to balance our female hormones begin to function better.
What’s so dope is that our ancestors left behind a legacy of movement practices that specifically targets the nervous system and gives us the tools to heal our nervous system. Those movement practices are the Danbala and Yanvalou.
The Danbala is a movement of flexibility and mobility and comes from the African Fon tradition. This particular dance is extremely effective in restoring the nervous system because it induces flexibility within the spinal nervous system allowing it to regain the ability to bounce between the fight and flight state and the rest and reproduce state. The reason why this is important is because a lot of us have lost our ability to flex in and out of the fight or flight state and so our systems remain stuck in this stress state which severely compromises our fertility and ability to create whatever it is we desire - whether that’s a baby, a thriving business, a body that we love or a life that we love.
The Yanvalou is a dance of awakening and rebirth and comes from the Haitian folkloric tradition. One of the major side effects to being disconnected from our bodies is sensory motor amnesia-forgetfulness of how certain muscles feel or how we’re able to move them. The Yanvalou is extremely effective at re-educating and awakening our sensory motor system.
Now, why is being able to feel and sense even important? Well, your power to create lies in your ability and capacity to feel. No feeling, no creation.