Mana Mei is a classically trained ballet and modern dancer. She has been training technical dance for 28 years and brings along ten years of exploration in personal embodied dance and expressive movement.
After dancing professionally with internationally touring modern dance companies in California, Mana moved to Bali and began the creation of many passionate offerings, events, workshops and retreats of embodied dance. She is passionate about authentic connection through movement, empowering women through embodiment, personalized embodied movement coaching and live performance dance invocations.
Mana currently tours internationally with her creative offerings of MANA Women’s Movement, The Women’s Dance Temple, CLAY – An Embodied Ritual and The Embodied Dance Journeys. Mana recently launched the facilitator training Embodied Dance Temple Keepers as a way to empower women to connect in global sisterhood and spread the healing medicine of embodied dance around the world.
As a sacred temple keeper, Mana creates and holds containers where people can safely explore and reconnect with all of their expressions, from the soft and subtle to the raw and wild. She guides people to tune into their authentic movement desires, as a way to unlock suppressed personal expression and liberate the body, mind and spirit. The goal is for them to realize their true and full potential as activated humans. She believes that our bodies are vessels built to explore all of the complexities of the human experience. By becoming deeply embodied and engaging with others from this place, we may feel our truest connection to the universe and restoring the masculine and feminine energies into divine balance.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE EMBODIED?
Embodiment is when there is no difference between what’s inside and what’s outside. When the energy that is alive inside our body is being expressed in the physical and external world, authentically, without adjusting out of fear of judgement from the self or others. When we are living embodied, we are radically honest with our feelings, wearing our heart and spirit on our sleeves, authentically us. We find balance between the thinking mind and the body, taking more moments where the mind does not solely dictate our actions, posture, gestures, movements, choices, rather we are also guided by our feeling body, listening to the flowing of energy inside, noticing the shifting of our vibration, alert and aware of how we are being affected by the outside world.
Embodied humans are sensitive. We are unafraid to be authentic. We find pleasure in the sensual world, welcoming more emotion, more feelings, and understanding the beauty in all of it. We are connected to and know how to liberate our mind, body, and spirit, and understand how all of these systems work in a symbiotic way to create balance and wholeness in our lives. We understand the body as a vessel for our soul’s expression. When you are living embodied, you become a bridge between the internal and external world. You always maintain, at the core, a deep connection to your inner self, your energy, your vibration and intuition, yet you are also connected to the external world, aware of the reality around you and able to move and dance through the world with grace and ease, always remaining grounded and present with yourself. We never lose connection to our self. When we are living embodied, we can enter in the flow state, where we trust life, we trust ourselves, and we can surrender to the unfolding, like a tree, deeply rooted to the earth, yet free and expansive reaching into space, dancing in the wind.
LIBERATION THROUGH MOVEMENT
True embodied living is when you have liberated the body, mind, and spirit, and you are living in interconnection of all three. It is possible to liberate each individually, but without the awareness of the interconnectedness of all three, there will always be imbalances.Most people live primarily in the mind. They think their feelings, and allow their thoughts to control their lives. They are disconnected from their body and spirit. It is also possible to be imbalanced by the others. For example, a monk who spends his entire life meditating is highly connected to spirit, but disconnected from his body and mind. Or someone who is an adrenaline junkie, constantly chasing sensational experiences is very connected to his body and his felt experience, but may be disconnected from his mind and spirit. Becoming an embodied human means you live life in balance and awareness of all three elements and celebrate every aspect of your humanness.
Dance is the ultimate path to embodied living! Through intentional movement, you can activate all three areas, connecting you deeply to your physical body & sensual experience, your sense of “oneness” & true liberated expression, and your capacity to clear, presence, and control your mind. By bringing more dance into your life, you (literally) move towards a more embodied existence and an overall more pleasureable experience of life. After all, the deepest purpose of dance is pleasure!
WHY WOMEN’S WORK?
Men are important, I love men! The masculine energy is very much needed. And we all have it inside of us no matter what biological skin suit you have chosen. We all contain both masculine and feminine energies, and when these energies are fully activated and balanced inside of us, we vibrate with our fullest potential life force radiance and can move through the world with a healthy connection to ourselves and the world around us.
The problem now is that our world has become incredibly unbalanced. Since the rise of patriarchy, the feminine energies have been suppressed and knocked down and our world has become incredibly over-masculinized. The masculine and feminine energies work like a river. The water is the feminine and the riverbanks are the masculine. The masculine provides structure, form, direction, liner pathways. The masculine is goal oriented, logical, and knows how to “get the job done”. The feminine is chaos, beauty, abundance, life source, spontaneity, and exists fully in the present moment. She is everywhere and everything. She is all of creation. When the masculine and feminine are in balance, it creates organized beauty, flow, and balanced ease. But when the feminine is suppressed, the world become overly linear, goal-obsessed, only living in the future and forgetting the beauty of the present moment. The overpowering of the masculine has shown up as the destruction of the planet, war and hate-crimes among people, and generally doing anything to “get ahead”, forgetting compassion and love.
Women have been shut down – their voices suppressed and their bodies shamed. And the feminine power has gone with us. Women all over the world have lost their connection to their own power, their creative life force energy, their mana. For so long women have been wrongly shamed and guilted for expressing their sensuality, sexuality, and raw feminine fire, that we have begun to believe that these parts ourselves are actually wrong. We have forgotten that WE ARE THE CREATORS (the Creatrix) and that we have the power to manifest and change and create the world we desire. We have the power to bring the world back into balance. To heal the earth, to heal the feminine, to heal the divine balance between the masculine and feminine.
AND IT BEGINS WITH US. It begins with the cultivation of our own innate feminine power. It begins with us remembering … welcoming all of us, celebrating our sensuality and sexuality, taking back our pleasure, our wild nature, and our chaotic beauty! It begins with remembering that we are one global tribe. That we are not separate from other women. We have been isolated from each other and told lies of scarcity and competition. And it’s time to change our story! We no longer believe there is not enough space for all of us to be our most radiant, fully expressed selves. We are starting to see how powerful we become when we come together, putting our judgments and perceptions aside, and really SEE each other. And really BE ourselves. WE are ready to push into the edges of our vulnerability in service of the healing of the great feminine force, Mama Gaia. We are ready to heal the ancient wounds of the feminine that our mothers and grandmothers could not. We are ready to do it together.
So why only women? Because many women are still learning what their truth is, and how to be in full expression when in the presence of men and all of our conditioning that exists about how we, as women, are supposed to show up in the our “roles” in society. Women only spaces create safety – a held container where women can explore their rawest expressions and feelings, gain confidence in their truth, and then practice bringing it out into the world to meet the masculine. In women only spaces, we learn to turn to, lean on, and find support in our sisters! We give each other permission to go even deeper in our expression. And we remember we can help to raise each other up, woman to woman. Once we feel safe and held, having the space to explore all aspects of our femininity, and remember and access our power, then we can meet the world, empowered, and meet our own internal and external masculine with confidence, authentically, while staying true to ourselves.
THEN WE RETURN TO BALANCE! And we save the world.