Healing Dance and Presence of Being
My beautiful indoor pool in Sandy Bay, Hobart is awaiting you to float.
The aim of a water session is to, ‘…invite you to a greater sense of presence’.
During this time the
mind quietens down, and the body moves and releases in a way that is only possible in the water.
There is the potential to experience True Presence.
When you receive a water session you are floated gently through the water.
The practitioner follows your breath and your body as they move, and stretch and dance with you.
“The pool is a wonderful way for the body to explore unrestricted movement;
to be supported as a liquid body floating as Penny guides and responds to
Penny has a unique skill and establishes a strong sense of trust working
with attention, expertise and intuition.
As a dancer I’ve found the pool sessions heighten my internal focus and
increase my physical perception and connectedness. I love the sensation
and immersion, of witnessing as movement unravels, time extends and
the body and mind relaxes bringing a deep sense of presence.”
– Wendy Morrow, dancer and improviser
“Penny’s intuitive and liberating work in the pool (the most beautiful
one in Hobart) helps me to more deeply understand my body, and my
mind. It’s a privilege to work with Penny.”
– Jane Edwardes, Singer and Singing Teacher.
“When I receive a water session I fell happy, light, young, energized and
free. My body and mind have been moved and awakened in a way that
is only possible in water.”
Penny graduated as a healing dance practitioner in March 2011 and studied Presence of Being with Shantam in August 2012.
“True Presence is the essence of what is shining through each of our Beings.
It is an immeasurable, unnameable, substance-less, indefinable radiance,
closer than the breath, closer than any thought about it – so close in fact,
when we make an attempt to look for it, we’ve already moved away from it.”
Testimonial from Darvis Walker
Over the last Month I’ve had the privilege of experiencing Penny McDonald’s
Alexander Technique informed water therapy in her custom built pool in Sandy bay.
Penny is an Alexander technique teacher and via her business Harmonic Motion she
offers one on one pool sessions. These deeply impacted me and I felt to share my
story so that Penny’s work can be spread.
Swimming in our original state. At some deep place, I think we all remember what it
was like to be in utero. For me, somewhere deep in my body there’s a signature,
a sense, a primordial memory of that time.
Like a dream I’m grasping for, I have images, feelings and impressions of what it
was like to exist in that space, eyes closed, suspended within motion.
The slow back and forward movement of our bodies, the warm, all encompassing
sense of safety, of weightlessness. The soothing and rhythmic pulse of our mother’s
heart beat, held, loved and perfectly poised in the sheer presence of being.
Perhaps at some level, the innocence and the vulnerability that comes with our time
in utero forms the benchmark of bliss that we strive for once born. Maybe our endless
search for peace, happiness and nurturance is a direct biological memory of our original
state in utero that’s calling. I don’t know, because other than our sense of this time,
we will never consciously know what that nurturance felt like, we have no evidence,
no logical memory, no way to return. So I thought.
For the past three weeks, I’ve had a recurrence of a chronic back injury that I originally
sustained in the army 20 years ago. The last time i had this level of resurgence, I was out
of action for 9 months, doped up on painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs to simply
survive the symptoms of the horrible nerve spasms.
When I re-injured myself again three weeks ago, I feared I was back to square one. Months
in bed, no ability to work and being dependent on others for the simplest things. Standing
for more than ten minutes has my back cramping up and shooting pain up and down my legs,
I can’t chop wood, drive, sit up, cook dinner or put on socks without assistance.
For anyone who knows me, being stuck indoors and away from the fresh air, the wildness and
physical work that i love is extremely hard. Perhaps more than anything, the hardest part is
that my future is undermined as without a miracle, its likely to happen again and again across my life.
Its times like these where experiences that interrupt the daily monotony of laying in bed are priceless.
Penny MacDonald – Harmonic Motion
One week into my condition, my partner Georgia shine invited me to join her and meet with Penny
McDonald at her home in Sandy bay. Penny is an Alexander Technique teacher and Georgia is
studying Alexander Technique. Penny has suggested to Georgia that some Alexander style
pool therapy sessions would be helpful.
Honestly I was reluctant at first as to even get in the car and travel felt like an enormous mission.
Beyond that, my head space was resigned to the idea that whilst swimming might be nice,
it wouldn’t help the torn tissue that was the foundation of my injury. But my instinct told me
otherwise so i limped to the car and off we went.
Penny met us at the door with a warm radiant smile. Immediately i had the sense that i
was in good hands as Penny had a clear energy of deep empathy. We made our way slowly
into the pool and Georgia had a session with Penny first.
Penny used floats to elevate Georgia’s legs and enable her body to lay horizontal in the pool.
She then guided Georgia around by holding her hand underneath her neck and her torso.
As i watched it impacted me emotionally. Pennys care and presence was exquisite.
She danced with Georgia’s body gently, guiding her with subtlety. Like a chinese dragon
Georgia’s legs followed her circling movement and i felt as if i was watching a beautiful piece of ballet.
Georgia emerged from her session with a child like joy and Penny invited me to try.
She placed the floats on my legs and they floated to the surface. Her hand held my head
so that my ears were submerged enough to get the still, timeless feeling of being in water.
As she began to guide me around, I felt I could let go completely, in total trust of her lead.
At no single point did i feel fear that Penny would allow my mouth or nose to go
into the water and this enabled my body to surrender deeper.
Around and around we went, circling like a water snake. As the dance continued i relaxed
more and more until eventually I found myself in a deep serene space of perfect surrender,
no resistance, no fear of hurting my injury, just being.
Being in the water like that is something I think that anyone who loves water understands.
The water offers us something, like a medicine born of deep time,
our body understands and recognises water. We are-after all 60% H20.
And in that space I felt it. I felt what it was like to be held in utero. I felt absolutely cared for,
nurtured and safe. I felt supported by both Penny and her depth of presence and grace,
mixed with the simple magic of the anti gravity offered by water.