This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is from Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Founding Director and CJO (Chief JOY Officer) of Let Your Yoga Dance®
Happy 2021! Despite the sorrow and tragedy 2020 brought to humankind, I have also experienced much Grace and have experienced deep learning.
The place of my primary employment for 35 years, Kripalu, closed on March 12, 2020. Being an analog girl in a digital world, I realized it was necessary to navigate my way into teaching on Zoom-land. I was a scared student. Fortunately, my friendly zoom tutors were kind and patient; I cried often, trying to wrap my head around this complex, brave new world. I learned what zoom bombers were and how to deal with their horrible intrusions.
All the while, I kept taking the next step into this new language of technology. In mid-March, I started teaching Let Your Yoga Dance and yoga-qigong classes on zoom and have never stopped. I’m actually astonished and proud of myself! I never dreamed I would teach online; I’ve even created my upcoming teacher training on zoom!
Interestingly, when the Kripalu door closed, another opened immediately in the form of Manhattan’s Jewish Community Center. JCC hired me for a faculty position to lead Let Your Yoga Dance for Parkinson’s class on Zoom and the opportunity to give occasional presentations for their Lunch and Learn series, teaching Embodied Positive Psychology.
Because I take my title, Chief JOY Officer of Let Your Yoga Dance seriously, I do my best to infuse my students with joy in body, mind, spirit. Most of my time and energy goes to rehearsing for my classes. Happily, I’ve also learned during these months that I’m more creative than I knew!
Speaking of creativity, 25 years ago, I created my signature movement piece, The Grace Garden of Hearts and Souls. In the Grace Garden, we create and build community through movement and touch. The Garden practice asks two very simple questions, which have become my lifelong roadmap: “Where am I needed? and How can I serve?” When Covid hit, I kept repeating those two questions to myself. Since March, I’ve let these questions be my teacher and my guide within my sphere of influence.
Each week, I write newsletters to my mailing list. I want everyone to know that no matter what’s happening, we can dance through all this together, embracing the sorrow and the JOY. I have learned that I must keep teaching, knowing in my core that Let Your Yoga Dance brings resilience and joy. The more I ask, “Where am I needed, How can I serve” the more I feel part of the beautiful tapestry of this world, moving into the next important step, day by day, breath by breath.
Why don’t you come and check out a class and read my inspirational newsletters? Let Your Yoga Dance, a journey through the Chakras, is where Joy and Fun Meet Deep and Sacred!
Sending you all my love and prayers for your good health,
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