Sacred Sister Galia Danielle
I am so happy to delve into the mind of this brilliant soul. I have both danced beside her in group movement performances and had her assist me in pole priestess classes and have the pleasure of being her friend! Galia is full of wonder about life and deeply thoughtful when it comes to her expression. She is masterfully playful but at the same time, deep and beautiful in her thoughts and movement practice...Read on to find out how this Goddess manifests her gifts to share with the world.
Q: Where do you live and practice?
A: I live in West Los Angeles, California and typically practice near the beach in Santa Monica or other outdoor places. Or else, I am at the climbing gym.
Practice is part of my day to day life regardless of location and I love to explore different spaces.
Q: Star sign
Q: How did you discover your gift of movement? And how does it manifest for you? (what is your movement medicine? A particular type of dance, yoga ect…)
A: To me, everyone alive bears the gift of movement. Its only a matter of reconnecting awareness and that's what I think practice is all about, bringing awareness home over and over again.
There is movement happening all the time, I believe that’s the nature of life. We are breathing, our blood pumping, hormones changing. If we look around, even the earth underneath our feet and the trees that seem still, are moving at an unperceivable level. So, when I consciously involve myself in a "movement" activity, it is simply paying attention and relating to the movement that is always happening. A deepening of relationship. As time passes, as my body changes, as my goals transform, as relationships shift, so does the movement.
My mindful movement practice began with yoga, which gave me an opportunity to slow down, quiet my mind, and connect with the body. From there I have transitioned into exploring contact improvisation, martial arts, kundalini, and then into more functional training like swimming, running, jumping, and other body-weight movement. Now, I have started transitioning into a whole other place in my practice. And I’m sure I will continue moving, learning and adapting.
Right now, I am researching how movement relates to cognitive capacity. I am interested in process, systems, and learning in conjunction with movement. In psychology, they say you haven't learned something unless there is a change in behavior, i.e. new movement pattern. This is the foundation of what I intuitively have known, we learn with the whole body, not just the mind. For me, the conceptual has to be grounded in the body.
Q: You have a very playful aspect to your personality, which comes through your movement and photos…Can you speak on the importance of play within our physical practices?
A: Part of my goal in practice, in addition to discipline, is play. While discipline offers linear development, play brings in the round, spirally, circular element.
In play, we don't have to have answers. We explore potentials rather than view things as conceptual. There is freedom, joy and wonder in the unknown. It's in play that we can move and adapt, stay dynamic and open to life’s mysteries. It’s also how we can discover things a new.
A baby wiggles its toes and its absolutely amused, and we take that for granted as we get older. Reconnecting to that feeling, the awe, curiosity, appreciation, it is a big part of me. In practice, this usually looks like disrupting apart patterns, so that I can then improvise and explore putting things together in different ways. For example, we will explore all the ways we can place a hand on the floor and the infinite subtle implications it can have. I love to become increasingly present with what is and explore my agency, my creative power, to play with what is available.
As an adult, play requires a reclamation of courage and vulnerability, which I believe are not only important, but essential to feeling alive. You can’t teach it, we can only help each other remember.
Q: Can you describe how you experience yourself, or how you feel in your body as you are within the throws in your movement practice (dancing/doing yoga ect…)
A: I would say that I feel peaceful, not because everything is perfect, but because I am connected, aware, and in the moment with my head, heart, and hands all together. A good friend offered me the mantra “whole body, whole mind.” Of course sometimes I am not in that state when I am in my movement practice, yet that's what drives me forward.
Q: Can you please share a tip or suggestion to help guide someone into tapping into their flow… the way you tap into your flow. (Something easy and fun would be much appreciated, but its all you here, so whatever feels resonant)
A: I truly believe that the flow is personal. It requires all aspects of YOU being to be respected, so that there is an honest alignment. If movement isn't your jam, maybe gardening is and when you do it, explore doing it with your whole body, your whole mind. Being fully present. Noticing colors, sensations, smells, sounds, alignment of your body in space, distance between you and the plants, the feeling of gripping a tool. I think flow is a lot about surrender. Letting go of all the separate parts that have their own unique desires and allowing all parts of yourself to work together, to be in service to each other.
Q: Do you think breakthroughs in our practice reflect breakthroughs in our lives,…As a teacher and practitioner of movement medicine can you talk about how we can utilize our bodies as metaphors?
A: Absolutely. Not always. But yes its possible. I say this intentionally because I have seen people who portray an aesthetic that does not translate into their development as a person.
For me, my practice has often led to breakthroughs in my life. I enjoy working with the body because its the most obvious aspect of reality to me. When someone talks to me about balance, its just a concept until I live it. Then I can really “get it.”
I will speak to the way practice can reflect breakthroughs in our life by specifically describing my experience studying martial arts. I struggled with boundaries. I had never had them modeled to me. I understood cerebrally; however, did not know how to enforce or apply boundaries in a grounded way.
When I started studying Aikido, I began to become aware of how I was in relationship to other bodies and how to protect myself more physically and mentally. Aikido is a cooperative art. So I worked with my partner; however, I was supposed to maintain an alert attention that I allowed me to care for myself self-reliantly throughout techniques.
When I first came into the dojo, my Sensei laughed that my attacks were fluffy, indirect and too soft. I had been afraid of hurting my partner, of my power, so I disengaged, but it actually made technique more difficult.
Gradually, as I practiced and explored, I felt free to grip with more direction, more intention, more intensity. I felt sharper. However, I noticed my movement became aggressive. My Sensei would come over and he would say a little softer, then I would grip too soft, and he would say be firmer.
After class I spoke with him. I said I don’t know how to be in the middle, I am either to soft, or too aggressive and he told me that we are learning to modulate our responses sensitively and sharply, so we can be neutral. Aikido is known as the way of harmony and its a defensive art, so it was about training engagement and responsiveness.
With more time, I naturally started protecting myself more in class, being sharper and clear with my partners who were often men, getting up more quickly when I was thrown, having less doubt about my capabilities, and being aware of space around me. My Sensei taught me that I was meant the be at the center of my movement like he was the center of his movement.
There are so many lessons, I could go on and on. I think of everything I have practiced, martial arts has been the most transformative for me.
Q: Please send a link to a song that inspires you.
Q: If you’d like to share anything else for this last one, you’re free to plug upcoming classes/ workshops, share a poem or a quote…Totally up to you!
A: I share my writing and journey about Embodied Education on my instagram @lifeinbody and on my website lifeinbody.com
If you are in Los Angeles, we teach a movement class every Tuesday in Venice and we would love to have you.
Stay in touch with Galia
Links to my websites and social media
Facebook: Galia B. Love