I'm thrilled to be joining the Dance Alive team as an Inner Rhythms teacher! Dance Alive has helped shape every aspect of my life, from my health, to my relationship with my wife Meghan, to my career. I have no idea where I'd be without it! So it's an amazing and humbling honor to have been invited to teach Inner Rhythms.
Inner Rhythms is the practice of sharpening one's awareness around the activity that is always happening inside the body. As we drop deeply into a state of "non-doing," we access the deep layers of intelligence within that form the foundation of who we are.
My fascination with the inner workings of the body began a week after becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in 1999. As I lay motionless in a hospital bed, the morphine that I had been given began to wear off, and for the first time since the accident, I was lucid. Terror swept in and I was consumed by the deepest, darkest depression that I had ever experienced. It was a live or die moment, and my intuition told me to breathe deeply. As I turned my attention inward to my breath, my conscious mind went into a state of complete surrender. I became the breath, moving effortlessly in and out of my body. I suddenly knew exactly what the ancient yogis and masters of meditation were pointing to when they focused on the breath.
I had a deep commitment to heal, and that energy led me to Emilie Conrad, founder of Continuum Movement. I studied privately with her for years with the goal of recovering function in my body. While my efforts with Emilie didn't lead to me becoming able-bodied again, I found something more profound. I discovered that through engaging with my body and breath on the subtlest of levels, I could become more whole as a human being. My paralysis began to serve as a gateway into movement.
Years later, I studied Transformational Breathing, which added another skill to my breathing toolkit. I learned how to alter my consciousness at will with only my breath and found that the breath could remove emotional holding patterns more efficiently than anything else.
When I found Mariane and Dance Alive in 2012, I began to take my somatic work to a whole new level. Dance Alive created the bridge between movement, breath and all aspects of what it means to be living in a human body and participating in culture. It was the most integrated practice that I had ever discovered. In the Dance Alive community, I found the most open and growth-oriented people I had ever known, and I continue to learn with them every day.
Dance Alive inspired me to begin my own practice of meditation, breathwork and coaching, called Zen Warrior Training. Zen Warrior Training is based in the understanding that embodied wisdom and presence is our greatest power. Through private sessions, workshops, speaking engagements and online content, I have had the good fortune of influencing thousands of people with my story, philosophy and teachings.
When I am not teaching Zen Warriors, I often play and compose music. A professional guitar player by training, I currently enjoy it as a hobby as I pursue my coaching work.
In addition to music, I am an avid outdoorsman and love nothing more than spending time carving down mountains on my sit ski, an adaptive ski which allows me to ski sitting down.
My hope is that one day all these different elements of my life can come together in a cohesive whole! After all, what's more Zen than playing music and skiing?
I am excited about being a part of the Dance Alive team and bringing my unique experience and energy into Inner Rhythms classes!