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EP49 - Ecstatic Dance and The Ongoing Inner Awakening for a Joyful Life with Andrea Dominguez

Updated: Apr 15

On today’s podcast, I’m excited to collaborate with Andrea Dominguez as we explore awakening to the inner world and finding joy in being alive through music, dance, and somatic practices.

Andrea shares her journey as a somatic life coach and encourages listeners to align themselves with what feels good.

We dive deeper into:

  • The concept of somatic awakening and how it needs to happen over and over again!

  • The significance of living life from the inside out: it's the only thing you have control over.

  • How her career in Art laid a foundation for her somatic work

  • What is Ecstatic Dance? How is it different than going to a club?

  • Death and how it brings us closer to life, god, and our aliveness

And so much more!!

Meet Andrea Dominguez, a heart-centered leader based in Los Angeles. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree, is a certified Mastery Method Life Coach, Mental & Emotional Release Therapy® Practitioner, Breathwork and Ecstatic dance facilitator, and DJ.

She enjoys weaving together all of her unique and powerful practices, customizing her coaching based on where you are now, where you want to go, and who you need to be to experience it.

Her mission is to empower you to embrace yourself fully with grace and love so you can get aligned with your authentic desires, transform inner limitations, and create a life that really feels GOOD!

Andrea's expertise in the realm of breathwork facilitation recognizes the profound influence conscious breathing has on tapping into one's inner wisdom and vitality by releasing emotional blockages and finding clarity on a journey to wellness.

As an ecstatic dance facilitator and DJ, her infectious passion for music and dance serves as a conduit for others to connect with their bodies and emotions. Through eclectic selections and uplifting beats, participants release, express, and heal through the magic of dance.

Working with Andrea Dominguez, you'll experience not just a coach, facilitator, or DJ but a guide to the realms of personal transformation, self-discovery, inner alignment, joy, and FUN!

● Living My Vision Worksheet Download

● 3 Coaching Sessions (first come, first served)

Upcoming Events

February 5th - 9th ONLINE

February 18th - In-person, Los Angeles area

Follow her:

Soundcloud: ⁠dredominguez⁠


A: Every day, there is a forgetting, and every moment, there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your Soma. 

A: Hello and welcome to Free Your Soma, Stories of Somatic Awakening, and How to Live from the Inside Out. I'm Aimee Takaya, and today I'm here with Andrea Dominguez. She's a certified life coach, ecstatic dance facilitator, and breathwork facilitator. She serves individuals that are out of crossroads. 

Maybe they feel stuck; they're in transition and looking to align themselves with what feels good. So I'm so excited to share Andrea and her story and her work with all of you because we are actually doing a collaboration together later in the week. And I feel so honored to get to work with her. I got to experience an online breath work session with her last year, and also some of her music, and I just find her energy really grounding and also delightful. 

And that's a really appropriate combination to have, I think, in a somatic life coach and also in an ecstatic dance facility. Yeah. So we're going to get into all of that today. We're going to talk about what is somatic and what is a somatic life coaching like philosophy versus maybe a more standardized life coach philosophy and also about Andrea's individual journey. So welcome, Andrea. Say hello to our audience. 

AD: Hello, everybody. I am so, so excited to be here. It was really nice to have a few minutes with Aimee just kind of chit-chatting, you know, about life before we even started the podcast, you know, and it's really great when you get connected with individuals who are vibrating at the same frequency as you. And one of the things Aimee just said was, you know, living life from the inside out. And for me, that's a really big mantra in my practice and for myself because that's really the only thing we have control over. 

A: Oh, yeah, you can say that again. Definitely. 

AD: It's really the only thing we have control over. Oh, wait. 

A: Oh, yeah. No, we can put that as like a little beat in like, you know, in like one of the songs, you know, just like tap that in there. 

AD: Yeah. I love that. I mean, that's definitely my big one of my goals for the next year is to kind of elevate my own practice in the music world anyways, start creating with some other collaborators and maybe create some tracks and things where, you know, kind of putting in those kinds of mantras and things with music and yeah, we'll see where that goes. But I'm getting tangential. 

A: Yeah. And that's welcome here. You're welcome to share anything that comes up that you feel like; that's something I want. Right. Or yeah. That was this very conversational the way I run the podcast. But being said, we're also going to kind of flash back a little bit to your story to kind of how you came to be a somatic life coach or a somatic person, right? Because there's often an arc that we go through when we even discover, you know, what the word somatic means, you know, there are people that are listening who maybe don't really have a grasp of that yet. I can relate because that was me the first few years that I was encountering this kind of philosophy. So yeah, wherever on your timeline you want to start, tell us a bit about this journey for you. Yeah. 

AD: So I would say I love life, you know, it's so secure. It is, well, maybe first for some of us anyways. For me, it was interesting even thinking about the designation of a somatic life coach, right? Because I could just say I'm a life coach. But I feel like, for me, that's important to make that signifier because the understanding of your body's intelligence and the wisdom being brought into the aspect of trying to, you know, quote-unquote, change your mind or change of behavior or change in action is really important. 

I lived a big chunk of my life, really just dropped inside of my brain. And I'm creative. I mean, all kinds of wonderful creative things come out of my mind. And I used to think, oh, yeah, I'm pretty in touch with my body. And I mean, I was, of course, but there were some moments, and I'll talk about them, where it's like, wow, no, I really needed another deepening inside of my own body intelligence. I was following logic intelligence. 

I was following something that I thought was really well thought through and making decisions sometimes for that and ignoring or not even knowing that there was an inner intuition intelligence, which was to me akin to what my body is telling me and giving me that. So, well, if I'm going to dump on the timeline, what led me here was, I would say, I came out of an art practice. So for me, I have a master's degree in fine art. I taught art.

I used to teach at the Orange County Museum of Art out here in California. And that was beautiful and wonderful. And even as an art practitioner teaching arts, for me, everything was about what I used to say, kind of that space in between. You know, I used to love to do performance art and performance pieces and really having people, I would feel so good if someone went, wow, I just had a moment where I pause and I kind of reflected. 

That for me was really huge. I lived in that world for a while and had really fantastic experiences. And then I was like, well, OK, now what? 

Now, I don't know if anybody out there is into numerology, but later in my life, I discovered that I'm a five. So I like new things. I'd like continuing to follow, right? 

And the flow and give me something new and just keep following and following. You know, fast forward, I was giving hospice care to my grandfather, who for me was like a father figure and still me is, even though he's crossed over. And I thought I had a pretty good grasp and understanding of what I thought, you know, afterlife would be like or being OK with death. 

And just something about knowing that's where he was going. I just I was like, oh, my gosh, it was another layer of the onion. You know, oh, but am I really OK with all this? I was really in an existential crisis. I was like, oh, my God, I'm depressed. I don't understand what's happening. Do I even know? 

Oh, my gosh, I've never found it in all the religions that I've gone to for me personally. What? What? What? 

And a friend recommended someone to me for a breath. Rick, who I have been wanting to go to. And I kept asking him, who could you please send me? Could you please? And he never, never, never, never, and literally one day I'm down at my grandfather's house, which is down in San Diego. It's it's, you know, an hour and a half away from where I was living. My friend finally reached out and said, hey, here's the person you should go see. He's doing something down there in San Diego. Check it out. 

I hopped on my online and it just so happened, something was happening the next night and I was planning on leaving the next morning. I said, OK, well, I'm going to stay and I'm going to go. This is perfect alignment. And I went to this breath work event and I. My mind just blew my, blew my soul out of my body. I mean, in a good way, because I blew my socks off, but, you know, and I went, oh, my gosh, it was the most powerful and most beautiful experience I had had to date at that time, where I felt both simultaneously so embodied and not. 

I can't describe it for any of you, maybe had those kinds of. And for me, awakening is an ongoing thing. Like I'm always continually having these moments of like, oh, that's right. I keep awakening to this thing that I am. And that was definitely one along that thread, that timeline. I thought, if I can experience, if I can give this to anybody else, I'm in. And so happens, they were having a training. So they were saying, hey, we're doing a facilitator training. And my mind was like, what are you going to do? You're going to facilitate. Rapper in my heart with a. I said, OK, I can't. 

I can't do this next one you have, but I'll put my deposit down and I'll do the second time around whenever it comes back around again. And that led me to coaching, facilitating breathwork to getting to coaching because breathwork, I found I could facilitate individuals and really deepening that connection to their body through their breath. Then we would have these moments where they would have these deep epiphanies and ahas to things that they wanted to shift or let go in their life. 

And they would come back. But I recognized I wanted to deepen my practice as a practitioner. And so the somatic life coaching felt like another way for me to broaden that container and go, great, I can offer this as an aspect, the breathwork, but I can have somatic coaching and then really help people grounded into something specific, you know, and ah, something is great. 

But if it's not applied on the rubber meets the road into something for me, then I was like, oh, how do you keep that alive? And so the life coaching got me to say, OK, great. So what is that? 

What is that that you experience, and how do you want that to continue to show up in your life? Great. You're wisdom. Great. Let's do this. And now there's accountability. Now there's all these other tools. That's kind of a roundabout way to breathwork to life coaching. 

A: Yes, I mean, I really, first of all, I appreciate what you said about the awakening process being this continuous, ongoing thing. And I mean, it makes sense because we don't just wake up once, you know, over the course of a week or a year, we wake up every morning, right? 

So of course, our consciousness is like constantly going through that same cycle, you know, of like kind of darkness or like a downturn and then an awakening. And what's interesting is it's like kind of like the ocean. There's these bigger and smaller waves of it. And it sounds like when you went through this experience with your grandfather's passing; there was a really big wave that was going on. Like there was a really deep, dark kind of undertow that you were in for a minute, right? 

AD: Oh, yeah. 

A: You emerged into this bright light of experience in your body through that breathwork session, through that specific person's facilitation. And it sounds very aligned, like in so many ways, like, you know, that you happen to go down there and there's something happening the next day and that there's a facilitator training and you have that little voice in your heart just jumping, you know, and saying, let's do it. 

That you followed those cues, you know, and that speaks to, you know, that in some ways, even though you probably didn't really know that much about the word somatic, you were already a somatic person in a way because you were an artist. And art, especially art that, you know, I think all art in its own way is very physical, even if you're, you know, not like doing performance art, but specifically performance art where you're using your body is a very somatic thing to do, you know, and to really be asking yourself like, you know, interesting questions and then evoking, you know, those interesting questions for other people to ask themselves through observing you. 

So in many ways, like you were already connected to the somatic world, you just didn't know it. And this was like an initiation into a more like, you know, specific route of using that body intelligence and cultivating your body intelligence so that you could serve others in this very particular way. 

AD: Yeah, that's really beautiful. Thank you so much for tying that together. Absolutely. 100 percent. I think that it was a route to also integrate it, right? That it was happening there. It was happening like, oh, you know, that's the artistic thing. And then having it become something where again, where it's on the level of like, oh, my beingness, who am I? Why the hell am I here? What am I doing? 

What do we do? You know, all those things again and then integrating that awareness, like you said, yeah. Hmm. OK, then that is in deeper than my creativity, that in tune meant. That's even a word. 

A: But yeah, yeah, it is. You know, we start kind of generally, I mean, we start in the external. We start at the surface. We start in the identity. And then, as you just said, it goes further beyond identity into who is the being underneath this ever-changing, shifting world of like I am, you know, and we evolve over the course of our lives. 

We shift and change, and evolve. And that's very helpable when you're watching someone go through a death process, you know, it's interesting because you're having this conversation. I've been having this conversation, like in the last week, like four different times where people are talking about how death and having someone close to them, you know, not actually past sometimes, but be close to passing, brought them into this deeper connection with not only themselves but with like, you know, God, the universe, you know. 

AD: So, yeah, it's just, again, it's also that same dynamic of, you know like we kind of said that cyclical thing of the arcs and the sign waves of awakening is this up and down. 

And for me, I think it's the same thing as with a lot of individuals with, you know, being alive and understanding death, you know, oh, here you get this close call, oh, you have somebody here, something. And then, oh, my gosh, that's right. This, you know, like you said earlier, hey, we wake up. Hopefully, we wake up every day and not taking that for granted. Not taking for granted, just the being alive. 

A: Yeah, you know, it's funny because I don't want to be like one of those people that just rags on the term woke or anything, but we don't just do it once. 

Yeah. So it's the death thing as kind of this metaphor for life, meaning that, you know, we're only, how do we know we're alive? Well, because we could also not be alive, right? It's that dichotomy of like those two different energies that sort of pull on us. And here's one where I'd love to get in connected in here with a little bit of the music and PJ is that that is how you make music. 

You only have a rhythm because of contrast between like sound and no sound between like, you know, the difference between beats starts to make layers of sound. Right. That's literally how it works. Otherwise, it would just be like one tone and nobody would necessarily dance things to that. 

AD: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think we're well, that's great. Because I think I love, we're going to get to kind of dive in and out of all the different things here in our conversation, but in ecstatic dance, right? And for any of the listeners who have done it or just dancing in general, but in particular, the flow of ecstatic dance help maybe initially, it was set up. 

But also for me, when I'm facilitating it is that arc, everything's kind of being the arc, the slowly, a warming, awakening, kind of reconnecting again. You know, you've been busy all week long. Holy shit. I'm stressed. Breathe. Here, I'm going to go back into my body and and being guided to arise again. 

And then that arc of speeding up, speeding up, go, go, go. Yes. Yes. Yes. Now you're here. Now let's move. Now let's. Okay. And, you know, and then kind of coming back out again. Yeah. 

A: And I think that having. Facilitation for that and having a group of people who are intentionally going through that process together, like you do in an ecstatic dance event. You know, this is why I'm so excited for our event because we have another layer, which is the somatic movement element to, you know, your ecstatic dance facilitation and really take people through like a deep arc. But beyond that, like what you just described, we're taking people through a journey in their nervous system from whatever stress they've been maintaining out of that stress state into a place where they can actually tap into the rhythm of their own body, the rhythm of their own heart. And they can start to like release that stress but also come back to a lower baseline than they were when they started. 

Right. And I think for like a lot of people, maybe if you've ever been someone who's just gone out to a club, like you want to go dancing, usually what people need in order to feel comfortable is I need a few drinks. They need to throw back a few drinks, and they need to decompress a bit. They're awkward when they first start dancing. 

They're self-conscious. Yeah. They need that like space to kind of, like you said, you know, dropped out of that stress state. Yeah. Sort of get into the groove, but there's a totally different approach when you go to an ecstatic dance. Yes. You have a conscious facilitator who's there to guide you through this process. You don't need alcohol to get there. 

AD: No, that is one of the biggest differentiating factors. And for those who haven't done or looked into like, what is extended? I've heard about it. Well, how is that different? You know, it's set up as an opportunity. It's a somatic practice. It is a way to go. 

All right. Let me get my body moving in a way that my body is guiding me. I'm not there to, you know, go. 

I like going out to, to hear music and clubs and things like that, but it's look, you're there to really, how can you tune into your body's flow and rhythm and movement and giving yourself the freedom to say, wow, I just wanted like shake up and down like a crazy person. I don't know why. Great. The opportunity to do that movement without the connection to a thought pattern is great, although maybe that movement may open up something that, holy shit, I didn't even know that was really bugging me. So, you know, it can be either, or you can move towards something and not have the thought pattern or moving, and the thought pattern comes in and get the opportunity to release it. It's a substance-free environment, and there's no talking on the dance floor. So you get to be on this dance floor, be in your zone. Now you can dance with other people, but there's a permission of that. 

You kind of look, your vibe, and, hey, is somebody kind of in their own zone? You know, I'm not going to approach them. And, and, hey, you know, someone can come up to you and maybe try to initiate to do some partner dancing or flow with you, and you get the acknowledgment. Okay. Then you do, or if you're not, you just kind of put your hands together and bow. And you, you know, thank you. I'm not interested right now. And you move on, and you just get down. 

A: Yeah. No, I mean, I fell in love with ecstatic dance from the moment that I had my first experience with it. And I think from that point forward, I was just like personally, anytime I was anywhere dancing, I was internally ecstatic dancing and kind of in that zone. Like I literally, nobody ever told me like in, you know, that you can just, I mean, I experienced that in other like active meditations. 

Like I did active meditations where they gave you like that signal of like, if you're in this nonverbal place, you just kind of nod to someone and bow, and that's letting them know like, oh, no, I'm not available for mental stuff right now. I'm in a different place. Right. I mean, my body realm and I'm not, I'm not going to drop out of that and go into like talky mode. Right. Yeah. 

AD: And it's funny because I mean, I have loved dancing since, you know, since I was, you know, a baby holding myself up against a couch and my diapers, dancing to Elvis Presley and, you know, ecstatic dance was gosh, more of a newer experience for me. I'd always heard I knew; I was like, oh, yeah, yeah, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. That's not for me. Oh, it's like, you know, and there's, you know, so funny how we have all these perceptions of the kind of individuals that would go to when I first heard, I'm like, oh my gosh, no, I'm not that wild and free. 

You know, that's why I just didn't do it. And I had friends that I would go dancing with. And if I could find, you know when I would find a good vibe if I would go to a music event, especially day dancing parties, where would be fun for me. Like, oh my gosh, that's my intention was to go. Gosh, I just want to hear some great music, and I just want to get out of my mind. And I don't mean like, you know, in a substance out of my mind, I just wanted to get out of my mind and just get into a rhythm and groove and just dance it out. 

You know, and then, oh, discover, hey, there's, wait, there's this, oh, that's what is ecstatic dance too. Oh, you're in this, this other container, and this way to actually go, and not that is the intention behind that. That is the opportunity there behind that. So it's always been there for me to want to do that. 

A: I think maybe even just the word ecstatic can kind of be for some people like a little intimidating, you know, because we tend to think, I mean, obviously, there's a drug called ecstasy that's kind of intense. There's also this idea that you know, things that are ecstatic or that, you know, in places where we're experiencing ecstasy as like a feeling in our bodies that we're going to be out of control or that it's going to be overwhelming or that maybe it's going to be sexual. Like maybe there's a lot of people unpack around that word that can feel intimidating. 

AD: Yeah, I absolutely agree, Amy. I thought about that a lot and especially as somebody who, you know, I've been putting on events of my own for a while now of different types, you know, whether it's a, you know, a breath ceremony or, you know, coaching this combo, you know, my own ecstatic dance. And I've thought about that because sometimes language can turn people off to the exploration of it. And I don't think I really had an answer to it, but it's like, yeah, I like that she brings that up because I thought about that too, you know, and don't let ecstasy, you know, for any of you who, who've heard about that or wondered, you know, I put off going and trying it for a long time as well, just based on my own perceptions. And, you know, if you're interested in you love dancing and you haven't find a community around where you live, you know, there's so many in the Los Angeles area and they're all across the U S and globe. 

Try it and try it again. You know, because the wonderful part about that is too is each DJ, each space, again, they also have their own vibe and energy, and you can kind of, kind of play around and go, Oh, hey, there's this kind of feel here, and there's this kind of feel, and there's that. And you just kind of treat it like a playground. So I encourage everyone to try it. If you have a little teeny tiny interest, say yes. 

A: Sure. I agree. I mean, I think that it's even a really great spot for someone who maybe is not considered themselves. Like they're not like, I'm not a dancer. I don't. But it's like a place where they could go to, like maybe explore that side of themselves without any judgment from anybody else, because it's such a place of like acceptance of however your body wants to move, you know, and there's not like these kinds of rules, or nobody's standing around like looking at you like, you know, rating you like maybe you feel like people are at a club or something. 

You know, if you're there to like meet somebody, like it's a different environment. So, you know, what I'm excited about in terms of bringing the somatic, the Hannah somatic movement element is that another barrier that sometimes gets in people's way of wanting to, you know, dance or do any kind of like more active movement in their bodies is if they have like tension and discomfort and pain in their body that they live with because maybe they've had the experience of, you know, they feel like, oh, I want to go dancing or I want to go on that run or I want to do that thing. 

But then halfway through the experience, their lower back is hurting a lot, or their neck is hurting, you know, or maybe it doesn't happen during maybe during they feel pretty good. But then, like the day after, their body is just like wrecked, or they're like limping from the event because their muscles were already tight when they started, and then they did all this really, you know, big, you know, fun movement. But it stopped being fun once the pain started coming. Yeah. Right? 

And so what I'm really looking forward to in this event that we're creating together, you know, and what I've also like really, you know, we will talk about this eventually, but I've imagined like retreats that would be like ecstatic dance and somatic movement. And it would be like experience, you know, we could bring in breath work, and there's a whole somatic element here that could be explored right through our bodies and through creating like more capacity for joy in our bodies is like what happens when we break through that barrier of it's going to hurt and we actually create balance and ease and calm in the muscles of your body before you go into this experience. 

AD: Yeah. I think the word that's coming to me is the spaciousness. Right. And I am excited to have the first portion of the workshop that we're creating together is this opportunity for individuals to be working with you to actually create some more space first, you know, because you don't know what you don't know until you know it. Right. 

Yeah. And, and holy crap, I didn't know I was so freaking tight, you know, in my arm, in my neck, in my back, because, you know, you're busy living your life. And the way I experienced your practice is just the subtleness of it. You're just like, Whoa, what? And I didn't recognize that, that felt that way here. And just with the subtle movements and the way you facilitate and how you educate these movements inside the body is like, all of a sudden you're like, it's all the side feels like, all of a sudden it's dry and open. 

And the other side feels like it shrunk, you know what? Okay. Now we can do this on the other side. So, you know, you're going to really give individuals this opportunity again to tap in, to open up, to remove pain. And again, just openness. 

Because we can really, it's hard to explore. And again, of course, inside of a dance, you know, hey, if somebody wants to dive in and just go straight dance and I know I'm tight, I'm going to go do this and start moving around great. But, hey, I didn't realize I was holding so tightly. Well, now you're open to now you can start to go dance. 

Now you can start to even take up even more space, not only just inside your body but in the physical world, taking more space and being okay to be you in the physical space and be more open energetically, which in turn allows us to be more open, interiorly with ourself, with our emotions, with what's going on. Right. 

A: And we're transparent with others because we know what we have going on inside. Absolutely. Share it versus being a little bit cloudy and confused and not really sure what's going on, and someone asks you how you are, or there's an opportunity to connect with somebody, and you're like, not sure what to say because you don't know where to start, you know because it's not clear to you what's been going on. Yeah. Having that inner connection is like going to allow you to have that sense of community with other people more easily. Yeah. 

AD: And I think the other thing too with that is, you know, there's sometimes an element of fear and vulnerability. Right. There is. Let's face it. You know, two men being sometimes like, Oh my gosh, you know, I'm married. 

I want to share something with my husband. Oh, no. Is he going to be upset? 

Is he, you know, how's this and what? And, and being able to bring fear along for the ride, regardless of what it is you're doing to me, is the gift because never experiencing fear is unrealistic. Never having it, you know, maybe it will diminish in certain areas, but maybe shows up here, but, you know, Hey, on the dance floor and moving your body, the fear. 

And I imagine as a practitioner, I mean, you were like, Oh my, I don't want to do that. Oh, that, but that hurts so bad. I don't want to push through that. 

Here's where that barrier is. So I'm going to keep on staying here. And the more you stay there and the longer that goes on, the more it becomes ingrained in the body, the more that thought pattern becomes ingrained in the mind, and so on and so on and so on.

So it's the opportunity to keep being with that fear and still having it and going through that, opening up more space to be with it and bring it along and opening and opening and opening, and when you dance, and you're doing something, you're going through on this dance floor, you're just letting yourself go. You know, I feel like it all, it just keeps on circling back into itself in a really positive way. And it does give us more courage to be vulnerable in areas. 

A: Yeah. And what you just said, I feel like is such an important distinction between what somatic work offers people, whether it's in a life coaching realm or whether it's in dance or whether it's in, you know, the bodywork that I do. 

Yeah. The concept of going with our experience and going with ourselves. You just said that, like instead of, you know, we're talking about fear, and you're saying, how can I go with that, with the fear or bring the fear along with me versus a lot of nomenclature ways of speaking about this might be like push through the fear, right? Push through the fear, push, pass the barrier. 

And this is a totally different approach of not actually trying to allow past our limitations, but understand and respect them and start to dance with them and start to invite them to be part of us and acknowledge their, because they're there for some reason. They're always there. Our emotions, our feelings, they always exist in us for some very, very good reason that we may not be in touch with. And in getting in touch with it, you start to see that limitation that you previously experienced, whether it's physically in your body, just kind of melt away or get less and less, you know, and like you said before, like, there's no such thing as like having a life with no fear, but we can be fearless. We can have less. Yes. 

I like to tell people that with like the concept of fear. Less. A little less. Like painless, you know, we think of painless. That doesn't mean no pain. 

No. Limitless doesn't mean no limits. It's not like we're just going to like, there was no limits. We would no longer be in a body. We would just sort of like float off into the ether as like a no-thingness, right? But we have to have these limits. We have to have this contrast of like nothing and something, right? 

The zero and the one. So there's this contrast. And it's through these practices, we can fearless. We can have painless. 

We can have less. less limits in life. And that is really, you know, what I think freedom is, is having those choices and being able to modulate ourselves in the moment. 

AD: Yeah, I think it's the freedom to be with the full range of emotions that we have as a human being. And it's very easy to designate something as either a good feeling or a bad feeling. Oh, well, then I don't want the bad, quote-unquote, bad feelings. And like you can either try to force forcefully something or, for me, the other thing too is sometimes just bypassing it. And that's just as bad. Right. 

A: That's like avoidant, right? That's like, right? 

AD: That's like putting frosting up a shit pie. I mean, that sounds okay, you know, and really being with it and being able to go, it's okay to be with that. And you made a really great point inside of that is, well, what is that? 

Oh, you know, the body will start here. I am in this dynamic. I'm talking to somebody else. I don't even recognize because it's happening just so it instantaneous. I mean, my body is tensing up. I'm my stomach's getting weird. I'm starting to restrict myself. 

I want, you know, because I don't like me. What I think or I'm perceiving this person is starting to say, I'm already going there. And I'm like, Oh, gosh, oh, gosh, fear, fear. Oh, danger, danger, Will Robinson, whatever. And now everything is shut down. 

Right. My nervous system is shutting down. I'm not operating on all my cylinders, you know, and the connection between my heart, mind and my brain are constricted. 

Well, how am I being with my full range of self enabled to be in this conversation in this dynamic? Right. So there's a trigger in there. There's something. 

Well, what is that? You know, it's like working with you, working with someone who's a somatic coach, you know, now if it's something of bigger trauma, of course, and you're working with your therapist and that, but being able to go, Okay, can I slow down? I'm recognizing tension. 

I can give it some identification. Welcome, Ms. Presence, to be here. And like, what exactly is it saying to me? 

What exactly is the wisdom that's being offered here? And then that's where the work is. That's where the opportunity is like, Oh, all right, I can be here. 

I can breathe through that. I can go through that and having a container, having a practitioner, someone to be with you to tap into that completely aligned and embodied wisdom. Now you're like, Okay, what's the real truth here? The real truth is, you know, not my fear, instantaneous fear, you know, to me, that's what somatic coaching, somatic work is about. And we live in a time where there's so many wonderful practices out there to support individuals in becoming more fully online themselves. 

A: Yeah, yeah, totally. And I think, you know, what you described before about the physiological reaction that somebody can be having internally simply to like listening to someone talk, you know, and maybe they're picking up on things like the person's tone of voice, maybe the person looks like somebody that they used to know. And all of that information is being processed by their body instantaneously. 

And their mind is coming up with like a explanation of like why they're having that experience, right? Maybe they're making, you know, they're pigeonholing, Oh, this person has this political view, or they must be this about this kind of person, or they must hold these values. And there's these projections of like what they think is happening. 

But really, most of what they're responding to is their somatic experience of that person. And it's happening inside of them. And so a lot of times we look out into the world and we say the problems out there, right? And then there's this kind of switcheroo where we realize, Oh, maybe, maybe I'm the problem or maybe the problem is inside of me. 

Right. And then there's another layer where we go, Oh, maybe it's not a problem. Maybe it's just part of a learning process. Maybe it's just part of a process of discovery. 

You know, and I think that what you also said before, which is really great distinction is that the services that you and I offer, you know, they are not designed to just be like the one thing that you do. A lot of times my clients, and maybe you can speak to this also, are people who've already done some years of topography, who've already started to unpack these things in their consciousness in their body that have been going on for a while. But they're ready for deeper integration of that. They're ready for like real time deeper integration of kind of the things that have been excavated. 

AD: Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, that's beautiful, because it is once, you know, you put the light on in the room or you start to be like, Oh, okay, what's what's that? I want to start navigating around here. I need to start getting these things out of the way. Oh, that felt good. 

But now I'm feeling a little crunchy over here. I want to feel a little more lightness in my being here, you know, and keep unwinding those coils in a way that just, you know, I can just, there's all kinds of crazy stuff happening in the world all the time, and it's ongoing and it will continue that way even after I'm gone and you're gone and most of these listeners are gone. But being able to be in the world with all the range of humanity, and with ourselves with a lot more space and a lot more grace for ourselves so we can have more grace for others. I mean, please, we need more of that. 

A: Oh, yes, absolutely. And the other thing that these practices foster, and I mean, I'm fully, I'm just so excited about what we're going to create energetically at this together, because when we start to really feel into ourselves and feel into what's been going on, and we start to invite in more spaciousness, more grace, I love that word that you just used, and also some of that, you know, maybe a little bit of that ecstasy that's possible experience through our bodies, right? 

Substance-free. Why not? Right? We just start to invite some of that in. This combination starts to really open us to, like you said, other people and create loving kindness, compassion, and, you know, we're calling our event Blossom Anu. 

Yes. The metaphor here is that we get to flower into our full essence, and we get to encourage and invite other people to do the same, because we create this container of like actual safety in ourselves first, safety to experience what's coming up, safety to move, however, our body needs to move, safety even to experience pain and discomfort, right? Because we know that it's not going to be there forever, that there's a way to navigate it, you know like you said, more grace and more ease. 

AD: Yeah, I think one of the most challenging, you know, it's challenging, and I lean into it, you know, and you referred to it a few moments ago about, you know, and I'll say it in my own terms, is there's no one out there. You know, we think it's out there. 

Something's out there, out there, out there, and of course there is, and there isn't, right? It's the yin and yang, it's the inner outer, the more we're able to be with our own, and I use the term messiness, because I, you know, always wanted to, you know, I'm recovering trying to be perfectionist, and I don't think that just came from this lifetime. I think it came from other lifetimes too, but being able to be with that, and the messiness is a good thing, because that is nature, you know, we're part of nature. 

And so the more grace, the more love I can bring for myself when I think I'm misbehaving, when I think I'm getting messy, when I'm not living up to my own expectations, when I've spoken to somebody in a way I didn't want to, you know, all the other things, we could list them all. The more healthy way I can be with myself with them, that doesn't mean removing responsibility, that doesn't mean not being an adult about it, and recognizing, oh, okay, great, I got it. 

I can have some creative criticism towards that, but in a way that's loving, and in a way that's like, hey, that is not define who I am, because that's how we define everybody else out in the world, oh, you know what, you screwed up with me, I'm never going to speak to you again, really? Okay, well, chances are that's probably how we are with ourselves, so the more, you know, we can be with ourselves in those ways, that our relationships outside just, I've seen it in my own life, just some people will drop away, and some things that you know, everything has a season, and then the other relationships are like, wow, this is just completely transformed, right, as a result of me loving myself more. 

A: Yes, yes, I mean, I'm sure we could go on a bit about like, marriage is such a catalyst for 

AD: that, yeah, survive being married, especially in this culture where like, there's a lot of like, mentality of like, oh, it's not working out, red flags, right? Yes, yeah, oh yeah, I'd be like that red flag thing, you know, it's like, oh, yeah, I should have seen that was a red flag, it's like, wow, you know, I must look like a mini golf course, because I have all kinds of red flags sticking around everywhere, you 

A: know, you know, and I also relate to the difficulty with messiness, you know, in preparation for this event together, and we've kind of alluded to it a few times, but we traded services, yeah, to experience the somatic bodywork with me, I got to have a life coaching session with you, and it was really, really beautiful. My body was very comfortable with you, I was very receptive, and the place that I'm out in my life right now, like, there's a lot of messiness that I'm contending with on a daily basis.

I'm in the middle of a big transformational move across the country, and what I so appreciated about the way that you facilitated was you had me tell my story, but you kind of slowed me down along the way of telling my story of what was bothering me, right, and you picked up on some really key components of that story, and you had me focus in there, and focus into those parts that were showing up in my body, and inviting me to notice how they were showing up, and I mean, at this point in my somatic journey, I've gotten the feedback from many people that I'm very coachable, right, in a good way, like not that I'm, you know, like a noodle in the wind or something, but I'm very coachable because I have this connection with myself through my self-trust. 

A: I trust myself, and I can also feel into another person pretty well now, and feel if they're vibrating at that same frequency that I can trust, you know, that they've done the personal work that they need to do to be able to hold that space for me, you know, in a place of like this groundedness, you know, you definitely carry, and so I love that session because, you know, even though we just had one, it was at this really perfect point, you know, in that week for me of things I was going through, and you just helped me narrow in not only on how I was feeling, but also on some very practical things that I could do to support myself, and you didn't give me those, you got me to give them. Yes, you got me. 

AD: I did my job. You asked the questions that helped me solve my own problem, and I think that that's really, as far as I understand it, that's like what, you know, effective life coaching really is, and somatic life coaching for sure is getting the person in touch with themselves, you know, it's the same way with my somatic movement. I am not guiding people in just some formula. I want real-time information, not just for myself, but for them to notice and experience what's going on in their body. 

I can't feel what's happening like in your legs or your hips, right? You can. And so you are the one to gather that information, and then I'm the facilitator there to help it make it easier for you to do something with that information, you know, and it's not going to be, you know, I'm not going to have the answer of what you should do. Your body has the answer. Yeah, absolutely, because you can't tell. You can. 

There's lots of that out there. Hey, let me tell you how to do something. Let me tell you, let me tell you, let me tell you how to do it. Great. Don't take my word for it. 

Try it out. Yes. And that really was, couldn't have been, I mean, it was actually the highest accolade of my facilitation for you, is that, you know, look, I asked you the questions that helped you get to your own answers because the methodology of that is really awareness, having awareness so you can get into an aligned action, right? Well, actually, it's awareness of something, acceptance, and then aligned action. 

A: Right. Yeah. Well, we have to be able to accept it to move anywhere with it. Yeah. 

AD: And it's like what we were saying earlier. I think that's the word that kind of summarizes a few moments ago we were talking about of really, you know, bringing the fear along or bring something and creating the space to accept the what is at that moment without judgment, without the story on top of it, you know, without the naming of it, because then you can go, oh, all right, well, it's here. And because the more you run from something, the bigger it gets, the more power it has over us, right? 

Yeah. As opposed to, okay, you know, all right, fear, what do you have to tell me? Oh, I haven't been having enough fun. Okay, you know, I got you. I got you. Let's go have some more fun, you know, and this is how I promise. 

A: And fun is so important in healing any kind of difficulty, like having fun, you know, because that's one of the first things to go when we get really stressed and when we're stuck in our fight or flight is we are not interested in any fun for the business. 

AD: It's serious business. Yeah, that's serious. It's got to be very significant, you know, everything's so freaking significant. And I think about when I look at, you know, different gurus from different, you know, practices that are out there in the world and you know, some of the ones that are for me personally, I grabbed to you like, I kind of glittery little trickster twinkle in your eye, you know, like the like, you know, don't make everything so serious. 

A: Yeah, because it starts to lighten us up. It starts just to bring us back into more of our, you know, childlike states, you could say, but also maybe the original state, you know, that we were all children at one point and had this openness and had this creativity, you know, and had this plasticity in our brains, where we could really just, you know, accommodate and evolve and like take in, you know, information and make it our own, you know, and it brings us back into that space, psychologically, physiologically, perhaps even, I don't know, all the studies that might be out there about it, about the effects of fun. Yeah. 

AD: But I mean, but even that thing, what you were saying there, and I know my teacher, you know, from my training, I'm certified with the Institute of Coaching Mastery with Alyssa Nobriga, and she was a licensed somatic psychotherapist. 

And she would kind of refer often to this, the different studies that say, look, you know, when we're able to, without all the things that have happened through our being, you know, our acculturation being, you know, how we're brought up all the, but a minute and a half if you can really be with an emotion and it just gets to move, it's like, then it's gone. Yeah. Like, oh, it's process is gone. 

Now you're like, I can move on. It's like a little kids are kind of like that. Oh, they get upset. If you can see them, they do something like, okay, you know, pretty quickly, okay, I'm done. Okay, well, but I want to go on to this other thing. 

A: Yeah. No, my son does that all the time. He's like, I hate you, mama, you're the worst mama ever. And then like 45 seconds later, he's like, hey, mom, want me to book? Yeah. 

AD: And you're like, oh, you're like, wait, wait, wait, what? And they do. And it's just, it's like a feeling. It's like something comes up and there's not this like, grasping onto it and holding it and then holding it and holding it and holding it. And then, you know, it's like the saying goes, you know, looking for agreement out in the world, we have a thought and something that's a limiting thought or belief. Oh, let me keep on looking out in the world for proof that that's true. Mm hmm. Yeah. As a protection mechanism, as opposed to, well, let me develop. Let's keep on looking for proof that, you know, the universe actually has my back. 

A: Yeah, there's a word for that. They call it pro noia. And it's the opposite of paranoia. It's the, the universe is like out there working for me. I was working in my favor pro noia. 

AD: Yeah. If any of you have not heard of Rob Brezny's horoscope, he has his newsletter for that. He is pro noia and oh my gosh, he's got to love that guy. I mean, he just sends the most in-depth newsletters and things for his astrology forecast and just precious. So, you know, look him up. 

A: Yeah. You know, I'm just so incredibly stoked for our event together coming up on February 18th. But I also, you know, want to give our listeners a moment to connect with your individual work. So, maybe you can describe, you know, because you have a couple of different modalities that you're working here, right? 

So as a like life coach, right? You work one on one with people. How do you, do you bring breath work into those settings or do you do breath work as a separate offering? You know, you might probably do groups. Can you just describe a little bit about how your practice functions? 

AD: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I'll circle back or kind of circle back a little bit. So, you know, listeners have now got a sense of, you know, who I am and what I'm about just by hearing a conversation that we've had going back and forth. And what I'm a stand for inside of being a practitioner is really to support my clients in feeling alignment, like inner alignment to the totality of who they are. So you can go do that thing that you've really been wanting to do, whether it's an exterior thing or an interior thing and experience those feelings that you want to be experiencing. Oh, you want to go get that job because you want to feel on purpose, because you want to feel like you're doing something that you love, right? That you're making a difference. You want to go take on painting again because that's just always been your heart's desire. And when you take on painting, you know, you're going to feel creative and you're going to feel fully self-express like that is the work, right? 

So you can experience living your life the way you want to live. So, Maddie Coaching really is about all of those things that Amy and I have been talking about. It's really helping my clients to integrate not only mindset, right, but using somatics and the wisdom of the body, bringing in emotions, bringing in the mental, looking at behaviors, and also working with the unconscious mind. So there's all those levels that we get to work with. And back to your question is how do I work? 

How do I facilitate the range? I work one-on-one. I do groups, group events, sometimes they're online, sometimes they're in person. 

Breathwork, I do it on its own because I find sometimes that's a great way for people to come and just use it as a form of active meditation. But I'll also, in working with someone, say, hey, look, I think this could be something that could really support you. So it's understanding, you know, we're such dynamic beings, some people may spend a lot of time in the mental space. And there's also awesome that the individuals are like, oh, I'm just, you know, I'm, I'm feel, I'm feel, I feel, I feel. And then maybe for them, it's like learning how to ground a little bit more down and go, okay, great, let me start putting something into that space, right? 

So none of them bad or good or better or worse, it's just tools, right, of how we get to do that. And then the ecstatic dance, sometimes I combo ecstatic dance with breathwork, done it on my own. I also do lots of DJ gigs on my own. But yeah, so if you are looking for support in your life, and you know, you're doing the things and you want to get some tools that will help you deepen your relationship to yourself so you can deepen your relationship to your life, I got you. 

I've got tools that you're going to learn and then implement them far after we're working together. I mean, that's the goal. I want to empower people to say, look, here's this different way of making decisions from this different space in your life. So that way you get to embody what that feels like. And then now that's your baseline, you know, we kind of get back to our baseline. So on my website, we'll give the link, see, reach out to me and, and I've got some really awesome freebies for all your listeners. So, yeah. 

A: Yeah, I saw that one that you're, you know, it's a limited supply, but you're offering three coaching sessions. That is really awesome offer. And if you're listening, whoever's listening, and you've been connecting with what we're, we're speaking about, Andrea, hop on that because that is really a juicy, special offer. So excited that you're offering that. 

AD: Yeah, it'll go fast. So, meaning to make that distinction is you, hey, you're kind of got something you're stuck. You'd like to talk to a coach about it and you really want to experience a new way. We're going to just dive right into it. And so that way you can experience and you can walk away with that. You will get something. I guarantee there's, there's no doubt in my mind. 

So reach out to me, jump on it. The other freebie I have is going to be a living my vision worksheet. It's downloadable. 

Again, there will be the link there that you can download the PDF. And this worksheet I use with every single client that comes onto me for a container, work with me inside of a container, because one of the distinctions of the life coaching, right? And why gosh, even in my training, so many individuals that were in this training program, and I'm not hearing coaches as well, we're therapists at one point. And then they moved into coaching because they wanted to bring in the element of accountability. They wanted to bring in, hey, I want to actually, great, let's talk about what's going on. But then let's have you move towards something and take the actions and doing the things where the rubber meets the road and the uncomfortableness comes to like really make a change. 

And a vision is kind of your North Star. What do you want? How do you want to feel? Right? And this vision works is just really lovely. Treat it like a nice date with yourself. Find a nice little place, spend some time. We're still the beginning of the year. You can kind of look out a year ahead from now, what you want to create in your life. So download it. Yeah. 

A: Definitely. Because I know from experience, you ask really great questions. So important to ask those great questions of ourselves to create more greatness in our lives. And a little bit further people about our event, it is going to be a three and a half hour joint workshop experience. So it's different than just like maybe a ecstatic dance meetup that you might find in LA, you know, where it's going to be a little bit of movement and then we're going to dance. We're going to hold you guys in a container, a container that Andrea and I are creating together with our joint experience and energy that is going to be very intentional. It's an intentional space for you to feel held safe and start to create that grace inside your body through the somatic movement, through the ecstatic dance facilitation. And it's small and intimate. We're not going to have like people there. We're going to have like max like 20 ish. Right? 

AD: Yeah. And so, if you're in the LA area, please, we would love to see you there and have your energy be part of the collective. And Aimee just spoke really well to that. It is going to be a really beautiful container. And you can see just in listening to how Aimee and I are integrating our conversation together. I think it flows quite fluidly is that the container itself is really an opportunity for you to deepen your own personal embodiment. Right? 

And just do some more exploration, whether you're seasoned with doing your own somatic work or whether it's something that you're curious about. Like, why I hear this term somatic thrown around a lot. And I don't know. And, you know, some of these little things are, we've got you covered in that. And this is going to be such a beautiful space. You're going to get some wonderful education from Aimee on things that will impact you. 

I guarantee you immediately, you know, Aimee talked a little bit about working with me, and I had the opportunity to receive some work with her and the subtleness, but it's so impactful. I mean, honestly, there were some movements that I did that were around, like my shoulder area. And I went, whoa. And I'm still like, wow, it kind of created a new circuitry for me in a way to go, oh, wait, there's that one. And then there's that, okay, no, that one's showing up again. Oh, no. Yeah. 

And it sounds a little out there, but it really is like that, oh, wait, you know, and I think that's an important thing because, again, it's about identifying which is the one that feels contracting, which is the one that feels expansion. 

A: Yeah, that's the solution, that contrast. 

AD: Yeah. So it's just delicious. And we're going to have that happening in the beginning. There's going to be conversation. There's going to be opportunities to really connect with each other and the other guests that are there. And then the movement, you know, I'll do a little bit of guidance through the ecstatic portion so we can build on what we've experienced with Aimee. And again, the theme is important. Right? 

We're going to be, it's in February, then it's going to be pretty soon. It's going to be springtime and blooming and starting to move and the energy is coming up again. So you start to open up and we're move into some music and, you know, I'm going to drop some bangers in there too. So we're going to be dancing at a good time. So. 

A: Oh, yes. No, this is, I've been dreaming of this for a while and I put it out there to, you know, my field of, you know, the connections I have. Yeah. And I just put my fishing line out there and you, you know, you came and I'm like, wow, yay. I love it. 

AD: Fantastic. So yes, we've got all the details there and, and Aimee will point you to where you can find all the deeds. 

A: You will; you can find out all the information about Andrea and her fabulous freebies in the show notes, also her website. And we'll also have a link to our event bright page for the event itself. If you want to skip the fees, you can also reach out to Andrea and I individually and buy your ticket that way. If you don't want to pay the event right fees, that's also an option. Right? 

AD: Blossom anew. Yeah. So if you're ready to blossom anything, you know, fully aspects of something of thought, you know, you've got a seed of something inside of you that, you know, you've been sitting on for a while. 

This container is going to be really fertile ground to bring that seed, have it be nourished, have you get connected to what is nourishing for it so it can germinate and start to bloom into reality. Yeah. 

A: Yes. Yes. I'm so thrilled and excited for this and for future collaborations that we may come up with together. And thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing again that delightful yet grounded energy that you carry that, you know, I think you really do exemplify like that five energy of creativity and, you know, newness and bringing in and innovating, right, our human experience. Yeah. 

AD: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Just I was very excited to be on your show. And again, just, you know, I think I said this at the beginning, and I'm going to look into it, am I giving Aimee just this acknowledgment before we even hopped onto the recording of, you know, who she is and what she's creating out in the world, right?

And as a mom, the stand that she is in being a container as a mom, but also as a practitioner and doing what she's doing in, in spite of, right, because so many people we could have reasons to not do things, but doing it with all of those things. You know, I want you all, any of you out there, you know, looking for finding ways or the right moment or the right time, you know, all of those elements, because that is false. There is no right time. There isn't. 

There's better times, but there's no right time. You know, this girl is committed to it. And, you know, she is out there making a difference, and she's doing it with her life the way her life shows up. So, you know, I'm really grateful to have met her to be part of this. Looking forward to seeing you LA people or people coming from somewhere else to come into LA to our event. Right. Thank you so much, Aimee. Thank you. 

A: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that acknowledgment. It has been, I'm going to be, there'll eventually be recording a podcast about the last six months of my life because it has been a doozy. It has been a roller coaster for sure. 

And yeah, and just the way that these somatic practices that both you and I offer develop that kind of adaptability and resiliency in our physical bodies and in our minds to be able to step out of that perfectionist, step out of that, you know, hesitancy, that belief that there's going to be a right time and it's going to be the right circumstances, right? And instead, be pragmatic enough to really work with what's in front of us. Bring our goals, bring our energy to full bloom regardless of the specific weather condition. 

AD: Yeah, with, I love that's a magic with. Yeah, definitely the magical with unicorn. 

A: Yes. Okay. Thank you, everybody, for listening, and yeah, look for all the information in our show notes, and yeah, we'll bring you more fun conversations soon. 

A: You've been listening to the Free Your Soma podcast to find out more information about today's guest; check the show notes, and to find out more information about me, Aimee Takaya, and the radiance program, visit

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