Moving Toward Love: A Q&A with Amara Pagano

Amara Pagano is the creator of Azul, a conscious movement practice that harnesses the body’s intelligence to facilitate inner healing and evolution. She’s been teaching movement as a spiritual practice for 25 years. In this Q&A, Amara describes the origins of Azul, how it works, and why there’s no way to do it “wrong.”

What inspired you to create Azul? What modalities, training, and life experience did you draw from? 

Azul was born as a synthesis of my background with movement as a healing art and the path of self-knowledge developed by my current teacher, Prem Baba. The inspiration to create Azul came as a result of the connection to my teacher and from a deep desire to share the transformation I experienced in my own life. 

I trained with Gabrielle Roth and taught 5Rhythms internationally for 18 years, first at my own 5Rhythms studio in Olympia, Washington, and then directing the conscious dance program at the Studio Maui in Hawaii. It was in Hawaii that I met Prem Baba and understood that I was being guided to utilize movement to support the journey of awakening consciousness. 

What type of movement is involved in Azul? Is it usually done with a partner, alone, in a group?

Azul utilizes free-form movement, meaning that students are not instructed to follow choreography. They are supported and guided to discover their own individual movement by listening to their body and just allowing it to move.  

During classes and workshops, we work with all levels of relationship: dancing alone or with a partner and connecting to the group as a whole. In Azul, we create a group field that supports individuals to encounter themselves.

Why does moving our bodies have such a powerful impact on our emotions?

Moving brings memories and emotions stored in our bodies to surface, allowing us to witness and process our feelings. When we move, emotions that we were unable to feel find a space to be expressed. This creates aha moments where, suddenly,  awareness and understanding occur. 

In the practice of Moving Towards, what are we moving towards?

We are moving towards life! Life is an amazing teacher and is always guiding us towards what we are here to learn and integrate in our soul’s journey. The orientation of Moving Towards supports us in the knowing that all of our life experiences are part of it, and that there are no mistakes in the cosmic mail delivery service. Therefore, we can choose to keep moving towards all that life is asking of us. 

How do people benefit from an Azul program or practice? Can they take this practice home with them?

Azul leads people towards greater ease and joy. It is a path of personal transformation that fosters the awakening of love through a specific map of self-knowledge. All Azul programs provide participants with practical tools designed to support them in their daily lives. 

For people who are self-conscious about dancing or moving in public, how do you help them find greater ease?

There is no way to do this practice “wrong.” This is an important element that eliminates a lot of internal stress around getting it “right.” Participants quickly discover that there is beauty and freedom in moving their bodies, and that it feels good. The upward spiral begins when you move and feel good and want to move some more.

This work is not about dancing as we typically think of it. It is about the power of the moving body to connect to our deeper Self. This Self is love, and Azul is a journey of moving towards love.

Find out about upcoming programs with Amara Pagano at Kripalu.

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