It is an activity which she says can really free those dealing with stress, anxiety, and sickness.
“It helps you to release emotional blocks, it helps you on a physical level,” she said. “With movement you can't think of anything else. When you give into the music, the mind is present.”
At first, Lupyan herself had a bit of a challenge getting into the rhythm of journey dancing.
“It was so unfamiliar because there isn't choreography, you're on your own and getting in tune with your body,” said Lupyan, who was used to the strict choreography of being a ballroom dancer. “But soon enough I felt the layers coming off.”
She said it made her feel good and free and she kept wanting more every day. That was in 2007. In 2010 she became certified as a Journey Dance teacher.
The dancing helps individuals to release that negative energy through their bodies. According to Lupyan, the mind becomes clear, free, and positive, and the body, energized. The dance can lead people to become more self-accepting.
It was created in the 1997 by Toni Bergins, a former high school English teacher turned dancer.
Lupyan said it even helps those with serious trauma, addictions, those who have experienced sexual abuse and who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“No one ever really knows what to expect, it's such an individual process,” Lupyan said.
For those looking to have journey dance solve serious problems, she encourages them to pair it with therapy. Lupyan, also a psychospiritual psychologist, makes herself available after classes to talk with students. She received her undergraduate degree from New York University in applied psychology and her Master's in clinical psychology from Columbia University.
The classes are open to everyone, including children from ages three to 12 and senior citizens. She noted that a lot of the movements can be done sitting down.
The classes are donation-based. Those interested can join the class at any time. For more information, visit Genesis Tree of Life Yoga's website.