Affirmation: I smile early, laugh daily, dance often.
dance is an integral part of life. Here
in the United States one must make a greater effort to find the opportunity to
dance. Lately in the media there’s more
about dance than in the last fifty years. There’s Dancing with the Stars and
there’s So You Think You Can Dance. Even
the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal winner, Ryan Lochte is interested in dancing. When he was interviewed on Good Morning
America he said he would like the opportunity to compete on Dancing with the
Stars. And, too, Hope Solo, the 2012
goalie of the Gold Medal Olympic soccer team competed in 2011 on Dancing with
the Stars. And, the Olympic Gold
Medalist Apolo Ohno speed skating champion, danced his way to the Mirror Ball
all sorts of dance exercise. The gym I
go to, Rex Wellness of Cary has had a Latin dance class for many years and of
course there’s aerobics which usually has some sort of upbeat tunes. As of this writing, Zumba has become very
popular. And, most yoga classes have
music in the background.
normally thought of as a form of dance exercise but I have always felt the
vibrations and the rhythm of the music as I practiced the asanas. When I trained at Kripalu Center for Yoga and
Healing we had several wonderful classes that included live drum music. The
Dance Yoga concept (formerly Dance Kinetics) was actually developed at Kripalu.
At the Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreat Saturday evenings are celebrated with Yoga
our gifted yoga teachers and a founding member of the retreat, has led us in
Yoga Dance for the last eight years. Of
course, there are many different reactions to our dance event. Some, like myself, can’t wait.
Way, Julia Cameron asks you to imagine what you would like to do if you had
several other lives. It’s a fun exercise
to see what you might be missing that you could actually do in this life. I would have loved to be more actively involved
in the world of dance. There have been
times in my life when the music led me to total abandonment. I love going shopping with my granddaughter,
Isabelle, because she’ll just smile if she sees me dancing about in the store,
unlike my children, who I am sure were mortified by their mother’s lack of
who come to the retreat have been there before but everyone has had that
initial introduction to our evening of Yoga Dance. TJ does a marvelous job of explaining how
the session is structured. She explains
that each of the songs are designed to open one of the seven chakras, energy
centers of the body. A yoga practice
with or without dance can aid in opening the energy centers. The seven chakras
begin at the base of the spine, the Root Chakra and run through the body to the
top of the head, the Crown Chakra.
Envision a stream of energy or light, moving up through your body,
flowing freely, keeping everything open and clean and soft. Ancient yoga tradition teaches when the chakras
are opened and aligned, we are balanced and in a state that encourages optimal
props too. She brings feather boas and
mesh scarves. Some of the women bring
coin skirts. At our last retreat two of
the returning ladies came to the evening session a little late. They attempted to come in quietly so as to
not disturb the group, the only issue was they had on their coin skirts and had
added bell bracelets and anklets. They
also were in full flowing skirts and had silk flowers in their hair. The fun had begun!
our mats. We move slowly at first. One of the songs for the 1st chakra is
Breathe. Then she invites us to stand up
and we move to songs like Feeling Good by Michael Buble. Then the energy begins
to increase and for the 3rd chakra we get to dance to Shake Your Body and New
Attitude for example. The next set of
songs include songs like We Are Family, Walk of Life, You Raise Me Up and Loka
Samasta. Can you hear it? Can you feel
it? Finally, we’re ready to wind down
and we do that to songs like The Empty Sky.
of the healing modalities we offer for the retreat. One year one of the participants did not seem
to connect with anyone or anything that was being offered. We would find her sitting in the living room
watching TV while everyone else was chatting.
She wasn’t very interested in the art projects and her favorite yoga
pose was savasana. And, then during Yoga
Dance we reached the songs for the 3rd chakra. I happened to be directly across from her
when the music began and it was one of the most astonishing things I have ever
seen. A grin came to her face, she lit
up from within and she began to dance with total abandonment. She didn’t stop until we were ready to lie
down. Her enthusiasm and love of music
took her to a place during the retreat that nothing else was able to
accomplish. From then on, she was an
integral part of the group. People took
the time to tell her how much they enjoyed watching her and dancing with
been women who refused to dance. I try
not to judge but I wasn’t always successful.
But if they return, sooner or later (sometimes years later) something
happens and I will look up and there they will be moving and smiling, and many
times laughing. It is so very
joyful. It is so very healing.
enhance our health by sometimes tricking our bodies to think we are feeling
good. I once read a story about a man
who played the music for silent films.
He was asked if it was hard to play music that went with the feelings of
the scenes. He answered he didn’t
concern himself with that. The music he
chose created the emotions the viewers experienced.
you don’t want to be, smile. If you’re
feeling blue and you don’t want to be, laugh.
And, if you want to fully embrace life and go a little crazy, turn on
the music and dance.