Last fall, I attended a weekend training with Shiva Rea all about her Yoga Trance Dance experience. As soon as we began, I knew that this spiritual art form was a culmination of so much of my own personal interface with sacred movement, and I totally fell in love. Sacred Space will be holding its first Yoga Trance Dance on Saturday, March 20, from 7-9 p.m.
But what is it?
Shiva Rea describes it as "a contemporary exploration of the spirit of dance within yoga. Beginning with prana yoga or the experience of prana-initiating yoga asanas, yoga trance dance flows into an exploration of free-form, breath-driven movement to liberate one’s creative life force and cultivate embodied freedom!"
One form of prana yoga is that thing we often do in classes where we start on all fours, allowing the energy of the present moment to dictate the ways in which we move. Included in Yoga Trance Dance are kriyas (repetitive, energetic movements) and, of course, free-form expression.
Why do this?
I think it's vitally important for human beings to dance, to let the hair down (an actual sign in the Mediterranean and the Middle East ancient world that people had gone into states of ecstasy) and rock it out. Cultures around the world use primal dance forms in order to reach altered states of consciousness, thereby connecting to transcendent expressions of Mystery - a chance to discover the Mover behind the movement.
None of this is about aesthetics or "dance ability." Everyone can dance, and although I often get head-shaking in response to this statement, just remember, every child is born knowing how to move rhythmically. All it takes is an experience like Yoga Trance Dance to unwind any negative thinking around our innate power to dance.
We'll be harnessing the power of the world around us during this first Yoga Trance Dance. That day is the Vernal Equinox, when the moments of daylight are equal to the moments of darkness. We've come out of the long haul of winter and are about to burst forth into creation and awakening - it's a perfect time for this sort of practice.
So, liberate your body mandala and shake it for spring, the oncoming light, and your own primal, dancing, authentic self.
Fri, March 12, 2010
by Greg Marzullo