Regardless of tradition or style, anyone who loves dance can attest to the deep sense of connection and divine energy experienced when we surrender to the musicality and expressive movement. Dance invites us to explore deep concentration, it engages us in a sense of joy and playfulness. It is celebratory and exhilarating. This is true no matter what level of fitness, experience or skill. It is true whether you are wearing a suit and tie, ragged jeans – or your sweaty yoga gear!
Dance invites us to explore using our bodies in different ways. We move with intuition and emotion. We may move with a sense of curiosity, style, or grace. Maybe we feel clumsy and awkward, but carefree. Dance is cathartic and liberating. It is beautiful – even when it seems chaotic. We react to dance in a primitive emotional way. Sometimes joining in – sometimes just watching, captivated by another persons raw expression and willingness to be vulnerable.
The layers of mental, physical, emotional reflection and release offered through dance are rich, and accessible to all. Nothing is required other than a willing spirit, which makes it an extraordinary way to practice yoga.
I used to find it difficult to become devoted to a home yoga practice. I had fallen into the belief that I had to do postures as they had been taught to me in studio. In time I found that if I first started dancing in the kitchen my movement would slowly evolve into a more structured flow. This felt fabulous. More importantly, it felt RIGHT.
Soon I found myself combining postures into new sequences and playing with all different types of music. Anything that filled me with joy and inspired me to move became the next song on my yoga playlist. I would experiment with linking postures together in new ways so that the transitions were seamless, enjoying the fluidity. Other times I would hold posture while gyrating my hips and pumping my arms to heavy drum beats, venting frustration and escaping into the world of dance that has always felt like a place of belonging to me. Other times still, I would daydream that certain songs were telling my story and I would float through brief flows, feeling cleansed and light hearted at the end. Feeling connected and understood in knowing that someone else had felt what I was feeling. In time I felt called to share this free spirited, joyful, permissive practice. This was the birth of what I now call Dance Your Asana.
Dance Your Asana is rooted in a devotion to the belief that any moment in which we foster connection between mind, body and breath. Any time we shift into a place of gratitude, joy, grace, self expression, curiosity, compassion. Any opportunity we take to turn our body over to rhythm, join in a social experience or devote focus fully to the present moment – we are practicing yoga. Dance delivers all of these opportunities.
When we dance our asana we enjoy the unfolding of awareness, the losing of self within movement and breath and the building of insight through reflection and metaphor. Letting go of conscious observation and simply moving in a joyful, celebratory way is a form of mindfulness. Practicing alone – or as part of a community IS YOGA! There is no one way, and no wrong way! It’s ALL about finding YOUR way. What could be more beautiful than finding your way?
The reality for many people is that they find it easier, and more pleasant to follow the lead of an experienced instructor. With that in mind I offer Dance Your Asana as class. We bend and flex, push and pull, expand and collapse with a deep consciousness and unique alignment. We work the body in new ways. We sense and feel our way through new sensations and enjoy the benefits of breaking familiar patterns of muscle memory to newly wake the body. We step out of our comfort zones and into our childlike sense of self.
A Dance Your Asana class is a fun, non competitive and encouraging space. There is no goal of mastery. No ‘final performance’ or choreography to learn. At any time if a yogi is inspired to move off their mat, or dance freely they are welcomed and encouraged to do so. Like any yoga practice, every cue in a Dance Your Asana Class is an invitation – a suggestion. Yogis are encouraged to make it their own. I call it “going rogue”. Just like life off the mat we need to know that doing what feels right IS right. Going rogue is a powerful feeling we should all be supported to experience.
Yoga is a way of life for me that extends far beyond the physical practice. Discovering and offering Dance Your Asana has been a great gift in my life, allowing me to watch others move, play and celebrate their own path in their way. It’s a privilege of the highest measure.
LOVE LOVE LOVE and YOGA