Article first appeared in Prediction Magazine , October 07 Issue, page 48
Ever had one of those days, when no matter what you do, it seems like you can’t shift that dark cloud hovering over your head? Well, now there’s an easy, fun and simple solution — all you have to do is belly dance ! A simple belly dancing movement for 10 minutes a day can help shake blues away. Here is why: if your lifestyle dictates spending most of your day sitting down or where you do not get enough exercise and move about enough, energy in your aura gets to ‘precipitate’. As it becomes heavier, and denser it affects your mood and feelings.
Belly dancing involves moving hips, legs, and body to a rhythmic beat and this helps to dislodge any old or stagnant energies settling down the body. It can effectively cleanse your aura and is an enjoyable way to feel lighter — just like when you meditate . When you belly dance, you shift heavier energy from the lower chakras and transform it into positive or vital energy (chi). The swirling and twirling also helps to vitalise the spine, where the energy travels up to the crown chakra, keeping the body supple and receptive.
Carolyne Taylor Belly dancing, and other forms of dancing, has its roots in various spiritual practices. Initiates were taught how to have command over the physical body before command over the mind and subsequently over the spiritual domain. Some Native American dances, for example, are strictly spiritual in intent. The Whirling Sufi Dervishes is another example. Sufis (the mystics of Islam) use ritual dancing, known as Sema or Dhamal, as a devotional spiritual tool to help them enter an enhanced state of awareness, overcoming boundaries of the physical body and uniting with the Divine.
Making the mundane into something meditative is part of the Zen practice of being ‘ mindful ’ or focusing on the here and now. Kharmine, a professional Oriental performer, believes that “when you add physical movement to intent, it’s about channelling you focus in a particular way. When a dance has no meaning for you, it becomes easy for your mind to wander- belly dancing is as good practice as meditation. Meditation is all about focus. When movement is meaningful, it becomes easier to feel dynamic and alive.”
A few years ago my cousin Munira taught me few Ashtanga Yoga moves. The regime started with clasping the hands, stretching and holding the arms the arms above the head, with feet firmly planted on the ground then shaking the arms and legs to a fast rhythm. This wakes up the whole body energy and moves it up the spine towards the crown chakra. To help us maintain the stamina of the exercise regime, I turned the music on. Before long we knew it- we were both belly dancing!
Next time you dance to the rhythm of the beat, remember that dancing is more than just a mundane activity. In many spiritual traditions dance was developed as a method of meditation and enlightenment if not even alchemy. Energy is generated, transmuted and refined to help the dancer enter an elevated state of awareness or enlightenment.
Belly dancing Quick tips
Take few minutes to practice this quick pick-me-up exercise at home or work. Stand with feet slightly apart and firmly on the ground. Bend your knees slightly and place your hands over your hops. Begin by shaking your legs continually for few minutes, building the time up as you practice. When you have mastered the leg shaking, intuitively add the movement of your arms. Be brave (draw the curtains) and add music! The best time to wake the body up with belly dance is the morning and mid afternoon.
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