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Last Updated: Jan 2nd, 2007 - 16:43:25 

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Yoga

Dance: The Hidden Language of the Soul
By Ravi Singh & Ana Brett

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Ravi and Ana been featured presenters at the Midwest Yoga Conference, The Toronto Yoga Show, and the Six Days on Freedom Retreat. Their clients have included Olympic Athletes and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Lou Reed, Carrie-Anne Moss, Donna Karan, and The Red Hot Chile Peppers. They’ve taught in many diverse contexts: from Iceland to Maui, Canada to Costa Rica, from boardrooms and Park Avenue Penthouses, to scientists at Bell Labs, from Opera Singers at the Aspen Music Festival and street kids in Los Angeles to backstage at Broadway plays. They are Authors of the Fat Free Yoga DVD series and the forthcoming book Fat Free Yoga.
Nov 7, 2006

It's been said that the body is a sacred garment, and that dance is the hidden language of the soul. The ancient Greeks believed that dancing was a gift from the gods and that the gods offered this gift to select mortals, who in turn taught the art of dance to humanity.
 
The Dance the Chakras concept is in the true spirit of the Kundalini Yoga and Tantric traditions where the bottom line is always what works.  Yoga means to join. Yoke. Tantra means to weave. Through these practices we can experience the dance of life and existence, past and present, and connect to the deep places within ourselves that we have no words to express. 
 
In ancient cultures the body was used as an expressive instrument to tell stories.  Dance was very much connected to people's ongoing experience. In a similar way, the Chakras (energy centers along the spine), how we relate to them, and what our energies flow toward, communicate our story. The body reveals all, and the way we move is indicative of where we are on our own life journey.
 
Ancient cultures also used dance as a way of bonding and as a means to cross language barriers and communicate with each other, their ancestors, and the Unseen. Just as our native ancestors used dance as a form of invocation, or prayer--asking for help for the hunt, fertility, to empower one for battle, for love, or to commemorate victory and loss--we use dance to bond, connect, empower ourselves, inspire others, and celebrate!
 
To dance through the chakras is to enrich our experience of life as we know it. When we dance we are integrating our ancestral past, our deep memory, and our immediate present. We are forging a bond which is timeless. The chakras are the complete spectrum of the human (ancestral and modern day) experience.  We can experience all the energies of our chakras when we dance.  Grounding (1st Center), Expression, Release (2nd center), Self-Determination (3rd center), Celebration, Love (4th Center), Communication (5th Center), Sublime Experience (6th - 8th Centers).
 
 Dance: Sport of Spirit
 
Chakra dance is characterized by strong, stabilizing leg movements, hip/spinal rolls, shimmys, and shakes,  and abdominal and arm moves. We utilize the whole body to simultaneously ground, strengthen, release and flow. In our chakra dance we are given structure but encouraged to experiment. When we move in new unaccustomed ways, we actually fire new neural pathways in the brain, nervous system, and muscle memory, and open windows to new ideas and possibilities.
 
Dance is fun! It is natural to us. We hear a beat and WANT to move. It makes us feel good, whole, expressive and connected. Dancing gives us a "Natural High" just like any other intense activity or sport, such as spinning or running. Endorphins are released which act as natural "ecstasy."  This can trigger a pleasure response which keeps us wanting more!  The results of this natural high are much longer lasting than any drug induced variety.  Shamans used dance to drive out negative energies. We can use dance to release stored tension and negative emotions in the body. This rejuvenates us and contributes to a feeling of well being.
 
Dance is the perfect exercise modality to get us out of our heads--and the tendency to conceptualize--and into our bodies, i.e., to get out of our own way and truly embody what's real and true. In other words we use dance to explore the uncharted, unspoken Universe within.  
 
When we express ourselves through movement, there is a physicality of spirit, limitless energy, a quickening of the soul,that is communicated through us into action, and since we are unique, our dance is unique.   AB
 
MEDITATION OF THE MONTH:  COMMUNICATE W/ YOUR INNER SELF
 
Astrologically speaking, Mercury is in retrograde until November 17th. Simply put, this means that communication and the best laid plans will probably go awry. Confirm appointments. Give yourself extra time to be on time. Double check your work. Seek clarity in every situation. Conversely, this time also affords us an opportunity to resolve the unfinished business of the past to move forward. And what better way to enhance communication than to work on the most important relationship of all, the one with your inner self. 
 
Sit w/a straight spine.   Your gaze is up and in towards the brow.  Inhale in 15 equal parts through the nose (3 groups of four and one group of three to keep count).  With each breath think the sound SA.  Exhale in 15 equal parts through the nose. With each breath out think the sound TA.   Inhale in 15 equal parts through the nose. With each breath in, think the sound NA. Exhale in 15 equal parts through the nose. With each breath out think the sound MA.
 
Begin w/three minutes of practice and add a minute a day until you can do 31 min. As you do this technique, listen to the sounds inside. Try to be cognizant of the part of you which is enraptured by this subtle symphony.  SA-TA-NA-MA are known as the primal sounds of Creation.   These sounds contain the music that the Universe dances to.   This mantra brings balance on all levels.  This breath and mantra are a means to communicate to your Inner Self in a language it rejoices in. This meditation activates the central nerve channel in the spine and coordinates the 10 areas of the brain for effective living.
 
When you have completed the breathing segment of this meditation, simply sit in joyfulness and feel the presence of your inner or guiding Self. When we pay attention to our inner Self we are rewarded by access to unbounded love and joy.  Sublime states are not only the exclusive domain of the saints, they are the birthright of every human. As you meditate, bask in waves of feeling emanating from the beautiful source of you. RS
 
 
CHOCOLATE UN-MILK
 
What could be better than delicious chocolate milk that is actually doing good things for you?
It's chock full of antioxidant power to keep you looking young, magnesium for your bones and heart, and best of all, chocolate is a proven mood booster. 

 
This recipe requires almond milk which is simple to make. All you need is a blender or food processor and cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer.
 
 
Basic Almond Milk
 
1 cup whole raw almonds - (pre- soaked for 4 to 8 hours in a tight container)
 4 cups of filtered water.
 
Blend the almonds with half the water at high speed until the almonds are very finely ground (1 to 2 minutes depending on your machine). Add the rest of the water. Now strain the pulp so it is not too thick too drink! Shake before using.
 

You may also add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.
 
 Chocolate Un-Milk
 
 1 cup of  almond milk
 3 Tb raw cocoa powder
 2 tsp. raw vanilla extract
 3-5 tablespoons of agave nectar
 1 Tb coconut butter
 pinch of sea salt (preferably celtic sea salt)
 
Blend all ingredients.  Optional for cold days: Place ingredients in a sauce pan and heat gently until just warm. Raw ingredients are delicate, so be careful not to overheat. Hovering is required.

 
For more healthy live food recipes check out Ana's Live Food Page. Go to:  http://raviana.com/live_food.html
 

 
 
All Best to You,
 Ravi Singh & Ana Brett

 
www.raviana.com


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