I teach yoga and belly dancing. They seem to be the antithesis of each other. Eventually however, it became evident that they actually have a lot in common. At first, I could not hold still during yoga, I wanted to dance instead. With practice and patience I came to learn that both disciplines improve the other, making my mind-body awareness expand.
Yes alignment, balance, strength, flexibility and even stimulation of internal organs are improved, yet there is also a more subtle exchange of energy that goes on while doing belly dancing or yoga that bridges their differences. This embodiment of understanding is what becomes heightened the most.
Yoga means union. The true purpose of yoga is to connect with the Divine. The Divine meaning your source, the energy that you are which sustains you, or God; whatever that represents to you. If you do belly dancing long enough this same awareness will emerge. When you sync your mind into your body, you find the soul. In yoga this begins as a quiet ecstasy. In belly dance it begins as ecstatic dance. Historians and anthropologists speculate that dance and yoga share similar origins: to heal, to connect with the Universe, to express and communicate creativity and emotion, and to understand the self, to name a few. Both respect the body as an avenue of knowing. So what happens when you shake your Chakras?
Chakras are perceived as wheels of energy in the spine that activate the flow of vital energy toward higher knowing. Imagine doing a shimmy that travels up your spine and activates these chakras. Here is what that shimmy is awakening.
1. The root chakra
, located at the base of your spine, symbolizes your earth connection, your tribal community, the first seven years of your life, the color red, and fear and courage. In belly dancing your feet on the earth and the base of your spine vibrate as if to awaken the sleeping kundalini: the sleeping serpent that allows the ascension of energy to begin enlivening the spiritual you.
2. The sacral chakra
between your pubic bone and belly button represents the water element: sacred space where you came from in your mother and where a woman can carry a baby. It symbolizes attachment and loss, comings and goings, ages 4-7, and your sensuality becoming creativity. In belly dancing this cradle shakes creativity in waves, undulations, and vibrational shimmies of birthing a dance.
3. The fiery naval chakra
of inspiration and anger is next. It is yellow, represents ages 7-21,and is your place of personal power. In belly dancing your play with this power, displaying control over it as you move the energy up and down, and in and out, at will. Your will. In this Middle Eastern dance, the Eastern awareness of naval chakra is brought to life as prowess.
Ansuya (and her Chakras) is a second generation, internationally recognized superstar of Bellydance with thousands of students across the globe. She is a three time Golden Belly Award winner, has a Best Cabaret Bellydancer of the Year Award from the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance, and is one of the original Bellydance Superstars. In some Indian religions, a chakra (Sanskrit cakra, "wheel") is thought to be an energy point or node in the subtle body. Chakras are believed to be part of the subtle body, not the physical body, and as such, are the meeting points of the subtle (non-physical) energy channels called nadi. | Photo: Ansuya | Link | Chakras, Yoga, Exercise, Spiritual, Meditation, Workout, Stretch, Dance,
4. Now you open the heart chakra
. Shimming and isolating heart energy represents ages 21-28, when many people fall in love. Here romantic love can also lead toward love of self, all others, and all that exists. It is the seed of great love. In belly dancing you shimmy the chest, perhaps accentuating your life giving, life sustaining breasts. It is an offering of the giving of yourself. The sharing of the heart.
5. The throat chakra
symbolizes speaking and listening with love. Blue is the color and it connotes finding your voice. As the energy moves upward you belly dance with greater sensitivity to the music that you hear, and you "speak" with your entire body. You communicate with all that you are.
6. The third-eye chakra
, the place of insight and imagination, is the color violet. It represents the inner creativity where insight and dance design arise. Belly dance not only uses your imagination, but evokes a similar activation in your audience where they too are transported to another place and time, or state of being.
7. The last chakra
is the crown chakra, the connection to the Divine. The Oneness all mystical traditions speak of reaching. It is the transcend-dance, where the sleeping Kundalini snake of healing becomes wings of enlightenment. This is symbolic of opening to vastness and all that is possible. In belly dance this transforms us into the Goddess or God personification.
So shake your chakras. If you wish, delve into yoga or belly dance to enhance the other. Yoga will help you find stillness while you dance, and belly dancing will help you find the flow in yoga. Hizzi, Om and Namaste!