Monday, 21 May 2007

Shaking my chakras



I'm heading off tomorrow to to shake my chakras at a Chakradance Retreat, and will hopefully come back with my instructor certification.
Natalie and Douglas explain Chakradance best:

As a healing art form, dance can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient cultures dance was used in celebratory, ritualistic and spiritual ways. Primitive man danced the shifting of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, and the transitional moments in life -- birth, death and rites of passage.

Long before any formal religions existed, man danced to connect to his spiritual source, to commune with his Gods, to find meaning from life. As formal religions developed, they too embraced the spiritual nature of dance and it became a significant part of many religious practices. For example, in Hinduism, many of the great epics are taught through dance, whilst in Sufism, the whirling dervishes surrender their individuality and dance into spiritual 'oneness'.

One of the oldest references made to religious dancing comes to us from the Old Testament: "Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre." (Psalms 149:3).

As a metaphor, dance symbolises the rhythm of the universe, divine 'play', the eternal dance of life (birth, death and re-birth). As one of the most evolved healing art forms, dance weaves together all aspects of human existence.

Chakradance drawws inspiration from the true origins of dance, and puts us back in touch with the 'sacred', both within ourselves and with the universe. Dancing through the ancient chakra system awakens not only our bodies, but expands the mind, and calls out to the soul. Dancing the seven chakras is like dancing into seven different worlds, each with their own lessons, meanings and stories. although the dance of each chakra is a unique dance for each of us, we can draw inspiration from the dance roots of each chakra.

The dance of the base chakra draws inspiration from tribal dancing, as found in the indigenous cultures of Africa, Australia and North America. These tribal dances were linked to the issues of the base, including one's roots, survival and grounding. In Chakradance, emphasised movements of the legs and feet connect you to the solid earth. Many envisage dancing around an ancient campfire, bringing the primitive tribal dance to life. These ancient cultures also had imitative dances, emulating the movements of animals. Again, one can draw inspiration from these roots and dance in an animal-like way. In this wild and raw animal dance, our innate instinctual self is reclaimed.

The dance of the sacral chakra can be inspired by the feminine dances found in the Middle East, South America and Hawaii. Dances from these regions celebrated many of the qualities associated with the sacral chakra, including feelings, emotions and sexuality. This sacral dance can be slow and sensual, or flirtatious and erotic, with fluid movements of the hips and lower belly. Throughout this dance we transform into a gypsy, a belly dancer, an ancient goddess, as we surrender to the serpentine movements of the feminine.

To dance the solar plexus chakra is to call on the warrior dances of ancient Greece, Morocco, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. These warrior dances were masculine, powerful, althletic and virile, as they rhythmically mimicked the art of the fight. In Chakradance we enter this dance with dramatic movements, strong, purposeful and clearly defined. As the energy builds, movements can become more complex, even frenzied. Through this dnamic movement, the solar energer ignites, and your inner warrior emerges.

To dance the heart chakra is to move with joy and compassion, reflected in dances from ancient Spain, Egypt and China. many of these dances used exaggerated arm movments to gently whirl into deep states of joyful harmony. Other dances of China symbolised balance, where mimetic movements expressed the union of heaven and earth. In Chakradance we draw inspiration from these dances, and move the arms to feel uplifted, light and free. Inspired by the whirling of the ancient ones, we dance a soaring journey of love, compassion and joy.

The dance of the throat chakra can be inspired by many ancient dances, where the voice and dance were woven together. The Gree word 'XOPOC' (HOROS), referred to both dance and song, and is the origin of the word 'chorus'. In Ancient Egypt, performers often danced while reciting poetry, while in Hawaii, chant and dance were combined to communicate the story. In Tibetan culture, mystical rituals performed by monks would combine chanting and sound (gyaling horns, symbols and bells), with delicate movements of the body. In Chakradance we weave sound and movement to intensify self expression and creativity.

At the third eye chakra, one can life up into ecstatic and altered states of consciousness through trance dance. This practice is still common throughout the world, and existed in many of the ancient cultures of South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and theAmericas. There were numerous reasons, ritualistic and medicinal, for entering into transce. In Chakradance trance dance is used to open the third eye chakra. Each dancer drifts into his or her own visual universe ... images, colours, insights ... the third eye has no boundaries.

The dance of the crown chakra is a deveotinal dance. Cultures from every continent have embraced some form of religious or spritual dancing. In ancient Shamanic practice, dance was used to commune with the Spirits, whilst in Ancient Egypt there were certain ritual dances that wer crucial to the successful outcome of religious rites. The Tantric Buddhists of Nepal have an ancient dance tradition known as Charya Nritya, a Sanskrit term meaning 'dance as a spiritual discipline'. In Chakradance we open the gateway to the soul through a meditative sacred dance. This is the most paradoxical of dances: it is the dance of stillness. Often there will be little physical movement visible to any observer. The dance is internal, for now it is the sould which dances, dancing with the gods.

Chakradance is all about finding your own free authentic movement to express the energy of the chakras. Just as each chakra has its own unique energy, and its own inflence, the way in which we move and the experience we have during the dance are inteensely personal. In Chakradance we guide participants in to each chakra with a simple movement designed to stimulate the energy. From there the process involves letting the movements emerge spontaneously. The beats of the music may move your body, the images in your mind may play out their roles, physical sensations are often expressed, and the energetic flow dances your body to life. The experience is like being moved, dancing from the inside out, an unfolding, an awakening, freedom.
For more information about CHAKRADANCE™ visit http://www.chakradance.com/

1 comments:

Bohemian Mom said...

This just awes me!
I've been learning so much from you...thanks!
The other night I spent hours with my nose in a paganism book, realizing that so many of my beliefs have an actual source...a name. I've always just called it my "hippie-ness"
Earth centred spirituality feels so right to me!