Yoga Dance Craze Hits Noosa!
Yoga Dance otherwise known as Sacred Dance or Ecstatic Dance is said to encompass all movement that expresses or enhances spiritual experiences; and while these practices have long reigned supreme among religious and tribal communities it seemed as though the Western world had shied away from this form of dance, until now…
Much like the rise of physical yoga practices the experience of yoga dance is gaining popularity in the Western world as we recognise the physical, mental and of course spiritual benefits of these practices.
For those of us who are unfamiliar Yoga Dance is best described as a fusion of music, rhythm and dance that allows yogis to find the rhythm and expression of their own body, in a safe space, and free of judgement, expectation, and with no particular dance steps to follow. The practice is a fun, approachable access point to a fitness practice that for many people can be quite transformational; it is often times described as “renewing” and “exciting” but more often than not, indescribable.
For many Westerners this form of expression can be quite intimidating as unlike our tribal ancestors we have made dance into a form of entertainment and have isolated the practice to professional “dancers” we see on stage or on television. Yoga Dance however stems from a communal belief among many tribes that dance, like yoga and meditation, has the power to transport us from one state of consciousness to another and tap into more creative and subconscious parts of our brain that would otherwise remain asleep.
Gabrielle Roth is known as the godmother of the contemporary yoga dance movement who introduced this concept to the Western world; who as a teenager found that she could transcend into a timeless state with dance, experiencing “a tidal wave that knocked the ‘I’ out of me.” Having experienced the power of these practices herself, Roth took to teaching other members of her community at rehabilitation centres, and after years of teaching, an injury that prevented her own dance experiences and much study into finding some sort of structure to help other people achieve this state Roth founded her own tribe in New York “bound by the beat, following our feet on a dancing path to freedom.”
This form of “moving meditation” was soon adapted and hosted by many surrounding yoga studios, DJs and music festivals, and now we are lucky enough to have had Yoga Dance reach our shores… with Aloha Active hosting the very first Samsara Yoga Dance event in the region this coming August.
Looking beyond the physical and mental benefits of Yoga Dance however, recent studies have demonstrated the “psychotherapeutic” benefits of dance therapy, in fact, a study cited on the American Cancer Society website suggests that dance and movement therapy can help ease the severity of emotional disorders, by improving body awareness, boosting body image and self-esteem, while also reducing feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
There are many hypothesis about why the effects of yoga, ecstatic or spiritual dance are so powerful and while we are sure that each have their own merit, in the case of our upcoming Samsara Yoga Dance we simply wish to offer a space for complete release, where our yogis can shake out the stress and ‘to-dos’ of daily life, have a little (or a lot) of fun, and move their bodies they way they want to.
Yoga Teacher | Human Potential Coach
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