Dancing and Meditation
Today Premier Dan Andrews will announce the road map out of the lock-down, but I have a feeling we have a way to go before we are able to live free once more. As this lock-down has stretched on effectively since March, I have found myself struggling to sit and meditate in recent weeks.
I believe this is the result of weeks of effectively sitting and doing nothing apart from my daily walk and the way life has become still with the lock-down. My body is in need of movement. So I started to experiment with other ways of producing the same benefits as one receives from meditation.
There's Tai chi and Qi Gong and they have been usefully as have my walks, but the one movement that has really helped me has been dance.
How does dance and meditation come together?
Dancing is a natural and flowing form of movement and when practiced in a intentional way produces the same effects in the mind-body as a traditional meditation does.
When I'm talking dance, I'm not talking about the dancing when out with friends at the pub or club. The movements for dance meditation must be intentional and rhythmic.
To reach the full benefits of dance meditation, as already mentioned it must be an intentional act. In other words as you move your arm feel the shoulder, feel the elbow, feel the wrist, feel the hand and fingers move. Feel the muscles and tendons move. Same with the rest of your body, feel the movement deep within your core.
As you move your body connect with the music, feel you are one with the music that it is moving within you, out of you, and all around you.
Once you have the feel of your body and music just let go and let yourself be free with the music.
Are there any specific movements?
There are no real specific movements, but for me personally I tend to find the movements associated with belly dancing and the swirling of Sufi's work best, especially once combined with a tribal drum beat.
Other dance forms that are known to be meditative in nature are Hindu dance, Buddhist dance, Butterfly Dance, Cymbal Dance and T'aju also known at the Eight-Fold Path Dance.
What are the health benefits of Dance Meditation?
As with meditation, Dance Meditation helps reduce stress.
Dancing allows you to physically connect with your emotions and through the movement work through and with the emotions as they arise during the dance.
As you dance your body produces Serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormone, giving to a sense of joy and peace.
Dancing requires you to control your muscles while being fluid and graceful. As you dance you'll require more focus and control which will flow into all other areas of your life.