Growing up, I spent hours making up dance routines lost In my own little world. Later, when I stopped dancing, I felt stagnant on a physical, emotional and soul level. It felt like a hardening.
When I found yoga it woke something in me again. I naturally gravitated towards Vinyasa yoga, which in my experience, is the closest to dance. In Yinyasa yoga, any variety of poses can be arranged in any order, to create a flow of movement, that acts as a moving meditation.
In my personal yoga practice I find myself practicing without a mat so I can move around more freely. Un-limited. I notice that when I would turn music on and flow intuitively my sequence would always turn into a dance, and that's when I would receive the greatest benefits and inspiration.
My vision since going to Thailand for YTT, has been to teach yoga in this hybrid form.
Yoga Dance. Movement medicine. Soul flow.
I found inspiration by some similar hybrid classes I saw being offered in other parts of the world, but I was unable to find anything locally that resembled what I was looking for. I realized, if I couldn't find it, I would just need to create it myself!
I worked hard to break down specific movements and sequences into bite-size nuggets so that they can be taught and followed along with easily. This style plays with alot of creative variations and fun transitions, that will incorporate the entire body. It's vinayasa let loose.
Why Should I Try Yoga Dance?
When you mix yoga and dance together, it is straight magic. It wakes up pieces of you that have been asleep and buried, and reminds you who you are and what you are capable of. It's not about looking a certain way, although it can be a beautiful art form, its truly about the feelings that arise, through your body, your psyche, and your essence.
"Whenever there is depression, there is contraction. Some area of the body or mind is compressed; some area of the emotions is blocked. Depression, viewed this way is treated by creating more space” -Amy Weintraub, Yoga for Depression
Think of Yoga Dance as "venting" with your body. Releasing stored emotions, stress, tension, and allowing whatever needs to flow out, allowing our practice to be a vehicle for healing. Clearing space, like spring cleaning on our bodies. Open those windows up, and let in the fresh air.
What to Expect from a Yoga Dance Class:
The bones of class looks like this:
1. Centering & grounding
2. Warm up linking breath to movement to awaken your body.
2. Learn key movements and transitions
3. Link it all together to create a fluid and graceful yoga dance sequence
4. Cool down, slow down.
What we aren’t doing:
1. Going across the floor one by one, or singling anyone out
2. Staying on a yoga mat (the floor is not lava!)
Sometimes we are playing on the words in the music, allowing it to make us feel a specific emotion, other times its not about feeling any specific way, its just about feeling the beat, letting the movement and the music do it's job.
It's not about being in your head, or thinking any specific thing, its about trusting in the process, breathing, having fun, and letting the fun be healing.
We can all be Yogi’s and Dancers.
There are two quotes I love which further explain this statement.
"If you can breathe you can do yoga."
"Dance is breath made physical."
And that about sums it up.
The only way to know if it's for you is to try it out!
Find me Friday nights at the YogaLab in Allentown, PA, 6:15 PM- 7:15 PM
Beginning April 2
My style is influenced and inspired by the following instructors:
Lyrical Yoga in India
NCD Yoga Dance School in London
Dance Flow Yoga in California