One thing I have learned is that none of this stress supports us as humans. Yes, we have to pay our bills, be accountable and responsible, but worrying makes no difference or sense at all.
The first step toward letting go of stress is to know that you are carrying it. Pay attention to how you feel and learn to read the signals that you are allowing work to wind you up or wear you down.
I recently read an article about the benefits of dance, people who dance together regularly are less likely to have dementia in the later years one study suggests. There are so many positive outcomes for those of us that get on the dance floor.
Health benefits of dancing
Dancing can be a way to stay healthy for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:
- improved condition of your heart and lungs
- increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
- increased aerobic fitness
- improved muscle tone and strength
- weight management
- stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- better coordination, agility and flexibility
- improved balance and spatial awareness
- increased physical confidence
- improved mental functioning
- improved general and psychological wellbeing
- greater self-confidence and self-esteem
- better social skills.
With so many positive outcomes, I wonder why we would avoid getting to a local event and dancing our socks off. I know for me that when I dance, I forget everything, my body takes its own route and as I know my body never lies, it is a speaker of truth, so whether I am feeling sad, alone, angry, stressed, happy or creative my body will bring forwards its own movements to release any emotions I have been ignoring. Better out than in..
Finding the courage to start your dance journey takes one step, but truly if we plunge in we will quickly see the benefits. so if you do nothing else this autumn, I hope you DANCE.
In October last year I attended an 8 weeks course to learn to facilitate DANCEmandala. The training takes place in the the most beautiful setting of the Yoga Tree in the heart of Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. I have danced Biodanza and 5 Rhythms for many years, so I was interested to find out about this new movement meditation.
This was the fist time I had ever dipped my toe into a moving meditation. This emersion really had the facilitators listening to all of the sensations that were moving through the body. We were encouraged to speak from the body, to listen to the body and respond with the body. I have to say I fell in love with the practice, the honesty of the movement, the rhythms in the music which delve into wild ecstasy and intimate stillness.
A modern way of balancing the body through movement and music, where I felt connected not just to my own rhythms but the universal ones. I met the most beautiful group of people from different countries, I did yoga every day starting with a session of restorative yoga. I danced every day and found myself really hearing the messages from my body that were truthful.
During the sessions of DANCEmandala I was surprised to find myself laughing so hard at times that my stomach ached. I think I actually fell on the floor once I was laughing so hard. What was so interesting for me was to have so many different sensations rising and falling often at the same time, I even experienced waves of my own disappearing, a bit like when you see a musician that suddenly becomes the music.
If you are someone that loves music and movement, but find embarking on a still mediation practice a challenge, then this really is for you. It is the ecstatic approach, sweating your way through the inner spirals of the body and waves of bliss to a beautiful space of emptiness, where complete relaxation becomes possible. Dive in to a session near you and explore.