Dance as a Meditation
in relation to Chakras
Please take a moment to read, learn, and experience. I have written these thoughts out of pure love and passion for dance and my desire to share with you.
As a student of life and a teacher of dance I’ve decided to make a shift towards combining my knowledge of Belly Dance and the body with the practice of inner discovery. We can only know ourselves in the mind to a certain degree. Becoming in touch with our body can give us sensitivity, power, and a sense of home. After all, our body is our temple.
I felt impelled to share a taste of some realizations that dance has brought to me pertaining to our charkas. The information below is written through my personal perspective as a dancer, artist, and seeker of my inner self. I have gained insight through yoga, meditation, world medicine and Qi Gong, yet the intuition brought forth through physical movement and exploration has made clear the link between these spiritual practices and their connection with Belly Dance. Dancing enlivens the senses opening us up to a more sensitive degree of feeling. With this openness I have begun to feel now and ask later and have realized that the sensations I receive through dance are not independent from ancient wisdom of the body. My relationship with dance is similar to one of a lover in which we are equals with lessons to teach and learn.
Dance as a Meditation- in relation to Chakras
Grounding into mother earth, as belly dance teaches, allows us to use her as a base to maintain control, balance and stability, while protecting the body from injury. Planting our feet into the floor can help us feel a sense of oneness with our surroundings, while maintaining a foundation within ourselves. In a grounded posture, moving the pelvic and developing a sense of the perineum one can gather the energy from our mother and move it up the spine, essentially embracing the flow of the serpent and beginning to dance merely from the connection with the source of our being, our mother.
Lower Tan Tien
By finding our center we can learn to spiral energy in and out from the core of our being. In life we may spiral out in many directions, yet having an awareness of our center allows us recollect when needed. While exploring the dance of the serpent, using belly rolls and undulations, one massages internal organs and releases stagnation. We store many of our emotional troubles in our bellies, thus moving the stomach independently helps build emotional stability. This movement aids in the flow of processing our emotions and in digestion and bowl movements by “waking up” the system and allowing chi or life force to flow threw.
In conjunction with clearing stagnation, opening up the solar plexus chakra allows the inner-self to radiate like the sun. When we dance we allow our expression to shine out through our body and movements. Opening the solar plexus in Belly Dance can help spread the rib cage allowing for deeper, well rounded breaths and further flexibility in the movements.
Lifting the chest, as taught in Belly Dance, creates a more open and proud heart. Through the control of our upper body we can gain power over the receptiveness of the heart. In belly dance we dance with the heart open and giving, yet realize that we have ownership over this chakra just as we do any other part of our body. Originally, as a rite of passage, mothers taught this dance to their daughters, a gift of the heart. Furthermore, dance feels good; we love and enjoy it as a gift to others and ourselves. Opening and dancing from the heart helps posture, self-confidence, and our capacity to love.
Dance like words, is a form of expression, a way explaining who we are. A dance can tell stories in a language that is sensory and more abstract than the human brain can break down. In Belly Dance the neck is long as the head floats up to the sky and the shoulders are relaxed. Through the dance one can speak and say things that may be too personal, deep, or buried to make out in words. By telling our story and simply saying, “here I am in this moment” the dance speaks of feelings and thus helps us get in touch with them and know ourselves better. Opening this communicative chakra helps overcome conflicts sooner and can assist in taking the weight off our chest, so we can dance and live feeling light and free.
Using different imagery helps in exploring a range of movement qualities. Using the third eye visuals may actually open up sensations and channels in the body. For example, I often describe moving the arms as if one were surrounded in water. This creates a more deliberate flow of movement and cultivates chi. The third eye is about a vision and creating. Dance gives power to the vision and can therefore help us accomplish our goals or dreams. By connecting our third eye visions to movement we can make them and their manifestations an everyday part of our life through dancing.
When the crown chakra is aligned and alert we can feel light as a feather. In belly dance the upper body and head is very light and flowing given its base from the lower body. The top of the head is where the energy flows up to and out of like a fountain of abundance, this is a visual that I like to use. By opening the crown chakra and allowing our energy to rise up and explode out we can refill our bodies with energy and life, continuously calling more Qi in through our movements in a cycle of renewable creativity.