Have you ever put on your favorite music while no one is around and simply moved your body, meaning wildly danced to the music? If yes, do you remember the joy of movement and freedom? Do you remember that feeling of freedom when letting go of the control and how easily you forget about your daily routine? It is liberating, isn't it? That is the sensation I feel every time I dance.
What is dance? It is not just a bunch of random moves and cool steps set to the music like it may seem at first glance to the novice. It is much more than that. Dance means self-discovery and connection with your body, mind, music, a partner in case of a partner dance or other dancers if dancing in a group setting. Dance means immersing in the moment and letting go of energy and emotions.
Now, what is meditation? It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet alert. I strongly believe that those two enjoyable states have something in common: being truly present in the moment while freeing your mind and body. This is what I call dance meditation. In other words, it is a combination of moving to music while in a state of meditation.
I discovered dance meditation on my own, without classes or books. I tried regular meditation before and, quite honestly, I didn’t like it. The idea of sitting still and trying to concentrate on letting go and quieting your mind didn’t work for me. I simply gave up after a few sessions. Yet, I needed something to calm my mind and ultimately something that could help me find that inner peace, joy and balance. That is when dance meditation came into my life and it is indeed one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It is more than dance and absolutely less than regular meditation. It is allowing youself to get lost in time, space and music, yet staying fully present in the moment. It is a way to allow your body to move freely in any direction without judgment or trying to look perfect. Because being perfect is enjoying every moment and simply being yourself, just the way you are, just the way you were born. Innocent, happy, free of negative emotions and feelings, free of control, free of stress, and free of the daily problems of life.
Here are some reasons to try dance meditation:
1) Connection. You can learn to connect with your true self, the music, other people and the universe on a much deeper level than speaking will allow. It is connection through movement and energy.
2) Self-discovery. Throughout life, one of the difficult things to do is to discover yourself and what truly makes you content. Meditation while dancing can help to really look inside of yourself and bring clarity to your mind. Because when your mind is uncluttered, the universe gives you the power to accomplish things seamlessly and successfully.
3) Imagination and creation. Dance meditation can help you relax your mind, explore your imagination and become more creative and unique.
4) Physical activity. Last but not least, physical activity is something every human being needs in order to live a longer, healthier life. Not all of us want to spend time in a gym, lift boring weights and exercise around strangers. For sure dancing meditation for sure can help you stay active while getting to know other people (once again if you are doing it with a partner or in a group setting).
Now you are probably wondering where, when and how to start. My recommendation is to begin by yourself. Simply put on your favorite music, preferably something slow yet moving, close your eyes and first really listen to the music. Allow the music to move your body. Listen to what your body wants to do and where it wants to go. If it is left direction, go there. If it is swinging your arms, swing them. Simply listen to your inner voice and your bodily wishes. Then slowly start to imagine something that makes you happy - either a thing, person or place. While imagining continue moving your body. Really try to lose your mind in space and time. In other words, turn your brain off. It may sound complex and not feasible to do at first, but trust me you can get good at it and truly enjoy it. For the first time, dance for 5-10 minutes. Don’t get frustrated if you won’t feel anything. Dance meditation is a process that takes time, practice and patience in order to achieve that amazing state of pure joy, inner peace and balance. Don’t give up. Believe me, it is an incredible and beautiful experience that might change your life and help you live healthier, happier life.