The spiritual power of dance

Chakradance is a dynamic, moving meditation which balances the chakras and awakens the Soul.

Article by Keti Sharif.

Dance can be a ritual, a means of celebration, and a form of entertainment, but it can also be something more. In fact, dance is a mode of human expression that harnesses the secrets of the universe.

Dance is an ancient art form that has the power to express deep human truth. It is a form of self expression that can connect you to the deeper patterns of the universe, and allow you to transcend your daily limitations.

Moving to rhythms

In primitive cultures, the links between heaven and earth, spirit and matter, or human and god nature were understood and celebrated through ritual, song and movement. Movement was created in response to rhythms, which in turn mimicked the rhythms of life. Dances would celebrate the cyclic nature of birth, planetary regeneration, the lunar phases, the female menstrual cycle, and the seasons.

Dance, in its primal state, bypasses mental analysis and translates a type of elemental knowledge universal knowledge directly through the body. The same could be said about music, which in its essence is almost unconsciously drawn from the musician with guidance that cannot be explained in terms of literal study or dissemination of learnt material. It’s sometimes called inspired, but where does it really come from?

In dance, one of history’s oldest modes of communicating with divinity and nature, the body becomes a vehicle for universal knowledge through music. The two are inextricably linked. When the two parts become one, the expression is complete.

When music is expressed as a dance, whether performed for others or just for self, a message is transposed from the divine inspiration to the vibrational mode of music to physical understanding through the body. As simple as it seems, this process of dancing to music harnesses various cosmological elements within its process. There is a clarity or awareness realised through the act of dancing itself. Inspiration and instinct often guide both music and dance.

The impact of dance

Dance, and the music that inspires it, creates both physical and psychological effects. According to sound engineer David Gibson in his book The Art of Mixing, drums are primal and instant in their effect, with a core range of tempos from 60 to 180 beats per minute (bpm) that affects your physiology. Your entire endocrine system noticeably speeds up simply by listening to 130bpm, whereas 60bpm is pacifying and often used in hypnosis.

When you dance, you are creating a music-melody-movement response to the various instruments played. You are tuning your body movement with sound wavelength and frequencies. According to Gibson, instruments tend to be played at the body area that harnesses these frequencies. Drums operate at a frequency of approximately 50MHz, which resonates with the pelvic area in humans. Flutes are pitched at almost 4000MHz and resonate with the head area in humans.

This explains why African warriors dance in low, grounded, aggressive movements to earthy drums, while the Sufi dervishes spin to flutes for enlightenment. Fiery guitars sit in the mid-body area, with qualities matching the solar plexus’ characteristics of pride and courage, apparent in Spanish flamenco. The emotive heart area tunes into higher frequency again, so instruments such as accordion and violins create music that engages feeling and ‘pulls the heartstrings’.

In dance, you are tuning into cosmological principles. As you dance, the tempo of the rhythm, the emotive frequency of the music and melody are demonstrated through the organic body-mechanics of dance. Dance becomes the art of representing music. You fall into fractal patterning and ‘know’ instinctivelytht when a drum pattern emerges you step and rock into it.

Bellydancing is particularly responsive to these energies. So are many other Eastern styles: the zaar dancers, for example, instinctively ‘swing’ and shake their bodies into a moving meditation based on the rhythm of the music. Then there are Sufi dervishes who step and whirl in response to music that takes them to psychological nirvana.

Moving wisdom

When you discover the power and the energy that resides within you, it is like coming home. Chakradance is a form of nourishment for your true self; for your soul.

Blending free-flowing movements with particular frequencies of sound, Chakradance will free the energy in your body and open you to a deeper experience of life. A healing dance/movement practice that draws on a fusion of philosophies and musical styles, Chakradance aims to restore health to our chakras – the energy centres that, in Eastern tradition, are the gateways to integrating mind, body and spirit.

My invitation is for you to find what thousands of others have found – the unravelling of blocked energy, a deepened connection to your true, authentic self, and the feeling of coming home.

In a darkened room, lit only by candle-light, we move with our eyes closed, and our attention turned inwards, for unlike most other dance practices, Chakradance is about making a connection with our inner world – the world of our imagination, feelings, intuition and senses.

The experience is like a waking dream – we dance up forgotten parts of ourselves, and release the memories stored in our muscles. Our aches and pains reveal their stories and our hidden fears unmask themselves. The experiences are deeply personal and reflect our own nature and history, yet at the same time we tap into the collective heights and depths of human experience.

Drawing on the wisdom of Jungian Psychology, Chakradance is a dance for healing and self-discovery. Each dance gives rise to different insights and feelings… and we use the creation of personal ‘mandala art’ as a way of anchoring our experiences back into our conscious world. Each dance leads us closer to the person we are truly meant to be.

Join me at my next Chakradance workshop, or if you’re not in Canberra, find a Chakradance practitioner in your area.

Magic happens on a full moon

My angels and guardians surround me
with loving guidance and protection.
Their elixirs of healing energy embrace me
and I am at peace knowing how very loved
and adored I am by the precious helpers
from above and beyond.
I ground the cosmic beauty of angelic wisdom
into the roots of my earthly life.

Isha Lerner

We danced the Third Eye chakra under the full moon last night – it was magical.

The moon was majestic in her beauty. She called to us.

Twelve of us circled and held hands as I invoked the goddess archetypes for each chakra. You could feel the electricity move around the circle.

The magic had begun. We started with an active dreaming meditation to visualise the life we desired, to bring it closer to manifestation.

And then we danced. We danced with goddesses, angels and guides. We danced with our ancestors and loved ones that had passed.

We allowed the music to transport us to where-ever we needed to go. Some found themselves flying over the earth. Others received messages from their guides and angels.

I felt the loving energy of my angels and guides around me, and was transported to a place of clarity where I could here the messages from my guides and my inner-wise self.

I was told that I was on the right path, and to continue on my journey towards bliss and fulfillment.

As I said, it was a magical night.

What is Chakradance™?

Chakradance™ is a dance practice for body and soul. It’s a powerful experience that will free and energise you. It combines spontaneous dance, guided imagery and music to promote that wonderful state of calm vitality known as “well-being”.

The music is the key, as it resonates deeply with each in turn of the seven major chakras – the energy centres that integrate and regulate our physical, mental and emotional energies. Many who have experienced it claim it has transformed their lives for the better; others, simply that they enjoyed it hugely.

What makes it more than your normal belly-dancing or salsa class?

It’s not about steps or performance; you do it with your eyes closed in a darkened room. It’s more like a dynamic, moving meditation. It’s completely about freedom of expression; there is no right way to Chakradance™ as everyone has his or her own rhythm and movement. With its roots in Jungian psychology, Chakradance™ encourages people to dance for self-discovery and self-healing.

What do you feel is the main attraction?

The best thing about Chakradance™ is you don’t have to follow a set routine to feel the benefits; you just let the music take control. People from all ages (16 – 90) can participate. Some people are attracted by the fact that it’s a fun and energetic workout to great music. Other people say it leads to a spiritual awakening. Most people love it because it provides a haven away from their stressed and repressed everyday lives, and a rare opportunity to shed their inhibitions in a healthy and appropriate way.

What are the benefits (both physical and mental) of Chakradance™?

The most obvious physical benefit is that it boosts your fitness. It’s a cardio workout that gets everything moving from your face to your feet. It really gets your heart pumping; releasing endorphins to make you feel great. For those who are looking for a more spiritual workout, each workshop is designed to work a different chakra. There are seven main chakras in total. These centres of energy may be under or over active. Balancing them leads to many benefits, including better relationships, improved confidence and self esteem, emotional health and more creativity, heightened inspiration and clarity. But the biggest benefit of all – which comes about by being released from your ordinary day and given a playground and a map to discover how you really feel – is the absolute freedom to be yourself.

So it can be seen as a tool to improve overall health and wellbeing?

Yes, absolutely. Chakradance™ is unique because it’s a cross between dynamic meditation and dance. It requires you to participate physically, emotionally, intellectually AND spiritually. It is extremely therapeutic, although not in a rational or analytical way. The key to its healing power is the experience itself. Not only is it a new physical activity, Chakradance™ truly integrates body and soul.

How would you describe the Chakradance™ experience?

Chakradance™ is almost like entering into a waking dream. Specifically selected music and tailored visualisations help you tap into your inner world. You close your eyes and surrender to the music. From here the process involves letting the movements emerge spontaneously. As the music’s vibrations affect you, you may see images in your mind’s-eye, recall memories or gain insights related to each chakra. You may also feel emotions or physical sensations.

Can the music really help balance a person’s charkas?

Each of the seven chakras vibrates at its own frequency. Music is able to balance the chakras by using the sound vibrations to tune each energy centre. The music selected is modern dance music and world music with specific musical tones that resonate with the chakras. Interwoven with the music are the pure tones of crystal bowls sourced from across the globe, that release a vibrational sound field that is an essential ingredient of each dance. Chakradance™ music has a lasting effect. The vibrations continue to pulse outward into our energy field long after the sounds have stopped playing. The more we experience these healing sounds, the greater and the more permanent the effect. When the music is combined with spontaneous dance, the healing effect is magnified.

How often would someone need to Chakradance™ for and for how long, to achieve the full benefits?

It’s possible to Chakradance™ for between one-three hours to achieve results. Most people get hooked after their first time. Our teachers run monthly two-hour workshops that works on a different chakra each month. We also run special one-hour and three-hour workshops that are just as effective. The more regularly you do it the better. Each time you Chakradance™ the experience is quite different. You can even practice at home – there’s a Chakradance™ CD out now.

And out of the ether

Behold, a sacred voice
is calling you.

All over the sky,
a sacred voice is calling you.

Black Elk

A small group of six danced the Throat Chakra on Friday evening. What a powerful night!

We chanted with Monks, and then we danced into the ether.

 As we danced, something magical began to happen. We felt our bodies dissolving away as we became the ether. Each of us were transported to a magical place where we connected with our angels and guides. We danced with them, and communicated to learn of messages from our Souls.

Then a beautiful white unicorn pegasus appeared. Once of the dancers had manifested him. He was beautiful and majestic – a brilliant white, with massive wings and a horn that shimmered as if it was made from thousands of tiny crystals.

The unicorn pegasus joined in the dance. He ran around the room, whipping up the energy. The temperature became noticably warmer, as the energy swirled and expanded.

A few of us saw him, others felt him. It was incredible.

A truly magical night!

Feel the love of your heart

Fill my heart with Love,

that my every teardrop

may become a star 

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

To work with our heart chakras is not only open our hearts to the love of others, but to open to the love we have for ourselves.

If we do not love and respect ourselves, how can we expect others to do so?

Embrace the essence of ove within. Find more time to take care of yourself – your hair, body, the way you present yourself. Also take notice of your environment around you, let your home reflect your love for yourself.

This month, we’ll be dancing the heart chakra.

The heart chakra is the bridge between the upper and lower chakras. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity.

A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.

To dance the heart chakra is to move with joy and compassion, reflected in dances from ancient Spain, Egypt and China. Many of these dances used exaggerated arm movements to gently whirl into deep states of joyful harmony. Other dances of China symbolized balance, where mimetic movements expressed the union of heaven and earth.

In this workshop, we draw inspiration from these dances, and move the arms to feel uplifted, light and free. Inspired by the whirling of the ancient ones, we dance a soaring journey of love, compassion and joy.
If you can’t join us on Friday, 13th May, you might like to try this exercise from Isha Lerner’s Triple Goddess Tarot.

“It is a very good practice to stand up with your arms reaching towards the heavens in the shape of a chalice.

Imagine you are being filled with the elixir of divine love – let the radiant light of Aphrodite pour into your heart.

You will find that people cannot resist you, for the joy that emanates from your lovingn demeanor is both healing and contagious.

Light a candle in your home symbolizing the purity of love you wish to share with the world.

Empowering your spiritual warrior

There is a force within that gives you life—seek that.
In your body there lies a priceless jewel—seek that.
Oh wandering Sufi,
if you are in search of the greatest treasure,
don’t look outside, look within, and seek that.

~ Rumi

When engaging our solar plexus chakra, we connect to the element of fire, our drive and sense of power, and to our inner-masculine energy.

Experiencing the power of the solar plexus comes from deep within us.

To dance the solar plexus chakra is to call on our own spiritual warrior. We channel the warrior dances of ancient Greece, Morocco, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. These warrior dances were masculine, powerful, athletic and virile, as they rhythmically mimicked the art of the fight. In this workshop, we enter the dance with dramatic movements, strong, purposeful and clearly defined. As the energy builds, movements can become more complex, even frenzied. Through this dynamic movement, the solar energy ignites, and our inner warrior emerges.

Join us on Friday, 15 April at Om Shanti College at Griffith Shops in Canberra to dance the solar plexus chakra and awaken our inner-spiritual warrior.