Do you love to dance, but are uncomfortable doing so in a group setting?
Are you afraid of getting things “wrong”?
Do you sometimes feel like you are hiding your real self from others, even from yourself?
I totally get it; I remember the embarrassment of a few African dance classes when I just couldn’t understand the complicated steps, but had to try right in front of those handsome african drummers, often stumbling over my own feet! Everyone else seemed to know what they were doing but me. I loved to dance, but hated the awkwardness I felt. That feeling completely stopped me from dancing for years, losing me hours of joy.
If we can't quite fit in or do as others do we instinctively feel anxiety. This made survival sense 100,000 years ago. But now it just interferes with our ability to enjoy our lives.
Allowing a sense of awkwardness to stop us from doing something that looks or sounds really wonderful is all too common - most of us do it. As humans we are wired for wanting to be accepted. It's part of our survival instinct to be part of a group. If we can't quite fit in or do as others do we instinctively feel anxiety. This made survival sense 100,000 years ago. But now it often just interferes with our ability to enjoy our lives. Like preventing us from dancing our hearts out!
The wonderful news is it's easier than you think to break free of that fear, and the limitations we put on our lives because of it. One big key is radical self-acceptance. Yoga philosophy teaches us that we are all diamonds in essence, yet life experiences often cover them with soot and grime until we forget that they are the core of us. Reminding ourselves of this inner diamond helps us have self-acceptance.
This is why I teach Yoga Dance. It teaches us that accepting ourselves as unique beings doesn't alienate us, but rather unites us with others. When I discovered Yoga Dance, I noticed I could accept and embrace my way of moving. In class, I felt I could be myself entirely, not duty bound to others' ideas of how to move and be. I found I could move freely and joyfully without anyone, including myself, judging me because that was the whole point of the practice. Now when I dance, for an hour or so, I am not tied to any one else's needs or expectations. I get to feel me, to listen to what I want, but also to feel I am part of a group, as we are all doing this together. This has the magical effect of bringing out the best of myself: it dusts off the soot of life and excavates into the places where I am bright, exuberant, and vigorously vital, and lets them shine out into my life and the world. When I dance now, I find my own inner diamond...
Dance dusts off the soot of life and excavates into the places where I am bright, exuberant, and vigorously vital, and lets them shine out into my life and the world.
When teaching, I emphasize that “there is no wrong way to dance”, it’s all about moving in a way that feels good to you. As a dance and yoga teacher I've watched many women over time shift from moving awkwardly- as if from the dictation of their fear-based thinking mind--to moving from a fullness of their bodies and souls. The difference is dramatic, and happens quickly in yoga dance. Instead of thinking about getting anything “right”, suddenly a beauty they didn't even realize was there starts to come through. This almost always gives me shivers. I love teaching Uplift Yoga Dance and facilitating this process of a woman bringing her full, best, brightest self to life.
You don't need me to begin to tap into that...I will be offering classes again really soon, but if my class times don't work for you, see the video below to dance carefree on your own a bit, and begin to actually feel your own inner diamond shining brilliantly.
Click on image to play this tension releasing, refreshing and enlivening dance --a great power break in your day! Also great for keeping your joints healthy.
Please feel free to share your experience or thoughts in the comment section below. I love hearing from you!