I am so happy to invite my dear friend Nadia on my blog. I met this beautiful lady at an ashram in India and she’s now like a little sister.
Nadia is young and has the freshness of that youth! To me, it feels like she is always connected to her higher self, spreading love and wisdom from that young age but quite ancient soul for sure.
It is always such a bliss to discuss any spiritual and energy healing practice with her. In addition, to teaching yoga, she studies psychology and works in a company as HR manager. Yes, that’s a lot and it shows her power, her strength and her love towards Humans by accompanying them and helping them heal.
Nadia, I have so much gratitude for you to have taken the time and energy to write this article about ecstatic dance. Thank you my lovely!
What is ecstatic dance?
To dance is to be so deeply in touch with nature. We can see this if only we look at children. They move organically, as their cells wish. As an adult though, these spontaneous movements have been cut off by cultural and moral expectations and norms. In ecstatic dance practice, you slowly start to learn how to move organically again.
It all starts with your outfit: everyone wears relaxed clothes and no shoes (i.e. making contact with the earth). The lights are always dimmed in the dance hall and the music is pretty loud. An important aspect of the practice is awareness: only when this is present, the practice can serve as a spiritual practice. Without awareness, the practice is still healthy (i.e. moving the body), but it cannot be considered a practice to touch deeper layers of yourself.
With awareness though, this can definitely be the case…
On all kinds of different rhythms and melodies, the body gets the opportunity to move: static movements, round movements, slow movements, fast movements, big movements, small movements, inward movements, outward movements, et cetera. On the way, emotions may rise. Fear, anger, happiness, pride, sadness, etc. This is due to all kinds of emotions that have been suppressed in your body cells (they have memory too) that now get space to move and be felt.
This is an important aspect…
To feel whatever passes in your system and by becoming super aware of this, you allow yourself to eventually release these emotions
This causes ecstatic dance to be a very uplifting experience. Sometimes, kundalini is raised. This is why ecstatic dance is called ecstatic dance. 😉
How did you discover ecstatic dance?
I had been practising yoga and meditation for quite some years. At a specific moment, I realized I needed to calm down with my yoga and meditation practice – I had to ground again. Therefore, I started searching around for activities that were somehow related to raising consciousness but also having both of my feet on the ground (being present in life). Somehow, I found a FB-event on my timeline. This was exactly what I was looking for.
How often do you practice ecstatic dance?
Not regularly in a group, but I often practice it by myself (in a big dance hall). I have joined +/- 6 group sessions and I did (and still do) many sessions alone. Being in a group, the energy is higher (of course). Being alone, it has an intimate quality.
What do you get from an ecstatic dance session?
By practicing ecstatic dance, I invite my cells to express themselves, to move organically, without the mind interrupting the expression. This always takes a while (more than an hour), which is all fine. In daily life, many things are inhibited due to fears in the mind. In this practice, I learn to transcend these ideas, concepts, rules, and eventually, sometimes even transforming them. The practice does have effect on my daily life also. The mind will always try to keep us small. The dance, however, frees you from this non-existing box. In conclusion, what I get from an ecstatic dance session: I am more spacious, I think less, I’m freer, more in touch with myself, more loving, more organic
A message, piece of advice about ecstatic dance for the people who will read this blog?
If you are new to ecstatic dance, don’t ask too much of yourself right away. Give yourself some time. Let the dance slowly and genuinely develop. Your mind probably want you to impress others or yourself, but try not to.
Be organic 😊.
Also, practicing tantric dance would be my advice to people that would like to experiment with and learn about their feminine and masculine energies. This is a dance in which you get to dance with a partner. I have learned a lot about my tendencies towards giving and receiving, and I have also learned about daring to open up (completely, without any boundaries) to unknown people.
I recommend to start with ecstatic dance, becoming more comfortable with your own body first, and then, if you are interested, have a look at tantric dance too.
Freestyle question – what would you like to add?
Ecstatic dance is so beneficial if you tend to keep emotions inside! Also, it is good in addition to deep meditation practices to stay grounded.
Dance is a hidden language of the soul!