"To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak."
I went to a Christmas party at the country club on Saturday night. As soon as dinner was over, the DJ cranked up the music and the crowd began to dance. My husband and I joined in and danced until the DJ stopped playing two hours later. As I looked around me I noticed that the happy crowd moved to the beat of the music in all different ways. Some moved subtly, while others danced with abandon. (I was in the latter category!) The best part of all was that everyone was smiling and laughing as the let their bodies move and sway to the music in a natural way.
I asked someone who was standing at the edge of the dance floor to join me. She said, "Oh no, I don't dance." I felt bad for her because I thought she was missing an opportunity to feel good.
Our bodies crave movement. You can see this when you watch little kids try to sit still at a movie, a restaurant, or church. Turn on some up beat music and even the youngest children will stomp their feet, clap their hands, or bob their heads instinctively. To me, this proves that dance is a natural expression of our bodies desire for movement.
Historically dance has been used for ceremonies, rituals, celebrations, entertainment, and even as a way to heal or protect people from disease. Our ancestors danced as a way to express and process their emotions. They danced at happy occasions as well as sad ones.
New research into movement therapy and neuroscience is showing that when we make movements that are related to a specific emotion, it can create that emotion in us. In other words, the way we move our bodies sends signals to our brain that make us actually feel happy, sad, fearful and so on. What is even more amazing is that just watching someone else carry out the motions or even thinking about them yourself can trigger a feeling in your body. So the woman who was standing still at the edge of the dance floor was benefitting just by watching us.
Our bodies, our minds, and our emotions aren't separate, and there is more and more research being done to prove this. This knowledge should empower us. We can to elicit the moods that we would like to experience by moving our bodies in a specific way.
If you want to feel happy right now, take a moment to watch this video or better yet, get off of your chair and join in the dance!
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras