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What is Chakradance?

 

 

Dance as a spiritual discipline is an ancient practice that’s been explored by many cultures throughout the ages. CHAKRADANCE, a new healing dance practice, takes this tradition into the 21st century. There are no set steps and you dance as if no one is watching, to modern dance music in a sacred space. Creator, Natalie Southgate, describes it as ”dreaming with your feet”, and explains the experience and how it’s good for your soul...

 

"In recent years there has been an explosion of new age practices, many of which draw roots from ancient philosophies. One can find varying types of meditation, psychic development, spiritual development, and channelling, guide and angel workshops, to name but a few. The aim of many of these practices is to raise consciousness, connect with the spiritual world, and transcend the physical. Having personally explored many of these practices, I have achieved great rewards, and in the process have experienced a reality that often appears to be of 'another world'. My struggle, in hindsight, has been in bringing this 'other world' back in to the physical aspect of my self. I felt the time had come to embody some of these remarkable experiences.

Reflecting back on my life, the times when I have felt most alive and in touch with my 'true self' are the times when I have been moving my body, through dance. Not the times when my childhood dancing teacher was instructing me to move my body this way or that, but the times when I really let go, let the music enter my body and 'moved' in an authentic way. Donald Winnicott, a renowned psychoanalyst, describes the ‘true self’ as being the source of all spontaneity and creativity and it was this self that was calling for my attention.

Marian Woodman, a Jungian Analyst and Author, says, "matter without spirit is a corpse, spirit without matter is a ghost". I believe that when matter and spirit move together in a rhythmic dance, the experience is one of feeling truly alive. This merging of matter and spirit allows one to embody consciousness, embody spirit, and manifest some of the 'other worldliness' in a physical and concrete way.

In order to embody consciousness, we need a map to discover what it is exactly that we are trying to embody, and how. The map that I have been drawn to work with is the map of the chakra system; an ancient Indian yoga system discovered over 4000 years ago.

The chakra system contains within it seven major chakras, each acting as an energetic gateway allowing universal energy to flow in and out of our systems. Each chakra corresponds with particular body organs and reflects an aspect of consciousness on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level. Each chakra also has its own vibrational frequency as well as an attributed element, archetype, animal, planet etc. These can all be used as pathways into the chakras enabling us to connect more deeply with the energies existing within each one.

There are countless books and texts detailing the chakras, but it became my aim to take the basic map and connect with the chakras in a physical way, thereby experiencing the various aspects of consciousness reflected in each chakra, in the body. I wanted to bring the sacredness of ancient philosophies into a modern culture that appears to be crying out for healing of body, mind and spirit. This was the birth of CHAKRADANCE, a healing dance practice that uses specific music and spontaneous dance to balance the chakras.

CHAKRADANCE music is modern-world-music, which has been created with the intention of using sound as a healing force. Music has incredible therapeutic powers and is considered to be the oldest form of healing. In many ancient cultures music was both composed and performed with the intention of promoting physical health, freeing emotions, entering into altered states of consciousness, and ultimately, of healing the soul. Music was considered sacred and magical. Long before psychotherapy existed, music played the role of healer, doctor and therapist.

Music plays a major role in balancing the chakras. Musical vibrations can be tuned to the seven chakras, each of which has its own vibrational frequency. In CHAKRADANCE, we have woven the ancient techniques with the advanced technology available today. The pure tones of crystal bowls pulse throughout the music and release a vibrational sound field that is an essential ingredient of each dance.

The desire to dance is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. As a healing art form, dance can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient cultures dance was used in celebratory, ritualistic and spiritual ways. Primitive man danced the shifting of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, and the transitional moments in life—birth, death and rites of passage. As a metaphor, dance symbolises the rhythm of the universe, divine ‘play’, the eternal dance of life. As one of the most evolved healing art forms, dance weaves together all aspects of human existence.

CHAKRADANCE is a healing dance practice. It's unique because it uses spontaneous dance for the purpose of healing. There's no right or wrong way to CHAKRADANCE. It’s a journey of self-discovery. Each chakra is explored through specific music, guided imagery and your own free, improvised dance, done with your eyes softly closed. This begins to activate inner experiences. It’s almost like entering into a waking dream. You may see images in your mind’s eye while you are dancing or gain insights. You may also experience feelings, emotions or physical sensations. Classes, comprised of a small group of people, are held in candle lit spaces. Although music and dance form the primary focus, sessions also include sensing, working with elements and colours, and short meditations.

CHAKRADANCE puts you in touch with the sacred, both within yourself and within the universe. It helps you connect with your soul. Dancing the seven chakras is like dancing into seven different worlds, each with their own lessons, meanings and stories. They are all uniquely yours, to explore and enjoy!"

 

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