Frequently Asked Questions
SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION
1. Will learning self-compassion skills make me an emotional mess?
On the contrary, learning self-compassion skills helps you to self-regulate your emotions so that you feel more balanced. It's when we do not have skills to soothe ourselves and move forward that we end up falling into a state of helplessness.
2. Will I become unmotivated by being so easy on myself?
Think about whether your inner critic really helps you. I would imagine that like most people you end up feeling bad about yourself and maybe even anxious or inadequate. Using self-compassion gives us a gentle way to motivate ourselves rather than beating ourselves up. We are less likely to avoid challenges because we know that we won't get our own wrath if we don't succeed. It's like having a positive mentor by your side.
3. Isn't it selfish to be so positive with yourself?
Actually, the more positive we are with ourselves, that more positive we are with others. Giving ourselves self-compassion benefits ourselves and others as it helps us to be more present with others and not preoccupied with our own internal stories. Self-compassion helps us to see a situation for what it is, give ourselves compassion and then let go of the situation without getting attached to it. You will not get absorbed with yourself if you see things clearly, feel your feelings and take the appropriate action if necessary. Being self-absorbed is at the core of self-criticism. It's so easy to get caught in the negative self-talk. Mindful self-compassion is an antidote to this painful emotional state.
SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT “LET YOUR YOGA DANCE”
1. So can you share what LYYD is all about?
Sure, “Let your yoga dance” is a user-friendly dance/ yoga fusion that draws on music from around the world. During each hour class the selected music playlist’s tempo and words accompany movement up through all seven chakras (the energy centers of the body). It is often referred to as a practice where joy and fun meet deep and sacred.
2. How does it benefit people?
There are four main ways this movement experience benefits participants. These include brain health, heart health, body health and soul health. Let me explain further. Some simple choreography is taught in each class. These moves help train our brains in learning something different which keeps our brain functioning at an optimal level. As the hour unfolds, the music and moves get more rambunctious and with that comes a better conditioning for both our hearts and our bodies. Our hearts reap the benefits too of being in a safe, supportive and compassionate circle of people who create a “tribe” with one another during the hour class. Our society can be so isolating for some folks. It is refreshing to have this experience to join in play, movement and connection.
3. What if someone has two left feet or limitations with their body? Can they come to class too?
“Let your yoga dance” is aptly named since the MOST important factor in participating in the hour is to to listen to your body and adjust your movements accordingly. That is the freeing thing about LYYD. Although there may be suggested moves or choreography offered, the bottom line is each person’s body has the final say. Some folks do part or all of the class from the seated position which is totally fine. No problem about having two left feet either. The most crucial ingredient for class is to be present, to be open and curious about how your body can respond to the music. There is no “right way” to do this. No one is better than someone else. It is about dropping into the ways your body might want to explore movement while at the same time being respectful of any limits you may have.
4. Can you give an overview of what happens in an hour class?
I’d be happy to do that. After I welcome everyone to class, I give some background about LYYD, and go over the benefits of doing this kind of dance/yoga movement. I reiterate that it is YOUR yoga dance and invite folks to notice how their bodies are doing before class begins. We setup a safe, supportive environment so everyone can feel comfortable in how their bodies want to express themselves. This overview is done in a seated position either on yoga mats or in chairs. We then stand up and class begins. The first song is a warmup and corresponds to the first chakra which is all about grounding and being rooted into the present moment. Gentle yoga moves help us feel the earth’s energy support our connection to the ground and to our lives. Spiraling up to the second chakra, we enjoy the oozy, watery energy of the hips and pelvis as we move about in more pleasurable ways. One song I love in the second chakra is Wade in the Water by Eva Cassidy. One’s hips cannot help becoming engaged as we listen and move to this song. From there the music picks up some and we find ourselves in the third chakra. It’s time to claim our power, feel our strength and honor the fire that lives inside of us. The third chakra corresponds with the solar plexus. Attention is paid to that part of the body to help it fire up so we can claim our power more fully. The music beats and rhythms shift again as we make our way into chakra four, the heart center. These movements are all about sending and receiving love and compassion to ourselves and the wider world. We crank it up in chakra five. This chakra resides at the throat and it is all about speaking our truth and having our voice. During this part of the class we get wild as we move boldly across the floor. Many of the songs are familiar and participants are encouraged to sing along as they dance up a storm. We quiet down into the sixth chakra, the seat of intuition. Before this song, we usually take a quick water break to give hydration and a moment to regroup. As the class winds down, there is a natural invitation to draw attention within. Finally, we make our way down on our yoga mat for the relaxation part of the class. It is an opportunity to simple let go and allow the gentle music to wash over us. The class ends with a brief mediation in the seated position. The meditation bell sounds, we OM in unison and bid farewell to one another.
From my own participation in LYYD classes, I find that I come away feeling more energetic, happier and overall more present. Some kind of magic happens in these classes. The combination of working up through all 7 energy centers of the body combined with a deep sense of being held in a safe space of other dancers offers an experience unlike any other that I have ever been a part of.
May you take the leap and come join in the fun in one of the upcoming LYYD classes.
Your brain, body, heart and soul will thank you!!