What is Let Your Yoga Dance
As I embark on becoming a “Let your Yoga Dance” instructor, I thought it might be helpful to share more about this joyful, fun and sacred movement experience. As you read this and are thinking, “sure, it works for some, but not for me”, I ask that you keep an open mind. Any of us can dance. Just watch young children as they follow the natural beat to the music. Movement is a natural rhythm that lives within us. Perhaps early conditioning squelched our ability to connect to our deeper place of grooving to the music. This LYYD experience can help unleash the younger child in each of us. It combines easy, user-friendly dance movements coupled with moving yoga movements to music from around the world. In addition, it includes the 7 chakras, the energy centers running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
Sometimes LYYD is described as a movement experience where joy and fun meet deep and sacred. Having been practicing my “dance teach playlist” for over six weeks now, I can attest to the benefits of this dance/movement form. I feel more joyful, more energetic and overall more open to the present moment. I have released the old place of perfection and performance and instead have embodied a more grounded sense of being free to be me. Sounds corny, but it is true.
To provide an idea of what happens in the hour class, here is a brief overview. We start in a seated circle. I explain briefly what LYYD is and create a safe space to explore movement in the way each and every one can enjoy. There is good reason it is called, “Let your yoga dance” because everyone needs to honor his/her unique body and ability in the moment. Then we warm up our bodies to music and move in an arc through the 7 chakras (energy systems) in our body. Music and movement get more rambunctious as we move up through our chakras. The energy quiets down toward the end of class as we find our way to the floor to release our bodies in a deep relaxation. Class completes with a seated short meditation.
I have also witnessed the power of this LYYD in action. As part of my LYYD training experience, I have been receiving mentoring from Andrea Cashman, a LYYD teacher in the Milford area. Last Friday, I attended a special population LYYD class. It was offered at a Senior Center on the CT shoreline. As I arrived with Andrea, there were a few seniors sitting around the perimeter of the dance room. One in particular seemed rather hesitant if he would stay for the class. This gentleman was challenged with his Parkinson’s disease and the limitations it had on his body. I introduced myself and encouraged him to stay. The transformations among the group members from beginning of class to end were remarkable. Many felt hesitant like this fellow, but all stayed. Andrea’s skillful instructions coupled with many bluesy tunes brought life to each person in the circle. At first some seemed resistant to bring their own way of moving into the mix, but as it got to be their turn, smiles were wide and movement was spontaneous and expressive. Let Your Yoga Dance also creates a sense of community among participants. Some songs might involve a playful dance with someone else or moving in a line up and down the dance floor. It is this magical combination of many things that leaves participants feeling a new sense of connection, joy and ,dare I say, hope. After class completed, I went back to this man with the Parkinson’s and celebrated with him that he did it! His smile was infectious. To my surprise he gathered me in to this big hug and thanked me for encouraging him to stay. What a transformation indeed.
In the fall, LYYD will be launched in the Hartford area.
Hope you give it a try!