I was recently e-mailing Paul Southgate, the Husband of Chakradance Founder Natalie Southgate,about a video I want to put together to promote Chakradance in Wiltshire. Paul gave me a warning; 'The main challenge of videos of Chakradance classes is that the real experience is an 'inner' experience ...it doesn't always look that great from the outside, and can at worst look like a bad school disco, only for middle-aged women!!'
So, what exactly is Chakradance? From the outside it can look 'interesting' and not necessarily in a good way, and if you search for Chakradance in Youtube you're likely to get all manner of things, which aren't 'Chakradance,' but which might suggest it's for drugged up raver & party-goers. As a result, marketing Chakradance in a county where you're currently the only Facilitator can prove a challenge!
Chakradance (all one word, and a Trade Mark of this particular style of chakra dancing) is a healing practice. Yes, it's fun, and yes, you will get a workout, but primarily Chakradance helps to balance your chakras.
The Chakradance website: www.chakradance.com describes it as follows;
'Chakradance is a healing movement practice. It's a form of nourishment for your true self - for your soul. Moving to music specifically created to resonate with each chakra, you are guided into your own inner dance of release and re-connection. It offers a kind of liberation. It feels like coming home.'
It certainly did feel like 'coming home' the first time I danced. It felt like there had been a hole in my life that I'd been unaware of and suddenly I'd found an answer I didn't know I was searching for.
So, what exactly is it?
Let's start at the beginning. The Chakras are concentrations of energy in our bodies. Each one resonates to a different frequency of sound. In Chakradance we dance to music chosen to resonate to the frequency of each chakra. There are no taught moves, we each move to the music in our own, unique way. We also dance with a lowered gaze, or our eyes shut, so the dance becomes a moving meditation.
At first you might find you 'check in' and peek to see where you are in the room, but gradually your confidence grows. Regular Chakradancers may wish to use blindfolds to cut out the light. In fact, some of the best sessions have taken place on a Winter's evening, dancing in candlelight, with a raging storm going on outside.
Plus, because your eyes are shut ... as are everyone else's ... you lose your inhibitions, you don't care what you look like! So who cares if you do look like you're at a 'bad school disco?' Certainly no one who is Chakradancing with you!
What about collisions?
As a Facilitator I keep my eyes open to ensure people aren't heading for a collision. In fact, only a couple of times have I gently guided a participant into a space. Regular Chakradancers comment that they can sense where others are in the room, and most people tend to stay in one area of the room, even with their eyes shut.
What can you expect from a session?
We start each session with a guided meditation to settle ourselves and prepare us for the workshop. We then briefly check in to see how everyone is after the previous workshop. After that I will guide you through a dancing warm up before moving straight into the dance of that session. Although there is some guided imagery your dance and inner expression is exactly that, yours, and only yours. There is no expectation for you to share how you feel or any thoughts which came up for you. After the dance, which is approximately 25 minutes long, we put our experiences of the session onto paper, in the form of a mandala, as a way of creating something 'concrete' which you can then take away with you and reflect on during the week. Again, there is no expectation to share these.
During the very final dance of the sequence of nine workshops we bring all our mandalas from the previous weeks along and reflect on the journey we have taken. One of my regular candidates had kept his previous mandalas too. When he compared two cycles the similarities were amazing!
What can you expect to experience?
I can't answer that as each person's experience of Chakradance is unique to them. Personally I have met spirit guides and power animals, I have received messages, and sometimes I have just had a really good evening! I find I dream more in the week after dancing and on occasions I have received clarity over a problem I've been pondering. During a Solar Plexus, inner warrior dance, I even 'became' Robbie Williams! That caused great amusement when I shared that my group!
Do you need to be physically fit?
Absolutely not! In Chakradance you move within the limitations of your body. One candidate had a bad back and chose to lie on a mat and dance from that position. She could feel the beat of the music through the floor. I have had people who use wheelchairs join the group and danced with people with learning disabilities. Reports were that some of those people slept better than they had done for weeks.
And what about the 'drug taking ravers?'
My role as facilitator is to turn anyone away who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As a healing practice this would not be conducive to experiencing healing and anyone turning up obviously having partaken of alcohol or drugs would not be welcome.
Want to find out more?
Why not join me each month at Yatesbury in Wiltshire, just three miles from Avebury Stone Circle. Visit the 'Workshops' page of my website to find out more about these sessions.
If you wish to get a group of people together and have a suitable space, then I can come and do longer, three hour workshops. Contact me for details.
Hope to see you Chakradancing soon!
Each month, throughout 2017, I will be posting in more detail about the topic of the month. Let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to discuss.