For many of us, yoga equals a serene state of quiet stillness, a zone in which to work on balance, tranquility, and alignment. But sometimes you need to shake things up. Why not try a more communicative yoga practice, one that takes the phrase “fullest expression of the pose” to an entirely new level? We’re talking about Dance-Yoga. Yes, it exists. And yes, it’s fabulous, freeing, and fun. Once you get over your inhibitions, that is.
“Through movement, you discover the stories held inside your body, and through the power of expression and creativity, you begin to write the new ones,” said Sofiah Thom, a Costa Rica-based instructor who teaches Danyasa, a unique style of improvised yogic movement.
Thom, like many of her like-minded peers around the world, maintains that just by introducing the word “dance” into the mix, the practitioner is invited to more acutely express herself. Instead of having all that dead space between the postures, dance becomes the glue that holds the practice together; the asanas flow into a continuous, organic, fluid, and more personal expression. In this way, dance, which innately puts a person in the raw creative state, becomes the force that propels your practice forward.
Dance-Yoga is fairly common in most cities; a simple Bing or Google search can lead you to classes available in your area.
For those who really want to tap into their inner Martha Graham, Thom suggests enrolling in multiple-day workshops, noting that people are often timid at first. It usually takes a day or two to chisel away at one’s inhibitions and really let loose.
So the next time you find yourself needing a yoga shake up, consider taking a class that asks you to sensually spice it up with your own personal style. Dare to reinvent your notion of wellness and connectedness.
Think of it as your own yogi version of So You Think You Can Dance? Without the judges.
To learn more about Danyasa and Sofiah Thom, visit Bamboo Yoga Play.