Tuesday, May 22, 2012

YogaDance...it's easy to be a freak

I spend a lot of time explaining to people that Kripalu (the school that I am doing my training through) is not some woo-woo hippie cult.  And it really isn't!  I like to say that Kripalu is a methodology that can be used for all different kinds of yoga.  Yes, it can be gentle and restorative, but it can also kick your ass in classes just as vigorous as any Ashtanga power flow.  In fact, I get my ass kicked quite regularly in classes with Jay Karlinski in my teacher training.

That being said, if you had seen me and my fellow teacher trainees on Sunday doing a YogaDance session with the lovely Jurian Hughes...it may have looked a little bit like we were in a woo-woo hippie cult.

Here is a clip from the British comedy Peep Show where Mark (Dave Mitchell) goes to a dance flow class to give you an idea about how someone might feel about YogaDance.  To give you some context here is how Mark feels about dancing:  "Dancing? Yes, dancing, I love dancing....Because it makes me look like a coma victim being stood up and zapped with a cattle prod."  ETA: The following clips are kind of NSFW.  Headphones!

But actually, YogaDance is an incredible experience.  More on it after the jump.

On paper, YogaDance seems kind of silly.  The cues are like, pretend you are a deep sea creature who shines light from your limbs!  Slap blessings around people's energy!  However, the experience of this is actually very fun and also very, very profound.  The experience made me realize how so much of our lives are governed by rules about how we should act.  How often do we get to be silly and move in a way that is completely uninhibited in a space where there is no judgment?  The answer is probably RARELY.  It definitely is for me.  At a certain point it does become a kind of trance like state and your body just knows what it wants to do.

The YogaDance session focused on different chakras.  The most surprising thing for me was that when we moved with a focus on the heart chakra, I started to cry.  Jurian was saying things like, imagine a person who you want forgiveness from, you are safe to ask, it'll be okay.  At that moment, with my arms opening and closing around my chest, it felt as if something became unblocked in my mind and it just started to rain on my face.  It felt as if moving intuitively had tapped into another kind of intuition.

On a more lighthearted note, YogaDance is a major workout.  Dancing for two hours straight without pause is an insane amount of cardio.  I have not boogied like that since my college days, and back then alcohol was involved!  Also, for my ballet readers, I totally was bourée-ing across the floor, while waving my arms like a starfish and reflecting people's energy.  At one point, I think I was doing sloppy sauté arabesque while singing along to Adele's Rolling in the Deep.  It's kind of a blur in hindsight.

Anyway, it seems like this idea of yoga dance/trace things is becoming more popular, with the New York Times writing about the growing trend of yoga raves this past week. Have you done yoga dance, or been to a yoga rave?  If not, maybe try it!  And if you are more of a Dave Mitchell kind of a person, maybe try putting on some music and letting loose in the privacy of your own home.

Bonus Peep Show clip.  Speaking of raves....Mark on ecstasy?

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