New fitness: Chakradance classes
Keep calm and move with this new holistic workout! It’s a fusion of dynamic meditation and dance that’s here to stay.
We all have days when we feel rushed off our feet, right? Chakradance is an energising way to combat stress, stay grounded, and increase your heart rate in a whole new way.
A complete workout for body, mind and spirit, Chakradance is taking the world by storm with classes in 19 countries around the world, including New Zealand. A combination of cardio and spiritual connection with roots in Jungian psychology, it encourages you to dance for fun, fitness and self-discovery.
What is Chakradance?
Coined ‘the sister of yoga’, Chakradance classes involve being guided by an instructor through spontaneous dance to music specially designed to resonate with each of our seven major chakras, or energy centres. The blend of fluid, freestyle dance and deep, vibrational music has huge healing effects – physically, mentally and emotionally. Unlike most dance practices, Chakradance has no set routines or judged performances, and is performed either in the dark or blindfolded so you can give complete focus to your own practice without worrying about what other people in the room are doing.
‘There are no right or wrong moves in Chakradance – everyone has their own rhythm,’ says Cambridge Chakradance facilitator Pippa Sherry. ‘Everyone’s experience is their own, it’s about letting go and allowing the music to move you, but don’t worry, we make sure you don’t bang into each other!’
The origins of Chakradance
Chakradance was developed in Australia in 1998 by Natalie Southgate, who wanted to combine her work in Jungian psychology and chakra healing with her passion for dance and music.
‘It’s very powerful. Even someone who doesn’t know a thing about chakras, who’s never done a drop of self-development work in their lives, is amazed how they can actually feel it,’ says Natalie. ‘It’s very freeing, and I think a lot of people need that.’
The seven chakras
Like yoga, where a lot of attention is given to energy centres, Chakradance helps unblock and maintain healthy energy in your body and mind. The 90-minute classes are held in a candle-lit room and start with a short meditation followed by guided imagery. Each dance works to balance one of the seven chakras, a concept that features in tantric and yoga traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism:
– The Base chakra is all about grounding
– Sacral chakra taps into your inner goddess
– Solar plexus chakra finds the warrior in you
– Heart chakra is the dance of love and relationships
– Throat chakra is for communication
– Third eye chakra brings out your intuition
– Crown chakra focuses on the brain and nervous system and encourages a deeper connection to your self
How can Chakradance help me?
The health benefits of balancing your chakras are huge; stronger relationships, improved confidence and self-esteem, and enhanced creativity and focus.
‘The biggest benefit is the absolute freedom to just let go and be yourself, let loose and dance in a safe environment,’ she says.
While Chakradance has spiritual wellbeing at its core, there’s no denying it’ll get your heart pumping.
‘It gets everything moving from your face to your feet, releasing endorphins so you feel great long after the class,’ says Pippa. ‘It’s the best of both worlds – a moving meditation and a physical workout.’
Where can I try Chakradance?
Chakradance classes are currently being held in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Southland, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay. For a list of facilitators, go to ‘find a class’ at www.chakradance.com.
‘More and more are popping up all the time, which is great to see,’ says Pippa. ‘Chakradance is more than another new-age health fad, it’s a unique spiritual dance journey that releases stress, relaxes your body and mind – and keeps you fit!’
Tips for beginners
Don’t know your left from your right? No problem! Chakradance is for all ages and fitness levels – all you need is an open mind and willingness to try something new.
- Comfort is key: It’s all about fluid movement, so think flowing threads and bare feet
- Come with an open mind: Every dance will bring different sensations, just go with it!
- Best place to start: The ‘Awakening’ course, a nine-week series for beginners (check with your local facilitator to find out when the next one in your area is being held).
- DIY Chakradance: Music can be purchased at www.chakradance.com for an at-home practice
- No homework needed: If you want to read up more about chakras before you come, great! But it’s not essential.
- Share the love: Sometimes it helps to bring a friend along when you’re trying something new.
Image / Supplied