“Dance Yoga”

March 1, 2009 · 0 comments

The “Moving Energy” class was interesting.  It was in the main hall of a Presbyterian church not too far from me.  Big room, high ceilings, commercial loop pile carpet glued down over concrete on the floor.  Three-piece band in the corner (guitar, double bass (a.k.a. “standup”), percussion).  The band was pretty good; very relaxed and low-key.  The percussionist didn’t use any sticks as far as I could tell, and that was pretty apropos.  He was seated behind a drumkit of a few bongos, cymbals, and other things.

When I walked in, my friend Anna was talking to the instructor MeriLynn.  Anna introduced us and we talked for a bit, mostly joking that I was one of two people there possessing a Y chromosome (exluding the band).  I was impressed with MeriLynn’s genuinness (genuity?) and the fact that she’s as pretty as her picture on the internet.
We started off in a big circle and MeriLynn led us in different movements loosely based on the music, but mostly “characteristic” of the particular chakra we were working on.  So, basically seven sections to the class.  She was very specific in saying that everything was up to interpretation and that we didn’t have to necessarily follow her movements exactly, which was good because she kept changing things up.  A lot of the movements were reminiscent of an 80s-style aerobics class (do people still do aerobics classes?).  There were quite a few places where I just gave up trying to follow what the instructor was doing and enjoyed myself dancing to the music. 

I was expecting more of a stationary setup – three or four movements designed to bring our mental and physical attention to each of the chakras in turn – but it was much more of an interpretive dance session.  We ended up running around the room, clapping and yelling, kind of doing whatever came to mind at the time.  There was, however, a definite beginning and end to each section. 
I mostly just suspended my judgment and tried not to be too self-conscious.  And I’m glad I did, because I had fun.  Some of it was a bit weird for me – for example, the few times we were told to “grab a partner”:  I had no intention of touching other people.  I’m no touch-freak, but that’s a bit intimate for me.  Being that there was only one other guy in the room, I got to dance with a lot of different women.  I wasn’t too comfortable with the pheromones I was putting out – these were mostly housewives going out for some exercise and to play for a bit.  I’m a 32 year old dude in prime rutting condition – that’s very high on my body’s priority list, so I felt uncomfortable about the energy I might give off.  I don’t mean to imply that I was planning on effng any of the women there – or even really thinking about it (more than is normal, of course) – just that I was worried that my energy might not mix well with what they had going on.  I felt like the only male indian in the women’s sweat lodge.   
MeriLynn worked from the bottom up and I got the feeling that she thinks the root chakra is located between our feet.  She also referred to the chakras as earth, water, fire, air, creativity, third eye (and I don’t think she has a name for the crown chakra, because we didn’t dance to that one).  I wasn’t a big fan of her chakra-annotations – they don’t really go with my conception of the chakras.  And she pronounced the word with a hard ‘ch’ (cha-kra, instead of shock-ra).  Most of the movements for the earth, water, fire and air made sense, but when we got to third eye, I just crossed my legs and meditated.  We ended the session similar to a beginner’s yoga class:  a kind of yoga nidra in whatever asana the corpse-pose is (shavasana – thank you, Wikipedia) – and 6 oms chanted together.  I guess that was supposed to be the movement for the crown chakra (unless I meditated through it).
Overall, I thought it was pretty cool.  Definitely something interesting to do.  I don’t, however, think I’d necessarily want to do it again.  I like my yoga practice to be a heck of a lot more disciplined than that.

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