Holistic and Joyful ~ Let’s Celebrate

Probably the most holistic activity I do for myself is to belly dance! Sounds strange perhaps, but let me explain a little.

This September it will be 17 years since I took my first belly dance class and 12 years since teaching my first. I signed up because I thought it would be a fun way to fitness…it has certainly been that, but that has only been a side benefit in comparison to the amazing holistically healthy other mind, body and soul benefits.

Think about these questions for a moment and what your answers would be…

When was the last time that you actually PLAYED?
How old were you when you played dress up?
Have you ever just allowed a tune, rhythm or phrase of music to enter through your ears and move your entire body?
Do you participate in any activities that make your heart soar with joy, your lips smile with delight and at the same time bring a calmness to your spirit? Was it recently?
What activities do you actively participate in to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem?
Do you have a social life with others where you can laugh freely from the depth of your being?

Did you notice I didn’t ask you any questions about your physical fitness? That’s because, with belly dance, you can be at any fitness level and make the “work out” from a class whatever you want it to be…it’s that individualized.

Perhaps it’s time to step out and see what this is about and so I invite you to


Join me for a BELL~ Y~TEA
Thursday, September 4th 7 to 9pm at the Abbotsford Ballet Studio
FOR
* A Dance Jam
* Free Refreshments & Party Favours
* A Celebratory word & drum Circle
* Bazaar
(Spanish Imports & Helen’s skirts)
* A special Organics Gift Basket prize draw that you can enter when you come with a friend who would like to experience a belly dance evening.
The more friends you bring the more entries you receive.

It doesn’t matter whether your friends have danced before or not…the first 15 minutes of the Dance Jam will be an introduction to basic steps.
You will need to bring a full skirt & hip scarf (extras available) & drum or zils if you have them
Please RSVP to JingleWhenYouWalk@gmail.com by Sept. 1st
More information about Abbotsford Belly Dance Classes & Workshops can be found at http://www.abbotsfordbellydance.com

Some specials for YOUR holistic health!

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Rhythms of Nature inspiring the Dance

I am pretty sure that those ancients that have danced, stretched and shimmied before us would be amused to see us “training” within 4 walls and surrounded by mirrors! I wonder if they would have been able to do it? Or would have even wanted to?

RFCMy first experience with the amazing energy of taking dance outdoors was a number of years ago during a summer session. Each class began with warm ups where our noses were pushed right into the grass as we stretched and breathed. I was surprised when bells rang within and my spirit  reached a new level of calm connection…it felt natural, it felt like I had known and done this before, it felt amazing!

And so began my yearning to move my dance and yoga practice to the great outdoors whenever 009possible. Having only learned, taught and experienced within studio surrounds, protected by 4 walls,  it was a little unnerving at first. Then I began the process of slowing it down, breathing and with the music still playing, becoming connected to those other rhythms and sounds that were taking place all around me. Moving with those rhythms seemed to come spontaneously from within me. While surprising at first, at the same time it felt really comfortable and “known”. Meditation had taught me to draw upon the energies of the earth below and the sky above and while I had always found that to be a natural connection in dance, it was a different experience to actually move and dance with those energies.

When we place our bare feet upon the earth, close our eyes and just breathe it is possible to become connected to the pulsing rhythms and swirls of the earth beneath us. Connecting with that earthy grounding energy, as well as that ethereal breath of the air and breeze that surrounds our skin, is something we have a natural affinity to. We’re born with the connection but often neglect it.

Dancing outside completely and irrevocably changed the way I experience dance whether inside or 7aoutside a studio and also the ways in which I share it, whether as an instructor or a performer. No longer are they just figure 8’s being completed in isolation but now my hips wave and move and ripple through the shape of the 8 rolling from the inside out. Snake arms reach out to connect with the energy that surrounds my body, that is in the air beside, above and around me. With each moving step, if even for a split second, each foot reconnects with the pulsing earth energy that resonates through the floorboards and shimmies up through my hips. It is effortless and natural and I love how the dance “feels”.

260298_10150305604991539_681361538_9623999_844318_nTaking the dance outdoors reconnects the dancer with the ancients, who danced on the dirt and the sand telling their stories and sharing with the younger generation the lessons of life. Can you imagine what changes it will make within you?

Join me as my summer session classes move into the outdoors, experience how the pulsing rhythms of nature move through you. You will likely find that it firmly establishes the moves of the dance and connects them to the core of you, the dancing diva…and dancing from that core inner space is amazing!2013-06-01 11.34.00

Classes taking place in Abbotsford & Otter (on the Langley/Aldergrove border). For more information click here

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Mini Sessions at the Langley Natural Health Fair

YES….it’s happening this Saturday!

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A lot of “good for you” information packed into one place! I will be there with my colleague Tammy Nielsen as we launch further into Trauma Transformation ~ Naturally! Both Tammy and I will be offering mini-sessions so this will be the perfect opportunity for YOU to experience a sampling of BodyTalk, Reflexology, Reiki or Massage, plus chat with us about your natural health & well-ness plans for the rest of 2013!

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The two of us also spent a day putting together some samplers of aromatherapy treats that complement our work with clienLavendar flowerts suffering the symptoms of PTSD and accumulated stress…come and find out how Lemon Balm and Quartz or Lavender and Candlelight can assist in calming or stimulating your senses.

In it’s second year the Langley Natural Health Fair offers the unique opportunity to learn more about Natural Health modalities, products and books, through information booths, on site practitioners and speakers. I am honoured and excited to have this opportunity to share my passion for natural healthcare with those that attend!

PLUS along with my Raks Almeh troupe sister and my students who are a part of Troupe Majdoob, there will be the opportunity to enjoy an entertaining half hour of Holistically healthy Tribal Fusion Belly Dance! (watch out…there’s an audience participation dance as well… Your opportunity to shake and shimmy!)

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 I am really looking forward to seeing you there!

Links:
Trauma Transformation ~ Naturally: www.traumaresolutionnaturally.wordpress.com
Langley Natural Health Fair: www.langleynaturalhealthfair.com
Raks Almeh Dance Troupe: www.raksalmeh.com
Troupe Majdoob and Abbotsford Classes: www.abbotsfordbellydance.com

Holistically Healthy Activity?

Definition of Holistic: Taking into account a person’s physical, mental and social condition. Relating to or concerned with the whole or the complete system. Emphasizing the whole person.
Definition of Holistic Health: the concept that all aspects of people’s needs, psychological, physical and social should be taken into account and seen as a whole.

Is Belly Dance Holistically Healthy? hmmm…let’s see

I know that any belly dancer reading this is answering with a nodding of their head in a definite YES! And absolutely, I am prejudiced in my view as a belly dancer and a holistic health practitioner. But what about those that haven’t experienced this ancient art form.

Probably, for those individuals, the first impression of Belly Dance is as it has commonly been portrayed in the media…a lithe, slim, young woman shimmying in serpentine-like motion across the screen or shaking and shimmying everything she’s got with dazzling effect. Often the media portrays belly dance as “sexy” and that limited view can be pretty intimidating for most women.

So let’s take a look at why and how Belly Dance fit’s the definition of holistically healthy.

Often we associate health with fitness and yes, belly dance will bring you that. You will move muscles you didn’t know you had in ways that you thought impossible…and you will move your entire body through the moves. Toning muscle, increasing stamina and flexibility along with strengthening and stretching will all be found in most belly dance classes. You will be forced to breathe and in that way bring nourishing oxygen to all parts of your body. The thing about it is, you don’t tend to notice this fitness aspect during class, it’s almost like a side benefit.

An advantage of learning from a health practitioner is the sharing of training and knowledge of the body and how it works, that is brought to the experience….if you have a bad knee there are other muscles you can use to lift your hip and shift your weight, and there are many ways to work with most injuries.

Why don’t you notice the fitness benefits? Likely because, along with the other women in your class, you are laughing and enjoying yourself too much to focus on the muscles that are toning. Really!

There is a special kind of atmosphere that runs through a belly dance class. There is a celebration of femininity in all of its shapes, sizes, ages and beauty…an exuberance in sharing the moves and dances with others that brings a joy that comes from some place deep within. Any judgement or comparison of what the media portrays as a woman’s must haves to “be sexy” or  “beautiful” or “the right size” or “too old” are dropped at the door.

Odd and strange as it sounds, this is an environment where you are accepted as the person that you are and where you have the opportunity to develop a positive and healthy relationship with that person. Something our ancestors and the ancient cultures in which this art form originated knew deep within, they didn’t need to be taught this. Hmmm…it would appear here that we are hitting upon the mental AND the social aspects of holistically healthy!

So let’s see…you’re participating in something that has the physical fitness component to holistic health AND it’s filled with joy and laughter so we’ve covered the mental component AND you are spending time out in a social setting with other adult woman which takes care of the social component…what’s left?

Probably the deep psychological and spiritual benefits, but I think we covered that too. When you are engaged in an activity or more aptly, an ancient art form, that encourages you to leave the stress at the door and be “in the moment” and that moment involves physical movement, laughter and joy along with an ever increasing sense of self acceptance there is no option but to let it affect you, and deeply.

It seems the whole person has benefited!

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Do you experience the holistic effects of activities you participate in? Share with us….

 

Teresa is a member of Raks Almeh Tribal Fusion Dance Troupe and along with her troupe sister Lori, offers Belly Dance Classes for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Levels in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack & Fort Langley.
For more information about Raks Almeh visit www.raksalmeh.com
For more information about classes in your area visit the site:
www.langleybellydance.com
www.abbotsfordbellydance.com
www.chilliwackbellydance.com
and www.missionbellydance.com