March 5, 2010 ( Categories Philosophy | Tags: dance, goddess )
Whilst traveling through northern Thailand seven months ago I happened across a small, rather esoteric yoga school in the backstreets of Chiang Mai. I spent a short amount of time studying at this school and one night the female teachers held a women’s only night of dancing “to awaken the inner goddess.” I’d wanted to be a part of a girls-only spiritually-orientated gathering for ages but had never bothered going to such events back home in Brisbane because Womenspace was so far away from where I live, (a rather inadequate excuse I know!) Plus I ashamedly admit I was a bit wary of rocking up to some crazy over-the-top feminist celebration complete with crying on complete strangers’ shoulders and complaining about ex-boyfriends.
Let the spirit guide your movement
The idea of it was to let go and “let your body express itself.” Since 7 hours of yoga and lectures had lapsed since my last meal I was not so keen on spending another 2 hours frenetically dancing non-stop and trying to tap into my inner Kali, the Hindu goddess of time and change (but more commonly known as the crazy goddess of wrath who chopped men’s heads off and wore them around her neck in a garland.) I was hungry and kind of wanted to just go home and chill out like a boring little sloth.
I’m so glad I stayed. Within minutes of the first song, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I closed my eyes and began moving in whatever way my body wanted to move, and managed to forget my trivial worries and fears of being judged by the other girls – an unfounded fear, since they were all cool and were there because they wanted to dance and “be themselves”, too. These were tantra teachers and students for crying out loud. It became a high-energy, sensual kind of meditation… I wasn’t thinking about anything, rather I was enjoying the feeling of my body twisting and writhing and feeling so natural, like I’d done it before some time in another place. But I wasn’t dancing in the way I’d dance at a night club, which I haven’t frequented for a long time. I wasn’t dancing in a particularly socially acceptable way. I was swaying, undulating and going with the flow, and it felt magnificent. At times, the monkey mind kicked in and I wondered why I wasn’t nauseous from all the circular, spinning movements my body seemed to want to do, as I get motion sickness pretty easily. Despite the spinning I wasn’t sick, perhaps a little dizzy but in a good way, like a controlled but beautifully expressive drunkedness. As the music changed so did my movements, and the feeling of freedom and beauty and sensuality and loss of inhibition felt like I was on ecstacy – although I’ve never popped an eccy, that’s what I imagine it’d be like based on being around friends while they’ve been off their faces. I sunk more and more into it and it became an extremely sweaty affair, clothes were removed and there was some trilling of the tongue and screaming. There were only four other ladies with me but I felt like the room was full of beautiful goddesses, unafraid and vibrant and in the raw. It was an amazing experience.
Dance, dance, dance!
The time went by so quickly and by the time the meditative music came around I only wanted to dance more! We sat down and chilled out for a while then lay in a circle, our heads spinning. I was grinning like a maniac, eyes shut tightly, and couldn’t for the life of me wipe the smile off my sweaty little mug. I felt like I hadn’t felt free to express myself in that way for a long long time, perhaps since preschool. I didn’t have dinner until really late at night but I didn’t feel at all hungry after the dance anyway… I wanted to imprison that bliss and keep the buzz in an easily accessible place forever. My main thought was “Why the hell don’t we do this once a week? Or more? How have I managed to NOT do this for so long?” I’ve felt unusually powerful and much more bold for the last 16 hours since it ended. The dancing certainly shook my energies up and as the teachers at that little yoga school would say, dancing “has initiated the sublimation of energy from the lower chakras into the higher chakras.”
I want more!
Now that I’m back in Australia, I think it would be cool to have a shakti party once a week in my a backyard or park or on the beach, or at least every full moon, drugs and alcohol not required. And it doesn’t even have to be women –only, although that was an intensely beautiful experience in and of itself.
It’s incredible how a little unrestricted movement can bring you back to life and help you remember “who you really are”… for instance I now remember what an excitable little soul I am, and how much fun I could potentially be having. You can have so much fun by simply dancing! I was still flying high nearly 24 hours later. I assured myself that it wouldn’t be my last Shakti dancing experience, and am yet to complete my vision of free-flow dance sessions on the Gold Coast… shoot me a message if you’re interested and I’ll get something started!