WARNING! This post has a picture of a foot in it. For those of you who get really freaked out by feet, proceed with caution...
So recently I went to something called 5 Rhythms Dancing, which I would describe as Yoga but really fun.
For those of you who don't know, the idea behind Yoga is about connecting body and mind and being present through the movements. Same with Tai Chi or Aikido and many other martial arts. These are all meditative techniques that use the movements as the focus for the mind, rather than the breath used in sitting meditation.
As a big fan of meditation (obviously) I was rather thrilled and intrigued at the idea of 5 Rhythms Dancing when it was explained to me. Effectively it's about connecting with the music, with your body and mind, and just dancing.
I love dancing. I love dancing so much I actually have to restrain myself from doing so sometimes - like on a really crowded train or when I'm walking down the street and my rucksack is really way to heavy for jigging.
I would break out into dance pretty much anytime, anywhere given the opportunity.
So I went along for two ours of 'meditative' dance to see how I'd get on.
And it was amazing. It was like a dream come true to be in a room with the lights down low and the rhythms pulsing in the air and fellow dancers twirling and whirling and stomping around me. And no one was drunk or high and it was a dance studio so the floor was polished wood and not sticky with spilled alcohol like a club would be.
Mostly everyone was barefoot and I figured socks might be slippy and dangerous so I went barefoot as well.
Oh how I danced! I don't think I've ever let myself be so free before - which is saying a lot considering my style. It was a really indescribable experience because by the end of it I was just so enthralled with music and the fact that I can dance. I was just in love with my body and movement and sound and every single person in the room with me. I could have hugged them all I was so full of joy.
Despite the pain in my feet, which were sporting blisters on each big toe and the ball of each foot, I probably could have kept going if it had lasted longer. Putting my shoes on and taking the train back home was not the easiest of tasks. I had to stand awkwardly on the outside of my feet, putting the weight onto my heals. But I was so blissed out from all the dancing that I really didn't care. In fact I even felt grateful for the ability to feel pain. I mean, how cool is that as a mechanism?
I will definitely be going to 5 Rhythms Dancing again and if you can find one around you I recommend it. It's a great way to be present and it's also a fantastic work out for the whole body. I felt incredibly strong the next day, as if all my muscles had been stretched and prodded out of sleep to join in the dance.