Sumisha Shankar

There is more than one way to meditate and dancing is one of them, according to a wellness expert 

In English, “meditation” condenses four stages from the YogaSutras: dharna, dhyaan, samadhi, and samyama—translating to focus, concentration, meditation, and absorption, leading to a serene mind. Creative arts, especially dance, offer potent paths to experience this meditative state. Dance meditation isn’t about being a good or bad dancer; it’s about letting go! It’s discovering oneself in the moment, grounding the mind, and releasing the pain trapped within us. True dance meditation arises when movement becomes an expression, not an impression.

Dance meditation

WHY YOU SHOULD EXPLORE DANCE MEDITATION?

Dance meditation, a potent vitality medicine, channels inner pain, freeing the body from emotional and physical toxins. Emotional repression festers like garbage in the mind, hindering wellness leading to autoimmune diseases and many other psychological complexes  as per Ayurveda. Embrace dancing to feel, not to conform; is a  future medicine. Stop self-judgement and give your soul the freedom to dance uninhibitedly. This small step could transform your soul; I speak from 32 years of dancing until a forgotten back injury from my army days ended my stage career.

Dance meditation, akin to an Indian Ayurvedic thali, nurtures holistic growth. Try it to break self-imposed shackles. Natalie Portman found pleasure in pain during her Black Swan preparation through movement. Though  dance meditation is not structured and fine tuned to that level in the world , perhaps due to a patriarchal society, organic dance meditation is my research offering—a tribute to the creative silence within. It allows the monkey mind to find solace after chaos. 

dancing

WHO CAN DO DANCE MEDITATION? 

Dance meditation suits everyone yearning for stillness but struggling to attain it.Its amazing for women and young girls as it helps to regulate the bodily rhythms like circadian and heart. It helps to recover from addiction and anger management. One of my students, Heli Gandhi from Canada, reflected that after the practice of a 3 month cycle, she is not feeling the bouts of anger and her hubby is definitely happy. A sacred practice will rewire your brain that’s the solemn promise of the meditative dance. And well for the senior citizens it manages parkinsons and dementia. If you know someone has a special child or autistic , dance meditation is the tool for his or her cognitive growth.

HOW TO GET STARTED?

Here’s a simple yet powerful starting point: 

Prerequisites: Song Selection + Good Speakers

Begin with a spirit-uplifting song.

Set your intention: Focus on feeling over form, shedding self-judgement.

Embrace uninhibited movement.

dancing

Initiating Movement:

Start gently, loosening up with soft shaking.

Explore space in your room, moving to the music.

Experiment with hip movements and swaying.

Transition to Calmness:

After dancing, harness vitality by placing hands over your heart.

Lift hands, cup your eyes, then touch your face lovingly.

Conclude with a minute of seated silence, focusing on breath.

Affirmation: “Through sacred dance, I honour my body, nourish my spirit, and embrace joy in every step of my journey.”

dancing

This practice grounds you, centering heart and mind, inviting calm and effortless silence within.

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Author

  • Sumisha Shankar

    Sumisha Shankar, a military veteran, multifaceted artist, certified Yoga therapist and an international meditation teacher, hails from the Gurukul tradition. With over 30 years specialising in Indian classical dance (Kathak), she faced setbacks due to a back injury. Drawing from personal pain and extensive knowledge, she discovered Yoga, transitioning it into her professional journey. As a fellow at Artistic Lab Canada and affiliated with the Ministry of India, Shankar has pioneered Organic Dance Meditation. This innovative practice integrates yoga, Ayurveda, and creative movement, offering a pathway to reclaim joy and reconnect with one's inner child.

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