Something amazing happens when you combine:
ECSTATIC DANCE AND QIGONG
Let’s break it down:
What is Ecstatic Dance and Qigong?
How is Ecstatic Dance and Qigong an easy, fun and affective combination for reducing stress, elevating mood and accessing the depths of meditation and relaxation?
What is Ecstatic Dance?
Ecstatic Dance is the art of freedom.
It’s listening to music with the whole body, it’s moving in such a way that feels good.
It’s less to do with “looking good, doing it right, doing it well.”
It’s curiosity, exploration, play. It’s showing up exactly how you want too.
It’s free movement, that looks like dancing, stretching, and everything in between.
What is Qigong?
Qigong is the practice of feeling, moving and accumulating chi (life energy).
Feeling chi: like tai-chi, its movement meditation,a way of being, thinking slows down
Moving chi: Opens up energy blockages, releases stuck emotions or stagnant energy
Accumulating chi: Increases physical energy, confidence, and inner strength
Use qigong exercises to open energy blockages and release stagnancy
Dance to use physical energy to relieve everyday stress and reduce stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine) while elevating the mood and increasing happy hormones (endorphins, oxytocin)
Experience qigong as movement meditation, slowing down the mind by bringing awareness into every micro movement to create and drop deeper into a meditative state (shifting into alpha and theta brain waves, activating parasympathetic nervous system)
Followed by Qigong breathing exercises to accumulate chi, recharge your physical energy, ground and center chi within.
Lastly shavasana, “laying down” for rest and integration
How the combo reduces stress and elevates mood
As many purposes as there are to meditation there are also as many ways and techniques. And we’ve all had times when it’s super hard or feels impossible to drop into a meditative state. It can be challenging to relax or “turn off the mind.” So one way is to drop into the observer and “watch” the thoughts, emotions, impulses come and go. And yet this can be excruciating when the mind feels like it’s going 100 miles per minute. And we just want to turn the mind off.
So what’s happening when it feels like we “cant turn the mind off”?
Often times what is happening is that every day life keeps us in a tense, jittery, or stressed out state. Biologically speaking stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are released to help us manage “fight or flight” situations, stress, and life’s inevitable stressors. But what can happen is that we can carry these stress hormones around which makes us feel “on” and “ready to act” all the time, so then when we go to sit to meditate it feels hard to slow down or relax let alone “be with” this going-going mind .
dancing reduces stress hormones, increases happy hormones: elevates mood
Physical exercise like cardio is the fastest way to reduce the stress hormones. DANCE as physical exercise is doing the same thing. It is helping us reduce these stress hormones and like other physical exercise dance releases endorphins and oxytocin which contributes to a happy mood.
Meditation becomes easier
And all the benefits of meditation become accessible to you. With qigong meditation specifically the thinking mind can stop as your awareness shifts into feeling each micro movement. “In the zone” phenomena is when we are so absorbed in an activity that the thinking part of our brain stops because we are so very present and at ease with what we are doing— This happens. A meditative state is created, the brain waves transform from beta (alert) waves to alpha (meditative) and theta (deeply relaxed) waves. Parasympathetic nervous system is relaxed… you are relaxed. And sitting meditation becomes very accessible, thus you can receive all the benefits of meditation .