A few words about the bellydance:
“Belly dance”, as we know it in Greece, is a form of primal dance known in many parts of the world.
Originally, its character was a cult one, but gradually it evolved into an autonomous art.
Bellydance as well as yoga is divided into many different species, which get their name from the place where they were grown (Egyptian, Turkish, Gypsy Belly dancing, but American tribal style, etc.).
The dance imitates the movement of the snake, and the contractions of the childbirth. The velvet dance gestures fit the female body perfectly and they give it flexibility. The effect on the body is very beneficial and relaxing, while it facilitates the woman’s body to fulfill its reproductive function.
… And a few more for yoga
Yoga has a history of thousands of years. Ancient India is considered of the cradle of this old-age practice.
Also the etymology of the word itself is related to the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means union. The union of the mind and the body through the exercises (asanas), the breathing (pranayama) and the meditation.
Whoever manages to unite the body, the mind and the spirit can achieve the true balance …and purpose of yoga is just that. It is thus a multiple beneficial technique which combines therapeutic properties which both act on the physical and the spiritual level.
A side positive effect of this practice is to protect the body from injury and through a systematic exercise accelerates the recovery and the restoration of impaired health. The most classical form of yoga is hatha yoga. But there are other species- branches, with which someone can be exercised according to his needs and preferences. For saying a few of them as ashtanga vinyasa, sivananda, iyengar, kundalini yoga are included in them.
Why Yoga – bellydance?
The idea of a merging of these two beautiful and beneficial practices is a natural consequence of their characteristics. These considerations led me to the combination of the two traditions, and the results were excellent.
At first the transcendental element which differentiates them, it adds to the workout one more internal and spiritual aspect. It provides the student the opportunity to experience wellness directly which is not only in the body but also in the spiritual- psychic level.
Through yoga you achieve muscle strength, flexibility, balance, control and precision of the movements. In addition, the spiritual exercise helps to mental relaxation and uplift, to the elimination of stress and everyday pressure and therefore the exemption from harmful psychosomatic effects which are entailed. Through meditation and breathing exercises (pranayama), the practitioner comes closer to his true inner self and thanks to introspection “he learns to breathe again.”
At this point the candles which are the principles of belly dance are intervened. That happens after learning some basic techniques which will allow the student’s movement to become more plasticity. They will make the flow of the exercises more fluid and enjoyable. The dancer- yogi externalizes his feelings more easily, he acquires confidence, but above all he is reconciled with his body, as the dance is aimed at all ages and all body types. The course is thus converted to an experience, an exercise of relief, a personal expression, an entertainment and a release.
As well in yoga as in bellydance the important thing is the control of breathing, the one and necessary for the successful implementation of the specific techniques (belly rolls-pops-locks, ribcage pops etc.). The union of the two practices highlights the seven energy centers (known as
chakras) which are the pillars through them we draw and process any relevant action. As we exercise those parts of the body which are associated with each chakra, we individually release any energy barriers and we balance our energy centers. Thanks to the combined performance of the chakras we can ensure greater mental balance and health.
I could speak a lot and extensively about the characteristics which are shared between yoga and belly dance. But I hope that what I have said above is enough to you get a general idea.
In conclusion, the benefit for someone who chooses this original combination is the mental peace, the physical wellness, the increased self-discipline, the self-awareness, the self-confidence, but above all the knowledge and the acceptance of the body and the real self.
Natasa Kollintzogiannaki, Belly Dancer, Yoga Instructor