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Ecstatic Dance

by Mary Beth Janssen

Ecstatic or trance dance is one of my favorite total awareness workouts. The most important advice is to trust the process. Let the process unfold organically. You may experience yourself as spaceless and timeless.

It doesn’t require a great deal of space, since the dance largely happens within. Although, if you have more room, you become more expansive in your movements, and get the juices flowing more quickly. It’s all good.

  • Turn on your musical selection—one that allows you to tune into the rhythm and move freely. Begin by standing with your feet parallel to your shoulders and let your body and mind relax.
  • You may want to close your eyes, so that your eyes only see the vast inner landscape of your consciousness.
  • Become aware of your breathing. Inhale and exhale deeply, filling your lungs entirely. Do this for a few minutes. This will awaken the energizer within.
  • Relax and allow your body to move to the rhythm. Soon you will feel the life force energy moving through your body. At this point, you as the dancer will disappear, and you become the dance. You’ve awakened spirit. It’s in this place where you can experience profound emotions, a letting go, and a peaceful connection to your own immortality.

This entire process can go up to 30 minutes and beyond. When I’m sweating—or “sweating my prayers,” as Gabrielle Roth, founder of the 5Rythmns (5rhythms.com) method, is known to say —I know that I’ve arrived. It really is pure ecstasy. Footnote here: I highly encourage you to visit Gabrielle's website and YouTube channel to study her method. It's the best medicine for whatever ails you.

When the music ends, take several minutes to be still and integrate your experience. This can be the ultimate meditation in motion for any of us. Dance is one of the most playful ways to connect with Spirit.

Anyone can dance. There's no right or wrong way to do it—it's just natural, organic movement. Our bodies love to move, they're meant to move. Just like the Sufi whirling dervishes, you swirl, chant, and channel as you dance your way to ecstasy. Turn on your favorite music, close your eyes, and let Spirit move you. Let your inner dancer come out and play. I dare you!

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