Belly Dancing as a Yoga:
"As a women's dance, it has been passed down through the generations as a birthing aid. In its practical contexts, bellydance supports the maintenance of a strong abdomen, an erect spine, and a steady sense of inner balance, all valuable to women in enduring the tasks of carrying children, laundry, water, and market goods without strain. In gender-divisive societies such as Islamic countries, bellydance generally provides the same practicalities but also serves as a social dance offering catharsis of inhibitions, shared only in private quarters among women.
it requires the pulsating contraction of core muscles and the lengthening and relaxing of other muscles, especially around the hips and .across the chest. Parts of our bodies previously unexplored or long atrophied are awakened and engaged as life energy is rippled through, breathed into, and nurtured back to awareness. The hips loosen, the back straightens, the chest opens, and the legs learn to support and absorb the load we carry. Careful attention to each isolated movement stimulates the body-mind connection and invites us to look deeper into our incredible anatomies. Squeezing at the perenium to initiate an upward undulation triggers a series of electric and muscular responses: the contraction wants to continue upward. One might relate this surge of energy to Kundalini or to primal instincts. In either case, one will recognize the experience as being both very physical and very ecstatic (ec-stasis: beyond the body).
Bellydance provides an opportunity to confront the places in our bodies where we have held on too tightly or too long to some tension and consider what those obstacles mean in our own personal myths. A downward moving undulation is a letting go; it begins with a dive of the heart.
Training the body to move through those stuck places can be a tool for embodying a new outlook on your life and your self. In this way, bellydance can encompass the fullness of body, mind, and spirit.
Because all the moves have their origin somewhere along the core--the perenium, gluteus muscles, and abdomen--the trunk of the body develops strength, tone, and flexibility, which, combined, also enhance one's ability for deeper breathing and greater weight bearing. Whether this core strengthening is noticeable on the surface appearance or not, my experience has been that it is noticeable in the core of a person's being. As we learn to think of ourselves as our own greatest dance partners and providers of pleasure, there is a sense of personal acceptance that strengthens our souls. This is the captivating power and magic of the bellydance: inner. satisfaction.
Here are some basic isolations that divide the body into horizontal and vertical planes and axis lines. All of these lines of movement are relative to the central axis running vertically through the body. The primary segments of the body are the head, chest, and pelvis. Each of these segments can slide from side to side, crossing the central axis, while being careful to keep the horizontal plane clearly delineated (no tilting or turning). The movement can also follow an orbital path with the central axis intersecting the center of the circle drawn by the head, chest, or hips. An individual circle at any of these planes could also be divided into two circles to create a continuous "figure-8" flow of movement. It is especially important in all circular and figure-8 movements that the pelvis is level and the tailbone tucked at all times. Any part of the body not intentionally involved in the move should remain in line with the central axis as a point of contrast to the isolated movement. You can enhance your awareness of the central axis by imagining that its line extends from the base of the spine to the center of the earth and from the crown of the head to a star.
Dance awakens our inherent sense of power, passion, and creativity. It gives us the opportunity to put ourselves back together and to birth our newest manifestations of Being. As you dance, remember this noble lineage if dancers who have brought you this gift. Allow your mundane self to slip away as your body becomes invigorated with the life force flowing through you. Seduce the Godhead and become pregnant with yourself, preparing to give birth to a new self!"[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
"A belly dancer’s movements are usually comparable to those of a snake because it utilizes practically every muscle in the body.
Belly dancing originated as a sacred birth ritual. Women would gather around a woman in labor and do certain abdominal movements, encouraging her to do the same. These were movements that would ease the birth and create a sense of unity and common experience among them. Over the centuries, changing society and the rise of patriarchal religion caused the use of these movements to lose their sacred connotations and become a social dance. Still, there is a group of professionals who have made a conscious decision to call what they do belly dancing. Over the centuries, changing society and the rise of patriarchal religion caused the use of these movements to lose their sacred connotations and become a social dance. Still, there is a group of professionals who have made a conscious decision to call what they do belly dancing. Still, there is a group of professionals who have made a conscious decision to call what they do belly dancing.
Many dancers want to honor the abdomen as the center from which new life emerges. The abdomen is the core (or center) of the body wherein lies most of our strength. Basically, when our core is strong, the rest of our body is also, which is why belly dancing has become more than just a dance to those who are very knowledgeable about its history. These artists seek to reclaim the term "belly dancing" from its scandal-linked origins and imbue it with the power of something sacred."[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]