Being good at dance calls for passion, persistence and a deep connection between the body and soul. I am certain that dancing is for me but when I had enrolled for the diploma program in dance, little did I know that Yoga would play an important role in helping me establish this connection between body, mind and soul.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” Martha Graham
My diploma course covered most of the dance forms such as contemporary, ballet, jazz and lessons on yoga. Old school Hip-Hop though, is my personal favorite. Just when the competitions were nearing and the opportunity to stand out was round the corner, I ended up hurting my knee. My doctor had advised me to rest for a few days and had put my dance practice on hold. This worried me. My dance career had just begun. I was being judged. Opportunities would knock on my door only if I proved I was better than my fellow classmates. At least this what I believed. I felt insecure and frustrated. I started cursing my body and completely disregarded the fact that it was cooperating all this while.
The World Of Instagram Yogis
During my recovery phase I stumbled upon a few yogis and there inspirational posts on Instagram. The fact that they addressed hurdles as an opportunity to surrender and discover something absolutely new, motivated me to not see my injury as a disappointment but an opportunity to deepen the connection with my body and mind. I accepted that though my body was flexible, my mind was still stiff, caught up in its tangles of judgement and fear.
“Yoga is the space where flowers blossom.” Amit Ray
I was introduced to Ashtanga yoga in my dance course. However, my focus was mainly on posture and the level of flexibility it would help me achieve, which in turn will help improve my dance practice. But when I saw the Instagram yogis expose their souls, showing a little more of their true-selves through the art of yoga, I recalled the very reason I was attracted to dance. It was my guide to soul-searching which gave me immense joy and satisfaction.
“…We smile for a while, until we face defeat; We lose ourselves to terror and fear,
We cry almost a thousand tears, We look for the light in all directions and parallel spaces;
We travel the world, to find its traces; Lost and loitered, broke and exhausted;
We find the light within ourselves.” Preksha Bardia
I started practicing asanas which my body allowed me to do. I was listening to my body rather than pushing it or forcing it. And this communication helped me appreciate my body again. I started sharing photos of my practice on Instagram and like a rainbow after the rain, my self-doubts and fear seemed irrelevant when people started noticing my patience and my attitude of gratitude towards my body. This appreciation and awareness kept me going and I devoted almost six months to healing. I have no regrets. As I was recovering, I progressed with my yoga practice and know-how of asana. I also participated in couple of yoga challenges only for the joy of learning and growing and I have completely healed my knee injury! And yes … I have started dancing again 🙂 I believe that as a beginner in Yoga, one should always remember the 3Ps – practice, patience and perseverance. Slowly but surely, you will get there! I am happy to announce that I will soon start taking Yoga classes in Mumbai. Please check my Instagram link for more updates.
Why You Must Practice Yoga
My experience tells me that if you are a dancer, you must embrace Yoga. Yes, the practice of Yoga certainly helps us build a better understanding of our body and understand the physiology which in turn will reflect in our dancing technique. Good knowledge of anatomy can also help in injury prevention. But there is more to yoga than posture correction. As dancers, we dedicate much of our time to rehearsals and worry about achieving perfection to win more competitions and earn fame. It is easy to forget that we are dancing only because we love to dance. Yoga always brings us back to a place of balance, ease and peace.
“Go from a human being doing yoga,to a human being yoga.” Baron Baptiste.
Facebook: Preksha Bardia