Chakra and Belly Dancing

Anubha Harlalka Doshi

 

“Mind and body are two deeply interwoven systems, what affects one affects the other too.”

Chakras, as the name suggests are the wheels of energy through which life flows in and out of the body. Though located on the etheric body, Chakras are like the gateways between the physical and the metaphysical. In order to be in a state of perfect health- both physically and emotionally and to achieve a state of tranquillity, we must have balanced Chakras. Our body needs movement; without it we would become stagnant and so would our Chakras. A Chakra’s function depends on the flow of the universal life-force energy (prana), and, movement in our physical body can help establish and regularise the required flow of energy to these Chakras. In this context also, then, Dance Movement Therapy (DMT), true to its inherent nature, is a very effective technique to bring to the surface deep emotional blockages.

“In working with Chakras and DMT, we are working with the belief that indirectly through movements the Chakras are also simultaneously being worked upon and cleansed by effectively releasing energy blockages. Belly dancing can be used to facilitate this process in a focused manner and achieve the desired results by breaking the energy patterns which are holding us back. Learning how specific belly dance movements affect particular Chakras and using that knowledge to treat yourself or others can have positive therapeutic advantages to the therapy work that you undertake” – Dipti Jaiswal, Founder – Secluded Truth & Chakra module teacher at the Pune DMT course.

While there are popular psychology and art theories by Freud and Jung, this is the Indian model of disease. In the yogic model, a disease first enters the auric body before manifesting into a physical disease. Before awakening the chakras, we need to activate them and movement helps do exactly this. DMT works as its cathartic and releases blocked emotions and pain that we may have suppressed in the body. This happens because of chakra activation. Hence, an understanding of the chakra system is essential to an understanding of the body and how emotions affect our physical body.

In our etheric body the energy or prana flows through a network of Nadis. There are 72,000 nadis in the energy system; Sushumna, Ida and Pingala being the most important. Sushumna is the nadi that acts like pipeline between all the chakras. Pingala and Ida are the two nadis that spiral round the Sushumna in a serpent like manner. Pingala represents the masculine energy and is referred to as the solar nadi. Ida on the other hand represents feminine energy and is associated with the lunar energy. Pingala controls the logical left side of the brain whereas Ida rules the intuitive right side of the brain. Both the sides of the brain rule the opposite side of our body, hence our right brain rules the left side of the body making it the intuitive side and the left brain rules the right side of the body making it the logical side.

Advanced Science becomes magic where it meets spirituality. At the metaphysical realm, art based therapy is based in the subtle energy system which has its roots in quantum physics. We are all energy bodies vibrating at different frequencies.

The chakra system contains within it seven major chakras, each acting as an energetic gateway allowing universal energy to flow in and out of our systems. Each chakra corresponds with particular body organs and reflects an aspect of consciousness on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level. Each chakra also has its own vibrational frequency as well as an attributed element, archetype, animal, planet and God. These can all be used as pathways into the chakras, enabling us to connect more deeply with the energies existing within each one. Dance therapy then acts as a link and a tool to achieve the same.

“Belly dance is an art which allows you to connect deeply to that part deep within you that helps you find yourself. The quality of Belly dance for me is like that of shimmer; It not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle! Belly dancing has also swept the exercise industry. The dance strengthens the abdominals, thighs, calves, arms, back, buttocks, and hips. Under-exercised muscles, which are otherwise hard to tone via traditional methods, respond rapidly to belly dance. Participants can even correct poor posture with the dance’s unique, isolated movements. And because people usually find it more interesting than most other forms of exercise, it’s become an enjoyable and sustainable way to lose weight and tone muscles, for those of nearly any age group or fitness level. Not surprisingly, it can even be used during pregnancy — through the third trimester — to ready the stomach muscles for childbirth.” says Pooja Wadke, founder of Shimmer Belly Dance academy, facilitator of the belly dance module.

Sr. No Chakra Name Use
1. Root chakra The base, or root chakra is the chakra which roots our souls in our bodies and our bodies to the Earth and the physical plane. It expresses our need to physically survive – to eat, fight or take flight and to procreate. It is the centre of our safety and security as physical people on this Earth.

It gives us a ‘Physical’ identity and focuses on our survival.

 

2. Sacral chakra The sacral (or abdominal) chakra is all about desire, passion, pleasure and basic emotions and it also is the centre of sexuality. This chakra motivates us to express deep feelings by being creative in music, art and poetry.

It gives us an ‘Emotional’ identity and focuses on our desire.

 

3. Solar plexus chakra The solar plexus chakra is the centre of our personality, character and individuality. It is connected with intellect, thought, mentality and personal power. It is a centre that can be protective or aggressive and is connected with our will and ego.

It gives us an ‘Ego’ identity and focuses on our individuality.

 

4. Heart Chakra The heart chakra is the centre of unconditional love and compassion. Pure, spiritual, divine love passed down from the upper chakras is interpreted here as unconditional love. This is the centre of happiness, joy, beauty and acceptance.

It gives us a ‘Social’ identity and focuses on our acceptance.

When activated, this chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.

 

5. Throat Chakra The throat chakra is the centre of communication, self-expression and judgement. This chakra is connected with being able to express our true, ever changing selves and being able to listen to and truly understand others. This chakra can also receive audible spiritual information

It gives us a ‘Creative’ identity and focuses on our creativity.

 

6. Third eye The third eye is the at the median of the three spirit level chakras and sees things in an unemotional way, since it is rather remote from the lower chakras and closer to the pure love of the spirit. The third eye can see energies around us but can also see information that comes down from higher up. Clear visions of Spirit Guides, Angels or people who have passed on, whether during sleep or while awake, are through the third eye. The third eye is the centre of clairvoyance.

 

7. Sahasrara chakra The Sahasrara chakra is not really a chakra but a connection to our higher selves and the Divine. It is also known as the abode of Lord Shiva. Here the mystical union of Shiva and Shakti takes place. It is centre for fusion of the individual soul and the supreme soul.

It gives us ‘Universal’ identity and focuses on ‘Nirvana’.

 

Anubha Doshi, a Clinical Psychologist and Arts Based Therapist, is a graduate in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College for women, Delhi. She has also got a Master’s in Communication Management from Symbiosis, Pune. After a few years of work she finally found her calling in psychology and dance therapy and topped Pune University at the masters’ level with a scholarship. With a strong base in contemporary and Indian classical dance, she has been teaching dance since the past 10 years. She has trained in dance therapy under Tripura Kashyap and earned her Arts Based Therapy (drama, music, visual art) diploma from WCCL foundation. She has conducted dance therapy workshops for corporate houses, counseling centers and students in colleges like Fergusson and Symbiosis. As a child she authored a book and continues writing regularly for all the leading newspapers and magazines to promote Art based Therapies. Presently, she is working on a book on developing spiritual, emotional and intelligence quotient in children from birth and is conducting parenting workshops at child centres.

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