Yoga and Ecstatic Dance: When Two Rivers Meet with Shiva Rea

I believe we are all born dancers. Yet, dance is often neglected amid the demands of modern life. We spend so much of our time sitting around—driving, working on the computer, and so on. These activities create the strange combination of being physically bound while mentally scattered. The antidote to this mind/body split: we must move our bodies, and rejuvenate our internal states through meditation and ecstatic embodiment.

Dance and yoga are excellent ways of calling us back into our bodies to irrigate our being with life energy or prana—the animating force most clearly felt through breathing. In flow yoga we let the intelligence of our breath lead the movement—as a sailor tacks with the wind. Similarly, in trance dance the goal is to be guided by spirit and to let our creative energy move through us. In this way, form serves spirit, structure supports intuition, yoga prepares us for free-form dance, and dance opens us up for a greater experience of the unified self that is yoga.

Shiva Rea

Shiva Rea Return to top of page

Shiva Rea teaches vinyasa flow yoga worldwide. She has studied many forms of yoga and dance in India, Africa, Nepal, Jamaica, and Bali. She is a well-known contributor to Yoga Journal and holds an MA...


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