Next Thursday will be my last class for this session. I have begun the countdown to the time where I will be traveling to Spain for my yearly sadhana retreat with Kia. In the freshness and perspective of the Alpujarra mountains, I take the time to replenish and reflect. This year, special as it is, I will be there double the time than usual, gathering strength for the next year.
One of my favourite things of this retreat is my daily gathering with a group of vibrant, beautiful young boys and girls, in age and in heart, to dance together. We work hard and we laugh hard. Seldom I have seen a more sincere, caring, generous and attentive group. The village loves our dances, I know, and that is because they come from the heart.
My teacher James Boag often recounts how surprised he was when he found out a lot of the sacred texts of yoga happen in a battlefield. Until that point, he thought yoga was about calm and peacefulness. But yoga, really, is about skilfulness. So his current teachings are around transforming the battlefield into a dance floor. Imagine what that would be like. Just like living the last scenes of Footloose, Dirty Dancing,Flashdance, or Fame (yes, I am a child of the 80s)!
There is a lot to this relation between yoga and dance. Śiva, the great yogin is often depicted as Nāṭarāja, the Lord of the Dance, and his skilful cosmic movement is believed to have created the universe. So, at the beginning, there was sound, and then there was dance. Dance is also seen as the most flavoursome art in Indian culture, the one with most Rasa. My dear teacher Rosina embodied this relation, as she first taught me dance, well before yoga. One of the wise phrases, which we adopted as our motto in the studio she left us:
Whatever the problem, it can be solved by moving.
As I leave to dance in the mountains for a few weeks, this will be my last newsletter until I return. I have hoped to make it a bright one to keep you inspired, to keep you moving with joy and in rhythm with your surroundings. That is what dancing and yoga are all about.