Currently I'm reading a book named Ikigai.. Ikigai is a Japanese concept introduced to me by a friend. It is a "concept that means your 'reason for being.' 'Iki' in Japanese means 'life,' and 'gai' describes value or worth." "Ikigai refers to defining your personal meaning of life in relation to your talents, passions, and profession, as well as what you can give to the wider world" and doing everything aligned with this.
For me dance is this.. the thing that gives me "Ikigai" and I often wonder why.. I mean I'm not a performing artist.. so then why dance.. but then every time I dance I understand why. Nothing on earth cheers me up more and gets me into balance internally. Whatever happens externally is always work in progress.. but what I've managed to cultivate through dance internally is something I'm very grateful for.
One minute I might want to curl up into a ball and not be able to move or take a step forward because I'm overwhelmed with what is going on around me but when I get into my routine and put that music on and move.. something happens within me which.. how do I describe it.. Its like all the dark clouds have been lifted away and a portal has been opened within me to create, to appreciate, to live.. That's what this art form has given me.
I may have described in my posts in the past that at one point in my life.. I'd say the hardest part in my life.. the only thing that held me together was dancing like a mad person with the Temple of Fine Arts in Perth. I was lucky they were intense because thats all I needed to snap me out of what was going on in my life at the time and pushing me into bliss. Thats the state I attained every time I danced.
When I dance you see.. especially intensely.. I am no linger thinking about anything else, except the movement.. and of course all the world's miseries are only in our thoughts.. when you wipe that clean you are in a meditative state. And of course, the intensity of the movement makes your body release endorphins.. no wonder one feels better.. but.. I'm not sure I have evidence on this per se.. but I have a theory.. this is what I feel also happens for me.
I feel any energy clogs within my body are also released. I have had moments when at the end of a session I am covered not only in sweat but also tears.. tears of gratitude as well at that. I walk out of it thinking what just happened..?
Other things I've also noticed.. it engages all your chakaras.. lets see
The concept of sringar.. In order to attain that your sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra and your heart chakra have to be aligned.. perhaps even the root chakra..
in order to have the steady balance and centring we see not only in our movement but also our bhava you must work on your root chakra
Of course your expression or truth or authenticity.. message whatever you want to call it comes from your throat and even your heart chakra..
Once all these are engaged I feel your ajna and your crown chakras are activated..
Overall pushing one into a full meditative state..
and of course I feel better and attain my Ikigai through it!! of course.. but of course..
So grateful for this art form.. Shastram is the gratitude I show to it..
by Ghirija Jayarraj
Creative Director Shastram