Danyasa: The New Yoga Flow
As a practitioner of yoga for many years and a dancer straight out of the womb, I know on a deep level that movement is a key contributor to my overall physical vitality and well-being. On the mat, I found stillness, but often I found myself wanting to move, to dance, to listen to what my body really wanted to do in the moment. Often I felt constrained within the physical boundary of my mat. No doubt, there is a time and place for this as it teaches the body and mind a great deal on discipline and the results that come of it. On the contrary, I also think the need to expand and express beyond the mat is important for everyone practicing yoga.
I was seeking something more, something I didn't even know existed.
A New Style
Luckily, what I was seeking was already fully manifested in form and that practice is called Danyasa. Created by Sofiah Thom, a stunning performing artist, yoga teacher and physical healer, Danyasa is a fusion of traditional yoga asanas and graceful expressive dance. It is a beautiful balance that calls us to truly listen to our bodies inner wisdom as the guide, rather than an outside source telling us what to do in each moment.
There is, of course, a foundation that we draw upon which is called the Bamboo Principles of Alignment. "Bamboo as a metaphor helps us to connect to a place of rootedness, strength and flexibility within ourselves. Having a strong connection to our foundation and core strength helps us awaken our body awareness as we move through our practice with more balance, grace and ease. The hollow bamboo is a beautiful analogy for being an open vessel to receive creative spirit that naturally wants to move through," says creator Sofiah Thom. As with any yoga practice, there is a deep connection to the breath within every movement and transition. There is focused time for meditation and deep relaxation, but there is also time for playful fun and open physical expression. Danyasa challenges us to listen to our own bodies wisdom. Questions we can ask ourselves include, how does my body want to move? What does my body want to release? What is my inner landscape telling me?
Through the process of practicing and teaching Danyasa I have become much more comfortable within my physical body. I have let go of the need to dance a certain way or hold a pose exactly like someone else. I listen to my body's wisdom first and foremost and let the rhythm of the music playing guide me into a state of profound transformation. The freedom of physical expression is truly liberating and students can expect a powerful transformative process if they truly open up to what is being presented. People of all ages, sizes and shapes can truly connect with and grow from Danyasa. Through movement we can tap into the creative force, internal teacher and guide within that can assist us in all aspects of our lives.
Gina Gibbons is a lady who loves to sing, dance and create throughout the kitchen and the world. She is a Certified Natural Chef , Holistic Nutrition Educator and Danyasa-Inspired™ Yoga Instructor who teaches people how to create healthy meals and lifestyles both virtually and in person. She has many other passions including photography, travel and writing. Her love of recycled fashion and raw chocolate can be found in her Etsy shops: Circle of Love Vintage and Pura Vida Comida.