Bellydancing Yogi on Obsessions and Passions in Empty Nests

Majickal Bellydance is resting, not forgotten.  For now I have a new obsession: Yoga. Yoga isn't new to me. As dance teachers we borrow many yoga poses or asanas, performing the movements as stretches for warming up and cooling down, rarely emphasising the breath practices or pranayama. 
My yoga mat had lay mostly rolled into dusty storage for long enough to raise a child. My daughter now focussed firmly on her own burgeoning life and my last bellydance class for now at the end of 2015, I needed a brand new obsession.

Having finally finished writing my first book I showed up still in writer's rapture to my friend and colleagues yoga class. I had taught bellydance at her beautiful yoga studio in the past,, but had only attended a few yoga workshops. I had been struggling for several years with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), keeping mobile through my years of illness by tailoring my dance classes toward health and by habituating myself toward a stretching practice at home. I had found myself sitting on the floor stretching innately on a regular basis to soften my stressed muscles and prevent the PTSD getting into my bones. I was aware of misalignments affecting the range of my dance and my ability to sit, stand and walk for any length of time. I could feel that in my forties, it was time to stretch more fully into my body's trapped potential.

Now that I am attending regular yoga classes I realise how much my intuitive home stretching practice had been turning into regular yoga practise. My mind has opened to a new thing, which is a PTSD achievement in trust. I trust that my yoga teacher is a good fit for me. She understands the trauma releasing process that seems to be characterising my journey. She understands that adjusting to the change of an empty nest means filling the nest with something new. Something nurturing and loving toward myself. Something like yoga.

Being an obsessive type, the results are quite noticeable to me. I feel stronger, more stable on my feet,
more fluid in my movements. I can crouch lower, reach higher and seem to have found a remedy for tendonitis of the wrist and knee. Dance doesn't come as often as it used to, but when it does, wow. I love being able to endure more arm movements high overhead and I love the extra leg dance options enabled by increased strength and balance. Majickal Bellydance will flower into a new workshop in due time. Until then I am in research mode with a new practise to enrich my therapeutic bellydance style.

Dance is a beautiful way to raise and move energy. It has always helped me to motivate the energy and confidence required to experience some pretty amazing things during my life. I am as intensely passionate, even obsessive as ever, but this is a new time for me and what I now require as I learn to manage anxiety is a way to turn the volume down on my energy and live a more meditative life. I don't know why I suddenly love yoga, I never used to, but for now, it is the love of my days. Thank you Yoga.

Leanne Margaret © 2016


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