Saturday, January 31, 2015

the dance of practice

I have seen the lovely Julie Alagde-Carretas dance this stunning number twice before last Friday. The first time--four or so years ago--at the Temple Shala in Boracay she wowed me, the second time also on the Philippine island of Boracay I felt incredibly inspired. But here in Mysore, as she presented her yoga-inspired dance to an intimate group of friends and fellow practitioners at the Chakra House, I understood it on a whole new level. 

I cannot possibly describe the movements of this Filipina contemporary dancer, the fluidity of her, the strength and subtlety of her yoga sadhana interpreted as dance. It is something to be seen, felt, experienced. 

But for that short moment I can say that Julie captured so many of the emotions that I have been experiencing this month--and I reckon not just mine but many others in the room as well, more than a few were tearing up by the end of it.

It feels to me that we are all dancing with this practice.

For me, it is an intimate dance. It is so close, close to the body, close to the heart and mind. It is a solo dance, true. But also one done with many partners: the people in the room, the teacher, the breath, the thoughts, the actions, the self.  It is a dance with the elements, fluid like water, lifted by air, supported by ground, fueled by that deep internal fire.

Julie drew us into our own dances. I felt the deep longing for practice and the even deeper longing that practice creates. I felt the desire and the pull of the ego, the whirlings of the mind, and that precious stillness that is golden even when it lingers only for the briefest of moments. I felt the sweet frustration of practice and the richness of pain. I felt this deep well of love for this dance. And of course, I felt gratitude, so much gratitude that I get to also dance this dance.

To Julie: Thank you! It was a very special experience. I am so happy that you are finding your place here on this your first trip. It's beautiful to have you here! 

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