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Dance Meditation - Stretching Exercises

Done in a flowing sequence without a break in movement; breathe evenly throughout - 2 counts in, 2 counts out - no breath retention.

1. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, or with soles of feet together, back straight, hands resting on knees, eyes looking forward. Gently round back; letting head fall towards lap, the natural weight of body and gravity stretching the spine. Gently return to upright position by unfolding from base of spine to top of head, eyes looking forward again.

2. Still sitting cross-legged, gently and very slowly twist upper body above waist from side to side; arms extended to sides, head following direction of the back arm. Come back to center position.

3. Now, extend arms overhead. Stretch one arm higher, then stretch the other arm higher. Front of body remains looking forward, with shoulders over hip line.

4. Still sitting but with legs straddled, (opened wide), stretched but not tightened, back straight to begin. Turn body to face one leg, reach down to hold onto leg with both hands and gently lean towards the leg, letting the weight of gravity help with the stretch. Repeat with turn and lean towards the other leg.

5. Now, sitting up facing forward, hold onto both legs, round back, and gently lean forward between legs, while looking toward the floor. Next, place palms of hands on floor in front of body for support: Point and flex feet and ankles in unison, then try to point one foot while flexing the other foot. Repeat rhythmically.

6. Legs still straddled, back stretched straight, legs stretched but not tightened, toes pointed, press palms of hands together prayer fashion, applying medium tension. Lower arms should be parallel with the floor. Release tension, press again, release tension and extend hands and arms upward and outward to the side, stretching arms up, again. Bring hands back to prayer position; repeat several times.

7. Now Standing ... with legs slightly apart for balance; stretch arms out to side and hold taut counts 1, 2; then stretch arms overhead and hold taut counts 3, 4. Repeat several times. Next, without holding so taut stretch arms overhead, then let body and arms bend side to side. Repeat several times. Finish stretching sequence by swinging both arms down to the front and both toward the right side; swing both arms across front of body and to the left side of body several times; finally rest arms at each side while standing straight.

Dance meditation is poetry in motion and when you are done your session you'll find you are invigorated for the rest of the day.

Dance Meditation Handbook
For teens and adults, illustrated with photographs and ink drawings, this is a comprehensive handbook of elements to include in dance meditations, with 6 guided lessons and an appendix of musical suggestions; a companion you won't want to be without in your practice or for teaching! 40 page ebook.

Dance meditation for kids here:

Meditation for All Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer

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