Let's begin with stretching exercises as a warmup before dancing!
1. Sitting … cross-legged on the floor, or with soles of feet together, back straight to begin, hands resting on knees, eyes looking forward. Gently round back (as in illustration at right), 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, back straight, 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 salutation 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.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer
Part 1 of 4, Dance Meditation - Introduction
Part 2 of 4, Dance Meditation - Stretching Exercises
Part 3 of 4, Dance Meditation - Dancing and Moving
Part 4 of 4, Dance Meditation - Meditation Time
Dance Meditation Lessons for Adults
Directory of Meditations for Children and Teens at BellaOnline
|"Meditation for All Kids" Ebook and Paperback How to teach sitting, walking, dance, relaxation, instant, music, running, swinging, biking and swimming meditations, plus a chapter of guided meditations on virtues, and a chapter of affirmations, inspirations and prayers. For tots to teens of all abilities. 100 pages.|
Dance Meditation Handbook for Teens and Adults
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.