Yoga Dance is an invigorating, fun, low-impact aerobic exercise designed to enhance physical health and wellbeing. Starting and ending like a traditional yoga class, the middle section of Yoga Dance is a fluid practice that alternates between individual improvised movement, simple group dances, and dance games set to an eclectic mix of music.
What is it?
Every Yoga Dance class is a unique experience designed to create a safe space for participants to tone muscle, increase flexibility, improve cardiovascular health, explore their own rhythms, build community, and leave feeling energized, revitalized and refreshed!
Do I need to already know dance or yoga?
Yoga Dance is for everyone, no previous experience in dance or yoga is necessary! As my teacher used to say, “As long as you’re breathing, you can yoga dance!” The only recommendations are to wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle.
I have two left feet and am kind of worried about people looking at me...
Please don't be! Yoga Dance is not a performance. Yoga Dance is a practice that cultivates acceptance and non-judgment. It is about connecting with the dancer inside us all, and relishing in the beautiful wonder of being alive and the ability to move.
"This seems familiar, have I done this before?"
You might have, there are a number of wonderful Yoga Dance styles in the world that go by a variety of different names. Mountain Boogie style Yoga Dance derives from the instructor’s studies under Megha Nancy Buttenheim, M.A., at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, in Lennox, MA. This style is known as Let Your Yoga Dance,® and is a practice that was developed and codified during 1970s at the Kripalu Yoga Ashram in Sumneytown, PA by a number of western dancers and yogis. When the ashram moved to Lenox, MA in 1982, Yoga Dance became a regular noontime activity,* a tradition that remains in place today!
“Kripalu Yoga Dance” might be a "new" invention. However, the organizational principles behind the movement and music in Yoga Dance derives from Chakra theory (which goes back millennia), and the idea of a communal dance party is found among cultures all over the world predating recorded history. In this way, the instructor believes that we reassert a timeless human tradition of exploring the gift of movement when we practice yoga dance.
"So it's a new fad?"
* Buttenheim, Nancy Coursen. “Kripalu DansKinetics Teacher Training and Grace-in-Motion: Let Your Yoga Dance®,” 1998.