Keeping Your Dancing Spirit Through Distancing

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Spring is here . . . the cycles and seasons carry on while we practice social distancing.  We need our daily routines now more than ever. The sun is still rising every day and setting in the evening.  The birds are returning, the ice is melting and the rivers and streams are flowing. It’s like the earth is returning to herself with a little less pollution from us humans driving our cars and doing our busy-ness.

I hope you’re finding ways to connect with nature and root into your daily practices and routines.  The rituals of our daily lives, from making tea or coffee to meditation, yoga or exercise, help us to stay rooted in the forward motion of our lives and keep our mind healthy.  The health of our mind and the ability to control our thoughts or at least choose to think something positive instead of spinning of into the whirlwind of the fear and chaos, is a very valuable skill.  This winter I’ve really been going deeper into the practice of Kundalini yoga and it’s showing me that focusing my mind and staying positive takes practice.  For now I’ve been taking advantage of online classes in the Life Force Academy with Jai Dev Singh, but as financial resources are a mystery, I may be going back to what my memory can do of the practices.  So for now, I take good notes so I can keep up my practice and learn about new kriyas.

While its true that we never really know what’s going to happen in the next moment, we do enjoy a continuity in our collective fabric of society that has encouraged us to count on certain things, like the coffee, the water coming out of the tap or the electricity that turns on when we flip a switch.  Sometimes there are glitches in the matrix and these things are not available to us.  I know most of us have had our livelihood yanked away suddenly and we are in a limbo place of learning how to create resources. . . hopefully just for a short while, but we don’t really know what the next step will be.

Can we dance?  Can we allow ourselves to come into our bodies and let go of the fears of the mind and dance?  I could just was easily ask, can we allow ourselves to meditate or go for a walk. . . any kind of exercise or movement that gets us into our bodies and out of our minds and all of the worry, fear or panic.  Not to indulge in the fear, but it is good to be prepared.  Many of us are learning right now about what herbs boost our immune system, where our food comes from and what the resources are around us. I suggest writing down some important phone numbers from your phone on an actual piece of paper, that way if something happens to your technology you may be able to reach out to someone, especially write those land line numbers down, a few people still have a land line.

Although I’ve never weathered anything like this before in my life, I know that our human race has lived through so much turmoil in the past.  My grandmother grew up during the depression and although it may not have been a health crisis as wide spread as this, the effects on her sense of frugality and saving lasted a lifetime.  We here in the US have not faced the turmoil of having a war on our soil, but for so many people on our planet the threat of imminent danger is not new.  I hope that this experience helps us to relate to those in this world that are not as privileged as we are.  So far I’ve seen many people sharing food, making deliveries for neighbors and elderly and many healers have been offering prayers and ways to hold space online out of love or sharing because its important right now.  This is the type of world that I want to live in. . . one where people are looking out for their neighbors and finding ways to connect despite social distancing.  One of my older friends makes walking dates with people and they walk on opposite sides of the street.  Way to not let the virus keep you away from connection, my friend.

In the spirit of staying connected, I offer this dance called Earth Return to you.  It’s so important for us to stay in our bodies and healthy.  One of the ways to build up our immune system is to keep our lymphatic system healthy by bouncing, jogging, or dancing. I plan to gather people in the Tulsi Rose Garden next Spring Equinox to dance outside in the circle together. Until then stay healthy.

I first learned this dance years ago when Touchstone Farm was holding regular circles in Easthampton.  I’ll post a video with the tune of the song. It’s a simple dance . . .

If you can walk, you can dance.  ~Zimbabwe saying

Earth Return Dance Steps

Ideally we would be holding hands in a circle, but at this time of SD, you could do  this with your family or people you are already going to spend time with. . . we could start with hands at our sides standing  a couple of feet away from the people beside you if hand holding is not practical at this time. Normally it starts with the hands at the side and then when you walk backward you find the hands on either side and do grapevines in a ring together.

As you sing:

 “The earth, the air, the fire, the water”

 (walk 4 steps in toward the center, arms up & hands up to the sky as you walk in)

“Return, Return, Return, Return”

(walk 4 steps back out to circle, while hands come down)

 “The earth, the air, the fire, the water”

 (walk 4 steps in toward the center, arms up & hands up to the sky as you walk in)

       “Return, Return, Return”

(walk 4 steps back out to circle & join hands/ or not)

                        “Ai-yay, Ai-yay, Ai-yay, Ai-yay, Ai-oh, Ai-oh, Ai-oh, Ai-oh, “Ai-yay, Ai-yay, Ai-yay, Ai-yay, Ai-oh, Ai-oh, Ai-oh”

(facing the center of the circle do 4 grapevines to the left)

(Grapevine step: standing with feet about 1 foot apart,ross your R foot in front of your left, side-step L foot to left, cross R foot behind left foot and side-step L foot to left)

Here’s another way to look at it:

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