Dancing to one beat of the drum. African style!
Rhythm, the sound of the drum, the beat of the heart, the heart vibration with us from the first day of conception. Keep on moving! Feel it. Let the beat
flow through and the movements vibe. African dance with Baba Kauna was invigorating and inspiring. Backed by a team of incredible drummers the workshop
was packed and the energy levels soaring.
Beginning with a warm of up of running around
the room, breathing deep, rising high, Baba then led a short and fun series of yoga asanas preparing us for the steps to come. Now “learning” to
dance has always been a challenge for me. I love dance. It is a passion so deep it moves me through the whole spectrum of emotions, providing a
channel to move pain, and anger turning it into joy and freedom. Allowing music to move me I am able to transcend the mind, fully in my body and
yet beyond any separation from the vibration that runs through me. Therefore to think about steps is hard. Baba made it easy and playful. We followed
his steps, including call and response singing and ended up stomping down the main pavilion with a power I haven’t witnessed in any other workshops.
Baba is from the US and yet with decades of experience in all aspects of life, African dance being only one. His presence is powerful and his words
strike a deep chord. A natural leader I could envision him working as he did in the ghettos of Baltimore in Theater and community activism and
social work. His life expression and spiritual practice rang out loud and clear in his teaching today.
With roughly six times as many women as men,
I watched as Baba taught the men their own dance. Bringing out a certain vibration which encouraged a certain masculinity that was mesmerizing
to watch, and immediately apparent that we need more men like him in our community here in Ubud. Men like him who are able to guide and provide
a cohesive gel to bring both men and women together in their full and equal power. Next Baba taught the steps for the women, which he led with
equal mastery. The commonality was a dimension of expression; of seeing and being seen, of moving and being moved, of coming together to channel
an energy that it is hard to reach so directly through yoga. While we may practice asana side by side on our mats, once we are dancing to the beat
of the same drum, moving feet on the same floor and following a shared vibration something deeply profound happens. Baba’s class provided an opportunity
to feel something bigger than our individual selves, and it was apparent I was not the only one high on life. We ended in a dancing circle, as
the brave and courageous jumped in to the centre to show off their moves.
I left re-energised, even after four full on workshops today, and ready for another night of physicality paired with spirituality, as conscious vibrations
continue to allow energy in motion – emotion – to move. Inspired by the artists and practitioners sharing this common journey, I am so thankful
for this festival for providing the opportunities to gather, celebrate and activate.
Continue the conversation on Twitter – include #balispirit in your posts on festival highlights, photos and shares.
Written by : Administrator