How breathing better can heal your body and mind   Every minute you take almost 20 breaths, in and out, without a thought. Breathing is so innate, such an essential part of our existence that it is hardwired into our biology and starts the moment we are born. So surely by the time we reach adulthood, we’ve mastered the art of breathing and tapped into its power. Unfortunately, more often than not, no.   Laboured breathing   The fact is for many of us, our breaths are burdened by the stresses of life. Shallow, fast breaths hardly ever reach down into the depths of...

The tunes of Ecstatic Awakening Dance™   First you hear it but then you feel it. That’s when the true power of music takes hold. Music is entwined in the fabric of every culture across the globe. Long before mp3s, radio and record players, it was already an integral part of society, binding communities together. You can still see this today, from the drum beats of the healing ceremonies of Ghana’s Ashanti to celebratory songs of Morocco’s Gnauoa as they honour Nature’s gifts.   The music of Ecstatic Awakening Dance™   While many of the world’s tribes continue to live with music and dance at the heart...

A national movement to help combat mental health issues   “He traps me like a prisoner. Never lets me see the light. Never lets me go. He keeps me up at night.” The villain in this poem is not a person, not a creature, but depression. This is just one of many personal stories about battling mental health issues. Every year, one in four people in the UK experience a mental health issue. The chances are at some point in your life, you will too, if you haven’t already. The ever-stretched NHS is feeling the strain as much as its patients, with...

It’s everywhere you look. In glances between young and old couples. In the caress of a mother to her child. In the embrace of friends reuniting. Even in the kindness of a stranger. Love is what binds us together as a community, whichever community you belong to. Love is so intertwined with human nature that people of every culture strive to fill their lives with it and with every kind of it. The language of love reveals how it pervades every aspect of our lives. From Sanskrit’s sneha, the love of a mother and Greek’s agape, a selfless love extended to...

Holding a sacred space Emotions rise up. Feelings overwhelm. And in this moment of vulnerability, true transformation is possible. This experience is not uncommon for those who take part in Ecstatic Awakening Dance™, a nurturing process that is all about helping individuals reconnect with themselves and the universe. In doing so participants are able to feel love and joy by releasing pent-up stress, tension and emotions. Holding a sacred space where this transformation can take place is the privilege and responsibility of an Ecstatic Awakening Dance™ teacher. As raw energy and emotion flow freely, our teachers create a safe space to guide participants...

An ancient practice in modern times   She stands in a woven cotton caftan, snakes of coloured material flowing from her shoulders, a brass mirror against her chest to ward off evil spirits. Her appearance belies her connection to Mother Nature, to the spirit realm. Her drum, the shaman’s drum, beats to a rhythm that resonates within us all. She is an ugdan, a Mongolian shamaness. This is not a description of a woman resigned to the history books. Mongolian shamanism is as alive today as it was thousands of years ago, as far back as recorded history can take us and likely...

The journey to becoming an Ecstatic Awakening Dance™ teacher   To feel free, present and at one with the universe is transformative. That is the power of Ecstatic Awakening Dance™. Experience it and find moments of true bliss. Teach it and feel that bliss spread out into the world through the lives you’ll touch, inspire and empower. This is a truth we know only too well at the School of Ecstatic Movement. For 11 years we’ve welcomed those drawn to teach and to heal to become Ecstatic Awakening Dance™ teachers, with our comprehensive 9-month online programme, including a one-week residential retreat. Creating community through...

Exploring the beauty of tribal dance across the world   Pick any point in history on any land where humans roam and you will find dance. Nature has always had its rhythms and through dance we are reminded that we too are a part of Nature. Within each of us beats a rhythm so deeply rooted that even in the face of oppression, even after generations of conformity and self-denial, it lives on. Tribes across the globe nurture this intrinsic rhythm and dance to celebrate, to mourn, to belong or simply to feel. Dances once thought lost to history are now revived, such as...

An ancient yogic tool to free your mind   Think of the moment new life comes into being, of birth, of the instant a baby leaves the safety of its mother’s womb to enter this world. Picture it in your mind. Now listen. What sound do hear? A cry, a gasp? Breath, the first breath. Breath is life. From your very first gasp to the present moment, the rhythm of your breath tells its own story of the ups and downs of your journey. Learning to control your breath brings with it the ability to still your mind and empower your body. This has...

The resurgence of cacao ceremonies   Skin the colour of the earth and black-rimmed eyes, a force to be reckoned with, a God no less, Ek-Chuah. Such was the devotion he inspired that they honoured him with one of their most treasured goods: the fruits of the cacao tree. They were the Mayans and cacao was central to their way of life. It was a currency, it was a tribute, it was a sacred drink. So why did the Mayans prize cacao so highly? What did they know about this potent seed that we forgot over the centuries as cacao became processed into chocolate? What...