Ecstatic Dance: Healing Through Movement
Do you know that “ecstatic dance” is a popular spiritual movement which produces an altered state of mind?
A 2003 study by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance can improve brain health. Ecstatic Dance is dancing like no one is watching you, without the judgment of others or any rules/limits. This form of dance was practiced throughout human history and is known as a meditative activity that helps us cope with stress. In the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #65, Alexis Fllow speaks about ecstatic dance and the overall power of the tribal community coming together through music, movement and exercise as a joyful healing connective practice.
This blog post summarizes just a few of the golden nuggets from our insightful conversation, for the full details listen to the entire episode here or on your favourite podcast platform by searching for the Self-Care Goddess podcast.
My Experience with Ecstatic Dance
My personal experience with ecstatic dance has been super magical. The earthy music mixed with cutting edge electronic and the entire journey of speed, feeling, sound, intensity and medicinal music awoke in me the power of rewilding, re-earthing and retrying myself for essential nourishment. I felt myself releasing energy that no longer serves me. The entire community bonds with love and acceptance. It is a safe space to truly express yourself how you want. This practice dates back to ancient Greece, where the citizens used to do these free movements in order to reach a state of trance or a Godly state. It is also a lot of fun to move the body with music to help our mental & physical health. The only limitations during an Ecstatic Dance session are
- No alcohol/drugs
- No talking
- No judgment
Dj Fllow explains that through Ecstatic Dance, we create a sonic womb, in which we can dance inside not judging ourselves for any kind of creative movement. If he’s feeling like crawling on the ground, or doing a hip hop move, or a salsa move during bass, whatever he’s feeling he urges you to just keep choosing your own unique self-expression. The next thing we know, the music is dancing you as if we are high on our own supply! Being seen in your wild creation of self-expression physically is healing and watching other people courageously be goofy or intense is a very nourishing exchange. One of the biggest joys of life is to be in this group of human beings that are coming together in a peaceful way of self-expression, breathing, smiling, and encouraging one another in reverence of the magic of music.
Music has been a joy for me, but like Dj Fllow it’s also been one of my highest healers, a feeling of home and meaningfulness in life. I believe that ecstatic dancing can be a form of therapy and stress management. I noticed with my own mom, when she was going through her healing journey, she was a great singer but when she wasn’t well, she just stopped singing. A huge component of her recovery and healing journey is to start listening to music and start singing again.
I invite you to listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #24 “The Ultimate Guide to Optimize Your Wellness Today”, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Benefits Of Ecstatic Dancing
- Since ecstatic dance is a form of movement, it gets the endorphins flowing. And it’s common to experience a bit of a high during an ecstatic dance ceremony especially since the movement is so fast and free-flowing.
- Another benefit of ecstatic dance is the community aspect. People often make friends at ecstatic dance ceremonies especially if they attend them regularly and that feeling a strong sense of community is beneficial to happiness.
- If you’re looking to get in touch with your spiritual side, ecstatic dance is an excellent way to make that happen. The entire ceremony is spiritual from start to finish, and most people report leaving feeling connected to a higher sense of being.
- Don’t let the hippie-ish aspect deter you. It just might fill you with joy and make you feel more spiritually enlightened and even make some new friends along the way.
- If you’re a musician, like Dj Fllow you will leave inspired and your art will benefit from being exposed to this format.
- If you’re having physical, emotional, mental or spiritual pain – it’s a very good place to unpack yourself and release all that. Ecstatic dance is also a good outlet for anger /rage as you can channel that in a creative healthy way.
- If you feel really isolated and not seen, ecstatic dance is a good place to courageously participate, see other people courageously self-express which then gives you the permission to shine.
I invite you to listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #32 “Self-Awareness: The Key To YOUR Wellbeing”, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
How to Begin Your Solo/Virtual Ecstatic Dance Practice?
The goal of ecstatic dance is to achieve a natural state in which your awareness shifts and you experience a meditative and happy state of mind through body movement. Here are some useful tips shared by Dj Fllow, if we want to practice ecstatic dancing from the comfort of our home:
- SoundCloud is a great resource where a lot of ecstatic dance DJs post their work. If you want to do the ecstatic dance format, starting soft, slow, going faster with a peak intensity, then back down slowly, use the music uploaded on this platform.
- We must commit to staying present for the whole journey, whether it’s half an hour, an hour or two hours. This commitment allows you to go deeper beyond your self-critical, self-judgmental thinking and keep moving until eventually you reach the blissful augmented state. Just keep dancing with whatever comes up.
- On Spotify, create a list of top 10-20 songs which are high energy, rap, rock, uplifting lyrics that are light and joyous. Then pretend you’re at a concert and stay committed to the 10 or 20 songs and just dance.
Start a week-long challenge with music. Begin your day dancing for five minutes with different types of music. The whole day will be super positive and you will have so much energy. Do breathwork, meditation, exercise
For more information on “5 Ways to Kick Start Your Self-Care Journey at Home” listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #6,
Music Waves of Ecstatic Dancing
Ecstatic dance has different waves and more variety because every DJ / musician adds their own flavor of it. There’s no right way but the universal concept is usually start with more ambient stuff and then some medicine songs or spacious, slow songs. Take the BPM (the beats per minute) which is the speed of the music up like a roller coaster and then with more bass and intensity take people up, keep them up for a while and play faster music until you’re cruising down the highway. Then exhale and bring the energy down so people have a chance to breathe, look around and get back their comfort. In the end, land them in a beautiful, soft, spacious, heart centered vibration so that people can just soak it all out, get up and surrender in the afterglow. It’s like psychedelic trance music, mysterious because if you analyze it scientifically, it’s just patterns, sounds and melodies but somehow when we put that together it is a form of therapy for all human beings.
Do you know “How Yoga Can Help You Detox – Mentally, Physically & Emotionally”? Listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #25, on Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
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Take Home Message
Ecstatic dance is the language of the soul and can be a deeply moving, therapeutic and spiritual experience. In our society most of us feel many restraints into letting loose into dance and these communities provide a happy medium where one can drop into a more spiritual environment without any substance use. You can enjoy dancing in the way it was always meant to be enjoyed! At the core of ecstatic dance and this podcast is to practice and be inspired to do those things guaranteed to hack health & happiness.
Connect with Dj Fllow: https://www.fllow.love/about
Listen to the full podcast episode #65 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.