(quoted from below)
An increased awareness of the aura enables an enjoyable exploration of inner and outer spaces. After a relaxation, a choreography of self-repeating sequences to mantric music in geometric group formation serves to realign both individual and group energy, weaving a group field and stimulating the meditative mind.
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions
Barnum Effect : is a term that is used in psychology. It is the tendency for people to accept very general or vague characterizations of themselves and take them to be accurate. A good example of this can be seen when people believe what is said about them in psychometric tests, personality profiles, astrological predictions, and so on. This phenomenon is named after P. T. Barnum, who believed that a good circus had "a little something for everybody." Even though the descriptions or descriptive terms used in the inventories, typologies, and tests can apply equally well to other people, some individuals are gullible enough to believe they are unique to themselves. Of course, this is exactly what happens with the horoscope, palm reading, and crystal ball gazing (Referring to the comments of P.T. Barnum, 1810-1891, American showman
The true Sikhs never trademarked their teachings--except by dressing distinctively (turban, iron bracelet, long hair and beard, comb, carrying a dagger, wearing shorts, living a brave, honorable life and many by dying as martyrs during Moghul persecution.
The most remarkable feature of Sikh practice was to offer meals to all visitors, regardless of social background--a hearty rejection of the Hindu caste system and of Moslem fears of pollution by sitting with non believers. These Sikh langar
--open kitchens are still offered today at festivals.
quoted from below
"in Hindu cosmology by “Shiva Nataraja” which literally means‘Shiva Lord of the Dance’. Shiva performs the “tandava” which is the dance in which the universe is created, maintained and resolved. "
Shiva plays no role in genuine Sikh doctrine. They worship God and follow the teachings of their gurus, the last of whom directed that in the future, their scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, was to be their 'guru'.
The statement made below This Kali Yug or Steel Age, as termed by the Hindu Vedic scriptures
--the vedic scriptures play no role in genuine Sikh life. They look to the Guru Granth Sahib.
Dance Poses-By Sara Avtar Olivier
Time and space are eating us up, yet unprecedented possibilities are ours for the taking. Liberation from mental and physical blocks into free and gracefully flowing living (sahej), is what the new yogic discipline, Shakti Dance®, can help us experience to find our way.
The Role of Shakti in Kali Yug
This Kali Yug or Steel Age, as termed by the Hindu Vedic scriptures, finds us wandering in the darkness of ignorance about who and what we really are and where we are headed. As we increasingly focus on the diversity of superficial existence, getting lost in the erratic and frenetic chaos of modern daily life, we lose touch with our essence and the cosiness of being. This is the influence of Maya-Shakti, the force of illusion, distracting us through our senses and concealing reality beneath the festive display of physical phenomena. I
n this age, Maya-Shakti has the upper hand as she is said to veil three-quarters of essential truth. The other quarter is revealed by the illuminating force, Cit-Shakti, the impulse of awareness residing in the heart of all beings, spurring us on towards evolution and spiritual awakening. Maya-Shakti and Cit-Shakti are two sides of the same coin. Shakti is the Hindu feminine principle and goddess of all forms of energy and activity. She is the primal creative energy of the soul, consciousness made manifest and the divine breath through which all beings are inspired and animated. Without her, consciousness would remain formless and inert, and creation would cease to exist. Shakti’s unmanifest counterpart and spouse is Shiva – pure consciousness, the underlying peaceful reality of our being, unfettered by the bonds of time and space. The goal is to imbue the dance of our lives with the serene awareness (Cit) of Shiva.
Transformation of Shakti in the Aquarian Age
Within this Kali Yug we now enter a new astrological period, the Aquarian Age. This fundamentally heralds a great shift of consciousness. It is an age ruled by awareness, information and energy. The influx and overload of information in this computer age is overwhelming. In an era of sedentary, automated living, we are challenged to find new ways of dealing with life and regenerating ourselves. We need to develop techniques that will increase our vital energy and stimulate our ever-waning sensitivity, while increasing the stamina of our nervous system. Learning to consciously command our mind and effectively transform states of consciousness is essential if we are to avoid burnout. Developing the neutral meditative mind through yoga is key to enabling us to change gears of consciousness and to helping us navigate our way. At the same time an effective technology for transforming our inner energy, our Shakti, is paramount. Such a technology is provided by Kundalini yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan; and also by Shakti Dance®.
Nature and Origin of Shakti Dance®
Shakti Dance® is a “yoga of dance”, offering a joyful, graceful and healthy yogic path through the conscious practice of dance. This discipline has been evolving since the early 1990s and is based on Kundalini yoga. It was created and developed with the support and encouragement of Yogi Bhajan by Sara Avtar Olivier, lifelong dancer and 20-year yoga practitioner and teacher. Shakti Dance® shares the common goal with Kundalini yoga of expanding consciousness to unfold and manifest our soul potential (Kundalini Shakti) in daily life. Shakti Dance® embraces eastern and western dance styles, both classical and modern while primarily focussing on their underlying principles of form and dynamic, qualities and energy levels. The different moods (bhavas) and styles of dance then become a comprehensive range of “tools” from which to choose for a precise and balanced stimulation of inner energy. Refining movement to form breath-linked flowing yoga asanas, Shakti Dance® opens and aligns subtle energy channels to heighten body awareness, giving a meditative and expansive sense of lightness, clarity and wellbeing.
The Dance of Life
The same principle of “rhythmic animating movement” that is attributed to dance is inherent to the vibration of the universe and all life. Just as creative consciousness is supremely expressed through the act of creation, dance is one of the most expressive forms of human activity through which the impulse of the soul can manifest. This simple yet profound truth is symbolised in Hindu cosmology by “Shiva Nataraja” which literally means‘Shiva Lord of the Dance’. Shiva performs the “tandava” which is the dance in which the universe is created, maintained and resolved. His dance is Shakti. Together the “dancer and the dance” become the “lover and the beloved”. Out of the duality of Shiva and Shakti are born the three “gunas”. These are the three basic qualities of all life from which the entire universe is woven. They emerge from and influence the fundamental phenomenon of vibration (spanda). From them proceed the five fundamental frequencies or elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth), that give rise to all physical phenomena, our mind and our senses.
Shakti Dance® uses the insights gained from yogic philosophy to awaken and embody universal principles of harmonious movement. The interrelated systems of the three gunas, five elements (tattwas), 8 chakras and 10 bodies, known to Kundalini yoga, are an enlightening basis for recognizing and explaining the qualities and effects of movements, positions and feelings (rasas) created through dance. Yogic anatomy also provides a map for explaining the movement and transformation of energy. Here Shakti’s animating breath is described as flowing through the human body by way of an intricate network of subtle energy channels (nadis or meridians).This vital form of Shakti is known as “prana”. Together the network of pathways that convey it constitute the “pranic body”. Mental balance and rejuvenation are directly dependent on the stimulation and equilibrium of the pranic body. A precise definition of a yogi or yogini is: one who is able to control their three gunas, five elements and eight chakras at any time to reinstate perfect balance.
The Phases of Shakti Dance®
Through her extensive yogic and dance experience, Sara Avtar has been able to not only extend and systemise her spectrum of movement, but also develop a systematic process for cleansing and awakening the pranic body to access and enjoy the spirit of Shakti. Eight successive phases mark the way. Initially, mind and body are tuned to spirit. This uses mantra and mudra to connect the individual with the subtle wisdom of the soul, opening a meditative protective space in which to work. Then comes a series of Shakti Stretching, gentle and centring floor exercises to open the pranic body. These are cyclic, breathlinked flowing asanas that not only release tension and increase flexibility, but also increase movement range and initiate the experience of graceful flow. Gradually breath takes over the lead, initiating and sustaining the meditative current of movement. Energising standing exercises and self-repeating dance steps are then introduced to open the pranic body and chakras with breath-coordinated movement. This phase recharges vitality. It increases the vocabulary of movement while carefully stimulating and rebalancing the energetic spectrum. Once the pranic body is free-flowing, the inherent wisdom of the soul, the inspiration of Shakti, begins to unfold. The phase of freedance then takes over in surrender to the creative impulse, as it is given free reign for self-expression. An increased awareness of the aura enables an enjoyable exploration of inner and outer spaces. After a relaxation, a choreography of self-repeating sequences to mantric music in geometric group formation serves to realign both individual and group energy, weaving a group field and stimulating the meditative mind. A crowning moment of stillness in meditation is taken to enjoy the fulfillment of emptiness following the satisfaction of self-expression – bathing in the Source within. To close, inner and outer worlds are brought into balance while creating a protective auric shield.
Flowing with Grace
The effects of Shakti Dance® are immediately noticeable after the first class. Participants report feeling lighter, more free in their movement and at home in their bodies. A wider horizon and broader perspective is often related, enabling practitioners to face daily problems with greater serenity and joyful creativity. Those practising for a longer period are visibly transformed as their movements become more refined and subtle. Their whole demeanour and appearance takes on a graceful hue as they confidently describe riding the waves of life as if in a state of grace. Shakti Dance® is firmly established on the continent, particularly in Italy and Germany where around 30 certified Shakti Dance® teachers are currently teaching. Now in the UK, Shakti Dance® classes can be taken with certified teachers in London, Brighton, Cambridge and Manchester. Sara Avtar Olivier will also be holding a weekend intensive Shakti Dance®
Workshop in London on 3rd &
4th March 2007. For further
details visit: www.shaktidance.net