On a beautiful June evening of intermittent showers and sunshine I drove to Nelson County, Virginia to visit with Shakti, who was back from Kaua'i, Hawaii for a short visit at her old family farm. She hosted a henna hafla at a quiet community space where I enjoyed her wonderful company, a little dancing, and a lot of food. I was absolutely thrilled to have a chance to talk with her again and soak in her exciting discoveries about chakra energies.
Shakti was one of my Charlottesville belly dance students a long time ago, and she pulled just what she needed from my classes to get started on her own journey of discovery in belly dance. In my classes she learned about belly dance fundamentals, the dance’s history, and how to perform; but in her own dancing she discovered a path of progress involving subtle energies and chakra isolations.
Since she moved to Hawaii several years ago I’ve only been able to learn from her in person at a couple of short sessions; once when she camped with me at Pennsic, and during her most recent visit here. I’ve gathered only a few drops of her wisdom about engaging subtle cosmic energies with belly dance-like isolations, but even that is a wonderful gift. Ever since I learned the "chakra isolations" from her I’ve enjoyed using them, although I have only the most rudimentary idea of what I’m doing! That’s why I’d love to study more with Shakti, and I hope she finds a way to share her knowledge with more people when the time is right.
Right now she’s only able to accept select private students who really want to study with her. My hope is to do some video calls with her to learn more of what she’s discovered, and maybe even do an interview with her! She’s wonderfully open about sharing her knowledge with me, and when we’re together I soak it up, but I have to admit it goes over my head pretty quickly.
A couple of years ago, after she first showed me some slow and simple chakra isolations, I began including them in my intermediate/advanced classes as part of our warmup, but after a few months I could tell it was time to let them go and return to my standard belly dance warmup. Shakti told me that sharing them is okay, but only those who are ready should really use them as they can open up too much energy. However, I still do want to share the simple “chakra isolation ritual" I do, which is probably just “Step One” I suppose, because I couldn’t even keep up with her when we were moving through the movements together during our visit. But that’s something I’ll leave up to the Spirit. A few years ago I had been led into my own discoveries about chakra energy in belly dance, which is why I find her applications so intriguing.
I know bellydancing increases chakra energy; I wrote about this in a series of articles called “Transformative Bellydance” (the articles are on my website). When it happens, dancers often don’t realize what’s happening or why, and because the energy flow is unbalanced it can be rough. I believe incorporating Shakti’s specific movement method can help dancers to balance the energy flow they experience from bellydancing and that’s why I want to share my simple version of this ritual via video, with belly dancers only. That way those who can use this knowledge can share its benefits, and help to smooth out the flow of energy.
Ideally we could study with Shakti, or follow her on an instructional video. She wants to make a DVD within the next several years; but until then we’re on our own. I sincerely hope she finds a way to share her unique insights soon. If this topic interests you, discover more about Shakti on her Cinnamon Phoenix website. The class information is out of date, but there is a lot of useful information on what she’s learned about bellydancing and the chakras.
Anthea / Kawakib
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