Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dancing: Perhaps The Best Mediation Strategy




Comprehensive Health


Part of good physical health involves good mental health. Certainly, eating right and exercising are key to physical optimization; but if there isn’t any “soul” to the activity, health may yet decline. Stress is the reason why. If your DNA were a shoelace, the tape at the end would be made of telomerase. Stress wears down telomerase, just like time wears out the tape from a shoelace until it unravels.

The best way to reduce aging is to reduce the steady diminishment of telomerase from your DNA—at least that’s the current thinking. Stress reduction is key in maintaining telomerase. Good eating and physical exercise that is exceptionally stressful can yet lead to poor health—consider the retired soldier suffering from PTSD. Though he may have made it habitual to eat right and exercise regularly, the stress of his previous position eclipses many of the health benefits in terms of collateral fallout from mental injury.

However, if he can find a way to turn around the negative mental aspect of things, then he can reduce stress. To this end, physical activities that have more than exercise as their primary goal are very recommendable. What’s most ideal is finding a physical activity which in-and-of-itself has a purpose that is totally separate from physical excellence; like dancing.

Consider the ballerina. Her style and beauty are made paramount through physical excellence, but physical excellence isn’t required for the artistry of the dance. In an upward spiral, the more a person dances, the more physically excellent they become, making the final result more affecting. In all these things, there is a mental quotient to the movement which has much in common with meditation.


The Different State Of Mind

When you’re dancing, you’re following steps and choreography previously defined, or you’re using moves you’ve learned in the past in a freestyle manner to create something new—or even attempting new steps as you go. Whatever you do, your mind is operating at a level of consciousness that has interesting qualities. There is such a thing as muscle memory, and the mind can yet wander while the body moves in time to previously memorized motions.

There is a misconception pertaining to meditation; namely that it always involves emptying one’s mind completely. This actually isn’t the case. Certainly, some meditation advocates this; but it’s also possible to meditate on a specific topic, thinking about it until some breakthrough results or some emotional state is reached.

With dance, meditation usually involves the final performance. It may involve remaining in sequence with other dancers. It may involve simply achieving a specific state of inspired feeling throughout the movement. It may involve “surfing” or “flowing” along segues in present time. Remember, dance isn’t just for ladies performing graceful steps designed to evoke a weightless aesthetic. In terms of break-dancing and many modern moves, the male component of dance has its own special flavor and counterpart to the female. In Salsa and the like, this is certainly true.


Transcendent Performance

Something else to keep in mind in regard to dance is that throughout the performance of the art, the overarching future-attained goal of a fulfilling performance or completion of a given step is always somewhere in the dancer’s mind. To a certain degree, thinking becomes separated from action, even though that action is being controlled by thought.

In a way, this is naturally transcendent. The seasoned dancer gets to a point where consciousness is removed from present experience, taking a back-seat to “muscle memory”, and beginning to either drift or focus; depending on the dancer’s concentration. If the reality of this meditative state of mind is incorporated into the performance, it can help maximize impact.

Especially for troupes of performance, a wise strategy to attain maximized meditative clarity and performance profoundness involves proper costuming. Whether wardrobe predicates idiosyncratic, individualized outfits, or those that are uniform, the literal putting on of clothes designed for a performance can help focus the mind.

Alexandra Costumes specializes in costumes for dancers, providing clients: “…access to…one of kind costumes at a discounted price. Our performance wear features comfortable fitting, vibrant colors, unique designs, and trendy styles that make…performance stand out on any stage.


Land Among The Stars

There is an old saying about aiming for the moon and getting the stars thrown in, or aiming for the moon, then falling among the stars even should the primary lunar target be missed. With exercise, this approach makes sense. One should aim for high goals, even if they seem unattainable.

If you’re aiming for something higher than you think you can achieve, you’ll achieve something higher than you likely would have been able to. But if you’re aiming directly at a certain goal, you’ll have a harder time hitting it. With dancing, this mindset is built-in through the meditation made possible through muscle memory and repetition.

Dancing isn’t the only kind of physical activity where such a comprehensive healthy outcome may result. Many teach kids sports in school in order to effect the same kind of overall health. With sports, the goal is a victory through skill, not physical excellence—physical excellence comes about as a result of practice but isn’t the goal of a sport. The same is true with dance.

With dance, it isn’t physical health that is sought, it is athletic aesthetic in movement, synchronicity, choreography, and overall performance. As a result of seeking these things, physical excellence gets thrown in. Ultimately, being involved in dance can additionally round out the mind, reducing stress and further initiating healthy development. So meditating on these things while dancing, or other aspects of life that require some deep thought, can provide some of the best results otherwise only attainable through more commonly known meditative means.