How are West Coast Swing and Yoga connected? What can they teach us about being present, finding our flow and enjoying the moment? We asked internationally aclaimed Westie and Yogi. Courtney Adair, to explain the deeper connection of both.
“Yoga is the dance of every cell with the music of every breath that creates inner serenity and harmony.”
Improvisation is what drew me to the dance. The reaction, the response, the letting go of thoughts about what SHOULD be and allowing myself to fully show up as whatever NEEDED to be in that moment.
Improvisation allowed me to inhabit flow state.
All of my favorite moments in dance, whether they’re on the Classic floor, during a late night social dance, in the middle of a competition, or in the course of a warm up, all revolve around that pure moment where thought falls away and I become synonymous with the song, with my partner, with the movement.
There is no “what if” or “can I?”
There is rhythm, there is momentum, there is breath, beat and pulse. I am rhythm, I am momentum, I am breath, beat and pulse.
I come to my Yoga mat to witness these thoughts, I move my body through the postures and bring curiosity to the judgements that may arise. Yoga creates space for me in my body and perhaps more importantly, in my mind. My body does the Yoga postures. My mind follows the breath. And in between the two vibrates that exact same consciously unselfconscious state of being that I find in those perfect moments of dance.
Both dance and Yoga are well served by training the mind. The body is filled with so much wisdom, and when we allow ourselves to come to home to it, and when we surrender to celebrating this incredible vessel exactly as it is, beautiful shifts begin to happen.
Recognizing the presence of a thought is a useful place to start. Meditation is a common & accessible tool that allows us to see them pretty easily. A quiet environment, closing your eyes and sitting still will most likely reveal an environment that is as thick with thoughts as the bottom of the ocean is filled with tiny creatures. It is estimated we have about 70,000 thoughts per day!
There’s a beautiful spectrum of meditation & mindfulness practices that serve just about every walk of life. Even washing the dishes can become a powerful teacher if we allow ourselves to be present for it.
So we see or witness the thought. We notice that it’s there. And that’s it! Well there’s a lot more… but as someone that has wrestled with “I have to do it the best or it’s not worth doing” or “let me study everything on the subject to make sure I’m doing it right” let me tell you in the warmest, gentlest, most confidently knowledgeable area of my being that I can access… that’s it.
That’s where the journey begins. You catch the thought.
Washing the dishes, stretching into downward dog or syncopating an anchor… They’re all opportunities to be present in the moment, and to catch the thoughts that just might be preventing us from being there.
By Courtney Adair
Interested in practicing with Courtney?
Courtney is currently running Self Care Sundays on Facebook Here
Courtney also runsmore indepth sessions, regular yoga practice and much more at Yogi-Patron Group: $15/month gives you access to 1 class/week, articles, video tips and personal requests for cultivating your Yoga practice
Self Care Sundays: gentle, restorative Yoga 5:30pm PDT