Meditation for Movers, Dancers, and Performing Artist
Written by Suzanne Jeffrey. Edited by Sarah Horne.
Meditation is a Tool
That’s right. Meditation is a tool you can use to help prepare for (or cool down after) a long rehearsal session, an intense performance, or many other experiences that are unique to artists.
And now, with virtual classes being a new normal, it’s important to actively avoid screen time.
Artists in the dance field are familiar with self-awareness techniques. Meditation is just another tool to add to your artist toolkit.
Meditation has many definitions and people seem to project their own bias into what that definition is.
Instead of immediately projecting something religious into the word “meditation” let’s think for a moment about what happens when dancers are deep in the process of movement.
Movers are Natural Meditators
Movers, when involved with their training or while performing, tend to focus all of their energy into the activity. The same happens with musicians, visual artists, scholars, gardeners, readers and nearly everyone who loves the activity they are doing! They focus on the task at hand.
This focus, this total involvement, this blocking out of everything else that surrounds them, is a form of meditation. Prayer is also a form of meditation as long as the participants are focused on their involvement. But meditation can also be sitting quietly and stilling the mind. In a sense, simply letting go of all the activities of the day, all of the issues that are troublesome, and focusing instead on simply being, is meditation.
Develop a Practice
As dancers grow and mature, meditation may become more desirable. It helps movers become more aware of who they are – in a more introspective way. Listening to their inner voice – listening to how they are growing and developing as an inner experience – is vital for a healthy individual. It can also makes you a powerful artist.
Wondering where to start? Here’s a very quick way to begin:
- Sit in a Comfortable Position
- Close Your Eyes
- Focus on Your Breathe
- Dump the Garbage (aka let your thoughts pass you by)
- Find a Inner and Centered Place
- Focus on Stillness
- Keep Going (don’t stop until you find a natural end to your session)
If you want a deeper explanation of these things, RahDanceWorks has got you covered! Here is a wonderful (and FREE) download for you: “Meditation for Movers” (also below).
Many Paths to Your Inner Guide
There are so many forms of meditation, so many ways to become more mindful, and many teachers are now practicing their own forms. There are many paths to finding your own inner guide and you should have fun exploring.
One excellent website, www.joshuajayindo.com, has excellent instruction and answers to many of the issues that arise when students begin their practice.
And, below you’ll find our downloadable PDF, “Meditation for Movers“. It’s a great place to start!
Photo Credits (top to bottom): Sage Friedman, Samuel Austin, RKTKN, Ravi Pinisetti, Levi XU, Keegan Houser