Embracing Pranayama can enable you to overcome your fears and take you to new heights. Literally. Aerial Dance has provided me with an exhilarating creative outlet to transcend my yoga practice into dancing 300 feet in the air. I never expected to hang off buildings in the name of art, but when the opportunity came to train and work with the Aeriosa Dance Society, I took a flying leap at the opportunity. Here’s me in action:
The Power Of Pranayama Breath
My dance training and my background in yogasana help with the physical elements of my work, but my pranayama practice has been most fundamental. More than once I’ve stepped over the edge of a building and wondered how I was going to transform into a graceful dancer at that height, let alone take my first step. This sense of fear is what keeps us safe and alert as we dancers learn about the rigging, working with the architectural features of each new building and triple checking our equipment.
How I Learned To Face My Fears
What still excites me about aerial dance (aside from the obvious rush of adrenaline) is how I’ve been able to overcome my fears. Knowing I’ve prepared my body with an intelligent warm up, focused my mind, and literally practiced my breathing is key. Then, when I start to observe myself experiencing fear or apprehension I can go back to the basics: I steady my breath, I coax my muscles to relax enough to let the energy flow through them and allow my eyes to adjust to a new perspective of the world. From there, it becomes about the dancing; the steps, the refined transitions, the connections with the music and the teamwork with the other dancers. Ultimately, it’s a performance for the audience below.
It all starts with a deep steady breath. I then bend my knees, push off and fly, fly, fly through the air. Maybe it’s just that simple.
Meghan Goodman is a professional dancer and Vancouver yoga instructor with Vinyasa training from Flow Yoga. She is currently working towards a certification in Iyengar yoga under the guidance of training teacher Louie Ettling. Meghan teaches regularly at Flow Yoga, East Side Yoga and Green Room Yoga. For more information on classes, to book a workshop or private session, please visit www.meghangoodman.wordpress.com