“MOVE YOUR HIPS!! Think SEXY!!”
Hmmm…sexy. Not the word I would connect to what I am feeling right at this moment, and certainly not one I would use to describe my reflection in the mirror to my front. Red face, hair plastered, bits jiggling. Here I am in Zumba…shaking it, swinging it and swivelling it as though my life depended on it. Trying to keep up with the musclebound, light of foot, Filipino instructor, Victor. If you are not sure what Zumba is, it is a Latino inspired dance music workout that is probably taking a gym near you by storm.
Normally I don’t ‘do’ dancing and I don’t ‘do’ looking sweaty and silly in front of a room load of people, but I have decided to switch up my routine and break myself out of my box. Yes, I am choosing to move out of my comfort zone and shed a few inhibitions. This has been inspired mainly by my last week of silent meditation in Bali, when we had a few ‘moving meditation’ slots on the schedule. These involved a practice called 5Rhythms – a form of dance meditation devised by a lady named Gabrielle Roth during the 1960s. Basically you dance around to five musical rhythms – flowing, staccato, lyrical, chaos and stillness. Despite all my worries about what I would look like, I actually really enjoyed it. It felt good to shake things up, dust off some negative energy and generally dance around like a fool.
Back in Zumba, I am doing just that. The cool thing is – everyone is in the same boat and nobody seems to care what anyone else is doing. Of course, there are still the ‘professionals.’ The ones already decked out in Zumba branded clothing and usually parked in the front line, who have a little more sway in their hips or lightness to their salsa step. Normally, I would be feeling somewhat inferior, but today I am determined to embrace my own dancing demons and forget what everyone else is doing.
It has made me think how often we put ourselves in these boxes, telling ourselves “I can’t do that” or “that’s not for me” or “I am afraid of making a fool of myself.” Take our yoga practice as one example. Despite yoga being a practice of non-judgement, patience and compassion, we constantly compare ourselves to others. Our inner voices tell us that we are failing if we fall out of a pose, or cannot do it as well as our neighbour can.
Think back to our childhood – a time when we could laugh at ourselves and have fun in the process. Back then, life did not have so many boxes, unless they were ones we had turned into houses, cars or space ships! So this week, why not seek out that inner child again? Try a new challenge, one that pushes our cosy boundaries. Forget looking silly. Let go of a few inhibitions and break out of that box! Trust me, it feels pretty good to be free. :0)