Hello! I am Tripura Kashyap, a pioneer of Movement and Dance Therapy in India. I work with professionals from different fields – Education, Arts, Healthcare, Spirituality, Ecology, Social work, Psychology, etc. A mantra that I constantly repeat ad nauseum in every workshop, course, or session is “Movement is our universal mother-tongue, it acts as a natural anti-depressant and leads to the much-needed digital detox for all”
Remember that dance is a form of self-expression and consists of all the myriad movements your body produces. A daily dose of dance (to your favorite piece of music) puts you in a positive state of being each day. You feel energized, mobilized and positive about life, relationships, and work. There is a scientific reason for this - As you dance spontaneously and move to music, endorphins (brain chemicals) get released and promote euphoria and make you feel high on life (for no reason at all) - a sense of physical, emotional, and mental well-being envelopes you and readies you for the day.
The method of spontaneous dancing is very simple! Once the music comes on, move each part of your body the way you want, one by one for a few seconds; The head, shoulders, chest, spine, arms, hips, knees, and ankles. End this experience by moving the whole body as a unit with all the body parts moving together to the rhythm and melody of the music. As sweat breaks out, your heartbeat gets stronger, your muscle tone gets enhanced, your joints loosen up, your mood alters and your body and mind feel alive and invigorated - imagine feeling these body-based enhancements on a daily basis and the manner in which the quality of your life would change.
This activity is the first stage in becoming comfortable with your body language – You must be familiar with the fact that 75 % of all your communication with others happens through this amazing body language! Your body can speak, express, think, memorize and communicate your stories and emotions through movement. You need this movement experience as much as you need food, water, air, and clothes because movement is primal to human nature - we were all born with movement (that is the first thing we did in our mother’s womb) and unfortunately, most people have forgotten to move now (thanks to the recent pandemic and the comfort of our smartphones – human movement language has shrunk to the tips of our fingers!).
Many people find many reasons to get stuck to their chairs and beds and have further immobilized themselves leading to overweight bodies, de-energized souls, and loss of spirit. Movement and dance will unlock these bodies and unchain the spirit so one feels more human and alive and most importantly connect to oneself and develop resilience to face all challenges that life throws at us.
Another interesting phenomenon is that the body and mind are continuums of each other – significant changes that occur in the body affect the mind too! When you dance with your body, the joy, and openness your body feels also transmits to your mind. As you dance, your mind begins to feel hopeful, positive and feels nourished and nurtured as much as the body does – as the mind relaxes you are able to think better, become more creative, and break out of the limitations that have boxed you from exploring your complete potential.
Another fact is that in our contemporary lives, we are all living in a ‘parallel virtual-digital universe’ through our mobile phones and laptops. Dance helps us escape from this digital trap and experience our real embodied lives - As we move and dance to music in solos, or with a partner or in small groups we feel the ‘here and now, we feel a deep self-awareness and experience interpersonal bonding with others too. This could become a powerful experience of using dance as ‘digital detox’ which we all sorely need to carry on with our meaningful lives! We need to get out of our straitjacket-like chairs and dance with ourselves, our families, and co-workers to feel our mood shifting towards a positive zone, laugh at ourselves and with each other.
How can you bring this movement practice into your life as part of your daily routine? Push yourselves for 21 days to move half an hour a day to any kind of music of your choice (vocal or instrumental), using any kind of movement that arises in your body every morning. After these 21 days, your body will demand dance and movement each day from you and you will gradually make permanent the positive effects of this amazing art form on your body, mind, and soul. So do Move, do Express, and do Transform your lives through dance and movement!
Creative Movement Therapy Association of India
Health & Wellness Committee
Tripura Kashyap pioneered Dance Movement Therapy in India in 1990. She has worked as a Movement therapist and dance educator for 3 decades. She received fellowships from the Ashoka International Foundation and Indian Ministry of Culture for her innovations in dance therapy and contemporary dance. She authored ‘My Body, My Wisdom’ a book on Creative dance therapy and is the co-founder of Creative Movement Therapy Association of India (CMTAI).