Dance is the hidden language of the soul ... a moving method of self-expression and self-discovery, revealing our own innate mystery and union with the Universe. While today dance is often appreciated for its fitness, entertainment, and cultural values, dance has historically been a mystical art and an authentic path to spiritual realization. Mystical Dance® strives to open a window for the modern seeker to embrace dance as one of the many beautiful tools for re-kindling our inner radiance and dancing the Divine into existence – moving beyond merely 'being the dancer' to knowing that we are also the dance….
Mystical Dance® begins where regular technical dance instruction ends. It is about dancing from the inside out. By understanding the energetics of dance based on the ancient chakra system of India and tapping into the tradition of women's sacred circles and ritual, we experience the profound power of dance. Stretching beyond the illusion of the apparent beautiful outer form, we recognize the consciousness and Truth that moves us All.
"Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.” – Maya Angelou
The Mystical Dance 1 Workshop weaves together many forms of sacred dance and Tantric movement expression. You will learn the art of ritual belly dance, spiritual trance dance, prayer dance, and chakra dance. Underscoring this will be the practices of transfiguration in its many facets, presence and surrender in dance (and life), harnessing and focusing the sexual energy through movement. Through the process, we will build a strong sisterhood to nurture the dancing Goddess within every woman and to reconnect with the inspiration of the Divine Feminine.
"Wherever a dancer stands is holy ground." – Martha Graham
Special highlights include experiencing the “Devi Fingers” Dance of Ferocious Compassion, Sufi Whirling, Mystical Trance Dance and, of course, lots of sacred (and fun) belly dance fusion! Returning favorites include working with the veil and candle dances, interactive exercises for understanding our yin and yang energies, and moving through the five senses. We will also introduce the secret jade egg practices in a very unique and empowering women’s circle. Finally, there will be a culminating Shiva-Shakti transfiguration. The co-ed transfiguration ceremony is a special highlight of the transformational process as it synthesizes and crystallizes our Shakti experiences together. Without exception, each participant finds the final offering a personal milestone in expressing the feminine and in her increased ability to place more confidence in her higher Self, to let go and to “be danced” in all ways.
“ Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance, when you’re perfectly free.” - Rumi
Who is the teacher?
Monika began to perform belly dance professionally in New York City in 1993, and went on to share the art of belly dance in Arabic nightclubs, large stage shows, and cultural events worldwide. A lifelong dancer, she has studied and performed ballet, Gurdjieff Sacred Movements, Sufi whirling, and Odissi Temple Dance. See www.mysticaldance.net and www.monikanataraj.net for more details.
Monika created and teaches annually the Mystical Dance® Teacher Training Course and the Shakti Spirit Teacher Training Course. She is also a senior teacher with Agama Yoga, co-founder of the Agama branch in Dharamsala, India, and an Agama Shakti Group leader. She began her Agama studies at the end of 2000 and in 2006 completed the full 42 months of formal study with Swami Vivekananda. She is profoundly grateful for her experiences with Agama, which led her to develop the Mystical Dance ® approach. In addition, Monika is a Core Faculty member of the esteemed Omega Institute in New York. She is best known for her ability to unite Yoga, Tantra, and dance into a complete Shakti celebration.
Monika’s love of dance and Yoga, combined with a passion for teaching, keeps her globe-trotting; most recently she has held Mystical Dance® workshops in Thailand, India, Turkey, Belgium, Ireland, France, England, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Israel, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, Costa Rica, Morocco and the USA. Her students unequivocally agree that her courses are inspirational and, for many, life-changing.
Who is this workshop open to?
The Mystical Dance 1 Workshop is open to any woman who would like to delve deeper into the inter-relationship between movement and sacred practice. No previous dance experience is required although there will be a lot of dance techniques taught within a short time and a number of different movement styles. Basic beginners will be supported through clear and practical instruction. The course emphasis is on experiencing the mystical aspect of movement rather than the mastery of technique, which in this case would be nearly impossible in such a condensed period and with so many dance styles highlighted!
The Mystical Dance 1 Workshop will also include participants of the Mystical Dance Teacher Training Course (MDTTC), who will go on to complete an additional five weeks of intensive practice, theoretical teaching modules, and instructional practicum sessions. Enrollment in the Mystical Dance 1 workshop will be limited to 8 women to allow space for the 28 MDTTC participants. Registration is handled on-line through a first-come, first-served basis and will conclude when the 8 slots are filled, so register early to ensure you participation.
What will the schedule look like?
We will meet approximately six hours per day (sometimes longer). The typical core hours will be from 9:00 – 12:00 and 17:00 – 20:00 on the last two nights we will conclude later. It’s a full schedule, but the intensity will help accelerate your evolution! We devote the majority of our sessions to dancing, and balance this with meditations, theory, and special exercises corresponding to the day’s theme.
Bring comfortable practice clothes. A flowing skirt and hip scarf are helpful. You are encouraged to wear anything that particularly inspires your inner and outer feminine spirit. Veils, candle props and devi fingers will be provided to use during the workshop. For the final transfiguration ceremony we will adapt the clothes you already have into a mystical dance costume. Inexpensive costume pieces may be on sale, and Monika and some participants even lend their extra items to fellow dancers.
“ A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning.” – Rumi