Sacred Dance, Sacred Union
yoga lake

Yoga can be the key to a divine connection.

I first discovered my spirituality through my love for dance. I was never a trained dancer, however, when I was in my 20’s, dance music and all-night parties were what all my friends and I were up to. I would get into a deep groove with the rhythms of the music. My mind would relax, my body release and I would feel like I was soaring towards the center of the Universe. It was exhilarating! I knew instinctively there was a dimension of existence beyond the physical world and visiting that place inside myself activated deep feelings of joy and spiritual connectedness.

Still, dance clubs and parties were often not the most supportive environments for achieving profound existential heights. People interrupted; sometimes they’d bump into me or spill beer on me. I hated having to shimmy away from an overly assertive partner. I wanted to experience something where the spiritual dimension of movement was celebrated openly and where I could surrender deeply into my own inner experience without feeling vulnerable towards other people in the space.

Around this time, I met my first yoga teacher. Her name was Jaya Devi (meaning “Victorious Goddess”) and we met at the home a mutual friend a few months before she opened her yoga studio. Our friend had been her student and he wanted to introduce his friends to the healing powers of yoga. It was a hectic time in my life and the relaxation and rejuvenation I felt after just one hour class amazed me. As soon as Jaya Devi had her studio open, I signed up!

In yoga, I learned how to apply my consciousness to parts of my body and through the rhythm and timing of my own breathing, release deeply into a physical posture. At first it was hard because my muscles have always been very stiff and tense. The deep stretches were sometimes uncomfortable, but Jaya Devi taught me how to keep my mind on my breathing while visualizing that all the tension and discomfort was releasing as I exhaled. With each inhale, nourishing energy softened and soothed my stretching muscles. By taking my time in the postures and focusing my mind on my breathing instead of on my thoughts, I got to know parts of my body I had never paid much attention to before. It was as if my own body was uncharted territory, beckoning me as an eager explorer.

Yoga opened and strengthened my connection to my sense of being centered while moving at the same time. It taught me how to quiet my mind so that the experience of my body had space to expand in my awareness. During my yoga practice, there was magic created inside my body; light energy sparkles and moves, manifesting in my mind’s eye as different colors and patterns – a cosmic inner web. As I twist around into a spinal twist, I feel the warmth of my spinal fluid as a ripple of an ecstatic elixir saturates my being. When I fold my legs into Goddess Pose, I open sacred spaces in the muscles of my hips where I can feel the pulsing vibration of the earth below me, nourishing me and grounding me in my own open, feminine energy. I am one with the Divine, cherished by the Divine, embodied as the Divine. I feel divine!

Dance for me is a whole different world now. Through yoga, I have a range of movement and understanding of my body and spirit that gives form to my unique self-expression of the energetic connection inside me. Sometimes in the sanctuary of my own home or the open space of studio, I leap into the air with all my might, shaking and spinning and feeling alive! Inside myself, I can soar to the heights of being while I stay grounded and connected to the earth.

I can still hold my own at the nightclubs and keep up with any other dancer on the floor, but my most sacred moments come when I reserve the time for myself to swing, stretch, and glide at early dawn to the sounds of my favorite songs in the privacy of my own space. In my morning yoga practice, I bring the discipline and control together with the lightness of being that music and dance inspire. I am my own sacred union, grounded and free!

by Carter Tracy


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2008 Copyright by Carter Tracy