Reminding You of The Divinity

Dance, post and relax with Dirish Shaktidas Fridays on Wanderlust TV as he takes over the LIVE studio to host an upbeat, prana boosting Shakti dance class.

Dirish is a London-based yoga instructor immersed in the world of holistic healing. Internationally trained by world-famous teachers, he has been practicing yoga dance and meditation for over 10 years. Dirish grew up in a Hindu household with sacred mantras and combines his deep knowledge of movement, mindful meditation and sound.

How did yoga get into your life? Was it love at first sight?

I've always wanted to do yoga. A family friend practiced yoga and it always fascinated me. My 93-year-old uncle was also a yogi and had practiced for 50 years. So you could say that it was passed on through my family. But I really got into yoga while traveling around Asia and stumbled upon a yoga retreat in Thailand and it was a big fat YES!

I completely changed my attitude towards myself and life for a whole week. It was something that just filled the void for me. In my long work in fashion and design, I've been under so much stress and pressure that I had nothing to give me the juice to start over and relax.

What changes have you noticed in yourself since starting steady practice?

To be true to yourself, to my life and to others around me. Learn my limits, learn all aspects of me. How to align with what feels authentic. To be a better listener to what is going on inside and outside of me. I am calm, I am relaxed and empowered by all of the different practices of yoga and meditation that have elevated me.

What is your intention in sharing these sessions online? What essence that you hope is conveyed through practice beyond just watching someone on a screen?

I intend to enlighten and brighten people's hearts. Bring yourself into her full self to remember her divinity.

Tell us a little more about the history of Shakti Dance – how did you get into class?

I love it, people always think I created it which is a great honor but Shakti Dance is the yoga of dance and it was created by my teacher Sara Avtar. The origins of this practice come from Kundalini Yoga. This dance has eight specific phases:

  • Intro – Connection with the creative source and inner guidance: tA mantra that is normally used in Kundalini Yoga, but is guided in a unique way through the combination of movement and mudras (hand postures).
  • Warming up – opening pranic currents with flowing yoga asanas: organic, rhythmic and flowing floor stretches / asanas that are tailored to the breath open and relax the body and release stress and blockages. This phase is meditative, grounding and nurturing and opens and increases the flow of Prana-Shakti through the energy channels of the body (Nadis).
  • Flow steps or standing exercises – charging the magnetic field with repetitive standing exercises: After opening the pranic flow, the class moves on to energizing, breathing-related standing exercises that open the chakras, bring the five elements back into balance and recharge the pranic body with increased stress Vitality. The standing exercises work with the natural geometry and mechanics of the body and follow the principles of harmonious movement, e.g. Surrender to gravity, give impulses from the navel, lift through the bandhas (body barriers) and open stretch lines.
  • Free Dance – Spontaneous Movement Meditation: After calming the mind and accumulating the charge, you are now literally propelled into free dance. In this phase each individual's innate creativity is given a free hand.
  • Relaxation – release, relaxation and calm: Lying in Shavasana (corpse pose) calms, harmonizes and consolidates the phase of relaxation the stimulation of various energy qualities in the previous phases.
  • Meditation – Mantra with meditative movement: These movement meditations align and balance your energy field. They can be done sitting or standing and are generally practiced as a mantra. These meditations can be very profound, fun to learn, and form a powerful group matrix when practiced in a circular mandala.
  • Conclusion: At the end of the session, a simple and specific mantra is chanted in combination with mudra movements, which brings the inner and outer world into balance and at the same time forms a protective aura shield around each participant.

Shakti Dance brings out so many different sensations. It's a release, it's a boost, it's a moment of letting go and letting go. Could you pick a feeling that will always be there when you teach a class and want to take the students with you?

It's hard to pinpoint a particular feeling, I would choose the feeling of holiness. We all want that security, but holy takes it to the next level. Before we bare our souls, we want that security, especially if you are new to the form of the Shakti dance. I want students to take away the feeling of freedom to express their soul self and feel lit from within and without.

What would be the only advice you could give to the Wanderlust TV streamers to help deepen the connection with a teacher and yourself while training online?

Do your best, remain present with all sensations without judgment, and trust the process.

If you could have dinner with one influential person in the history of yoga, who would it be and why?

I would say Mata Amritanandamayi aka Amma (The Hugging Saint). She has one of the most inspiring stories I've heard. I would like to know how she processes her life and how she has the ability to hug thousands upon thousands of people and help them travel the world for decades, doing everything selflessly with the greatest love and grace. I would also ask the big questions:

"What is the soul?"
"What is the purpose of the human experience?"
"How do we best deal with uncertain times?"
"How do we deal with 2020 ?!"

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