In September, I went to California to study with Guru Jagat at Camp Grace – part of the Immense Grace Program, which I’m participating in right now. It was a wonderful experience – deeply enriching and invigorating.
Camp Grace was a women’s-only retreat. We laughed a lot, meditated like crazy and danced our hearts out.
When we were informed one evening that we’d be taking a Hula dance lesson the next morning, as it would do all of us good to twirl our hips a bit, I wasn’t thrilled. Still, there I was the next day, bright and early in the shala after sadhana in my best disco outfit and ready to dance with a hula hoop. I was in for a surprise.
On stage was a graceful, vigorous woman with flowing hair and radiant eyes. Her name: Karyne Daniels. She moved like liquid and was all about teaching us the Hula dance.
Hula – language of the heart
The Hula hails from Hawaii and is related to other traditional Polynesian dance forms. Hula tells stories through movement in a breathtakingly graceful and sensuous way. Some say that ‘Hula is the language of the heart and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.’
Honestly, I felt more like a stick of broccoli when we started. Not that I can’t dance – but the Hula was a whole other number. I was the one in ballet class back in the day who stomped off to the left while the class elegantly pranced to the right. I can’t seem to remember choreography – it takes me forever and somehow just won’t stick.
Still, a couple rounds of Hula later and I was hooked. I was swinging my arms up high, making enchanting, rippling movements with my hands (hello Vajana), circling my hips a bit awkwardly and singing ‘I am the child of this universe’ all the while.
The next day, we continued working on our choreography. I felt much more solid and was having so much fun – the movements already more fluid and feminine. Of course, I was still a far cry from Karyne, but she lives in Hawaii and has been dancing and teaching the Hula forever.
Hula touches the soul
The first time I finished our dance without stomping on my neighbor’s feet, I was thrilled to have tried something new. That’s what this was all about, for me: to open myself for a new experience – letting go of inhibitions and making the best of it. I mean, I could have just stayed in bed.
What can I say – I fell in love with Hula after these first few lessons. So much so, that I’ve started to look for a course here in Berlin, to continue my learning. Hula represents connection to the universe, to all of creation – bottom line: it’s fantastic.
Hula helped me to connect with something that moved me deeply. Something tender, soft, vulnerable and still incredibly powerful. I think it was my heart……