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Body with which I relate to the world and to myself, body with which I walk and live, a body that reveals itself, screams, loves, suffers, sleeps and lives.

Why dancing eastern dance? Part one. 

Many things have been mentioned about the physical and emotional benefits of practicing belly dance. But just only a few have been discussed.
Having been a dancer and a trainer for many years and a never ending student; I would like to take a close look at belly dance benefits and share them with all of you.
So, from now and on, I release a short article series about the topic, hoping you will find them useful.
I will start writing about the most visible and touchable part: the body.
Anonymous Photography. Egyptian dancer, 1870. Nabil Jumbert Collection, Boulogne.
Anonymous  photography. Egyptian dancer, 1870. Nabil Jumbert Collection, Boulogne.
Why do many doctors, osteopaths, gynaecologists and physiotherapists recommend dancing belly dance? Why do this happen when they may not even have a trial lesson?
It is sure that all they sense that belly dance strengthen our inner muscles.
Which inner muscles do we strengthen?
Depending on the experience, practice, quality and type of movements in Eastern dance you can strengthen the internal muscles of the column. Like the epi-spinous or spinalis, the inter-transverse, inter-thorny, transverse thorny, transverse, lumbar sacrum, long dorsal, lumbar square, etc. By listing this musculature, more than one person can say that it also strengthens and becomes more relaxed in other body work techniques. But I will point out that the belly dance is characterized by its muscular dissociation to be able to perform movements separately and together when desired.
Naming all these muscles, many people might say that they can be strengthen and flexibilized by other body techniques. But I will puntualize that belly dance is characterized by its muscle dissociation to perform separated movements or together when wished.
To give an example: to make a hip fall we will request exclusively the lumbar square that goes into action, and that the rest of the body is aligned, static and ready for this muscle to work at its width. It is very normal to see an oriental dance dancer without great travel, static, in a small space mobilizing a lot of internal muscles.
It is such a normal fact to see a belly dancer without doing big movements, static, in a small space, mobilizing such a big amount of inner muscles.
At the abdominal level we strengthen: the transverse, the oblique major and minor, and the anterior rectum. The fact of mobilizing the pelvis from this musculature causes massaging our organs and abdominal and pelvic viscera. Depending on the quality of the movement of each one, the musculature working in synergy surely requires the collaboration of the pelvic floor musculature. It is very interesting to be able to use the pelvic floor in conjunction with the abs, not only to offer a cleaner movement, precise and powerful, but not to create abdominal pressure on it.
The fact of mobilizing the pelvis on the static femurs and arranged in parallel, helps to smooth the hip joint, by softly mobilizing the bone structure, muscles and ligaments. Eastern dance requires that the weight of the hip be released (metaphorically speaking). How do we get it taking into account that the weight of the trunk is sustained in it? By having to mobilize the pelvis continuously, we request the anti-gravitational muscles, the pelvic floor, the abs and the impulse that the plantar vault offers us. So we could do the analogy that oriental dance helps connect with the roots and grow taller, from the centre, like a tree.
From all of the above, we can conclude that in addition to learning in a playful manner, a new body technique and a new culture, you get the strengthening and flexibility of the internal musculature of the spine, helping to create synovial fluid in the joints thanks to the Small, winding movements, massage the viscera and the internal organs, strengthen the pelvic floor and gain a greater awareness of your body's disposition from your centre.
Has the desire aroused to continue deepening and practicing with perseverance and conscience
I hope yes!! Thank you for reading this little article, I look forward to your comments with great interest.


Why dancing eastern dance?. Part two

Following the line of  the first article I will focus on the body, the key to greater awareness at all levels.
With what steps do we strengthen and flexibilize the abs? Is it not for that reason, that many people point to Eastern dance? How many beginners have been surprised of all the abdominal work?

To begin with, I would like to point out or clarify that the pelvis can be mobilized from various parts of the body such as the legs, buttocks, abs, the deep muscles of the pelvis, and, of course, in a combination between them. In this second article I want to focus on abdominal work.
To perform an optimal abdominal work we must try to keep the pelvis with its own weight (without swinging). The lumbar curve of each one must be respected, (without bone modifications). We have to keep the feet arranged in parallel, the buttocks and knees relaxed. The rotation of the pelvis in one direction or another, in the following movements, is always given by the dorsal vertebrae D11 and D12 (zone of great mobility). The anterior abdominal rectus and the transverse are joined to keep the viscera against the rachis. We keep the pelvic floor active to counteract abdominal pressure. The deep musculature of the column enters into action, creating space between the vertebra and vertebra, lightening the weight of the trunk on the pelvis.
Rotary movement around the centre. From the basic position, we will advance the pelvis by contracting the buttocks (the only movement we perform with the contraction of buttocks). When moving the pelvis to the right or left, the larger and lower oblique muscles are entering into an eccentric contraction. When we head the pelvis back, we will pay attention to the anterior rectum to prevent the pelvis from rocking too much and protecting the lower back. We will hear that the circle we draw with our pelvis is made around our centre, like any planet around the sun, feeling the change of weight in the feet.
A movement with two directions, forwards or backwards. To realize the infinite back we use the oblique major, in eccentric contraction. The smaller oblique, is the protagonist when we realize the infinite forwards. The larger oblique, as its name implies, being larger offers a wider movement, which is visually more appreciable and also easier to perform. The complicated part comes when you have to keep the top "visibly" immobile. The anti-gravitational musculature goes into action by lengthening the column. The anterior rectum and the transverse are joined to keep the viscera against the spinal column and the tallest fibers of the oblique major work statically, while the others mobilize the pelvis. Here is the difficulty, a muscle that has to do two different actions, immobilize and mobilize.
Movement with two directions, up or down. From the basic position, the Maya is a movement that we initiated from the lumbar square and we complete it again with the lower and lower oblique at the same time. The lumbar square is attached to the last floating rib and the iliac crest and laterally to the 5 transverse lumbar processes. Located on both sides of the column this muscle is the one that helps us lift the pelvis on the side of the contraction, the first movement to perform the Maya. The second movement is to move the pelvis away from the centre and lower it, for that we use the two oblique ones. If we want, we can use the knee flexion to further stretch this musculature and define the movement more, while the upper part of the trunk stays fixed, growing upwards. If we want to carry out the same movement in the opposite direction, upwards, we will have to reverse the order with which we initiate the movement. That means that we will begin by moving the pelvis out (from the oblique) and down (from the knee flexion), we will raise it and bring it closer to the column with the action of the lumbar square.
Strengthen and flexibilize the abdominal muscles and if we put some attention on it, surely we will also be working the pelvic floor. Moving the pelvis from this musculature causes massaging our viscera, our abdominal and pelvic organs.
The already initiated and practitioners will know what it means to feel many times more energetic, cheerful, focused, rooted, the feeling that you meet again. Feelings that surely flourish by mobilizing the pelvis around the centre, with the circle or ellipse. The eight, the infinite or the Mayan movements that always pass through the centre of the body (navel and tendon centre of the perineum) ... Then we can say that we work with the centre and from the centre, with the Hara according to the Japanese tradition, with the first Chakras according to the Hindus and with the Qui according to Chinese medicine.
Note: It is not always easy to work with the centre and from the centre, other emotions that may not be so awake are waking up, maybe this is the resistance of some practitioners, resistance that can be on a corporal level that is also indicative of the emotional .
I hope that interest is awakened in those who doubt whether or not to dance Eastern dance and for those who are already "hooked" that you have discovered something new, different or simply that it is useful for you to become more aware. Thank you for reading me !!