A Shiva-what?

So, you saw this badge down there on the sidebar with the six armed woman and it took you to a page, but you're still curious, huh?

I am a Shivanaut. That means I do this kooky-brilliant-fun-(sometimes)infuriating yoga based mind/body practice where I flail my arms in 8 different positions and my legs in 8 other positions to create new connections in my brain.

Let me write that again in case you missed it: the practice helps me make new connections in my brain.

It's true name is Dance of Shiva, but it's also commonly called Shiva Nata.

Intrigued? You can see my teacher doing the level 2 sequence here. (<--Click it!) Don't worry. I'll wait.

See what I mean? Craziness!

And, though she was going very fast, this is actually a low impact exercise that anyone can do. We take it slow at first. No worries there.

Believe me, I don't look like that when I'm practicing level 2. To be completely honest, I threw a bit of a hissy fit after getting frustrated with level 2* and I skipped it altogether for about 6 months last year.

*which is exactly what you are NOT supposed to do, but I have since realized that it's a pattern I need to break and started working on Level 2 again. One of the main principles of Shiva Nata is humor, but I forgot that for a little.

That's the thing, though. You don't have to do it in order. You're not even supposed to do it right. You're supposed to be confused. That's where the gold is. The more confused that you are, the better it works!

Say what!?!

Let me tell you, I didn't believe it the first time I read it but I, like you, was still intrigued by the idea. So I tried it. And it works. Here are just 5 of my experiences with the practice:
  1. I notice patterns in my life that I didn't notice before--physical, emotional, other people's patterns, my pets' patterns, work patterns, life patterns, etc. Noticing these patterns has allowed me to change some behaviors that have plagued me for years. I was recently reading a short article about how habits were actually patterns that we repeat. Recognizing the pattern is the first step to breaking it. (I’ll stop there, but I could go on for ages about this topic.) Let’s just say that I believe strong pattern recognition skills are a highly useful trait to possess.
  2. I think I have been having better ideas in general since starting the practice. And I definitely have more epiphanies. Moments of bing! Whatever you want to call them, I’m having more. Epiphanies to me are ideas that come to you that seem as though they were so simple you should have known all along. Epiphanies are something that are often clear to you, but when you try to explain them to others don’t always come out the way you understand it. Someone I highly respect calls them something akin to “a deep inner knowing.” Either way, good ideas are good in my book.
  3. There are times after a particularly challenging practice when I feel a sense of peacefulness, while after others I feel energized.
  4. I'm also getting mad coordinated (like drop something and catch it before it hits the ground coordinated). This has proven very useful to me in my recreational softball career. :)
  5. My arms are like cannons. I’ve heard it’s also great for the upper back, but I’ve noticed the most muscle definition in my arms. I hear strong is the new sexy, guys! Can’t complain about that.
Some other people have even used it to quit smoking, eat better, and learn languages. It's amazing what a little bit of mathematical arm flailing can do for a person!!

So, yeah, I like it. I think everyone should try it. Ask me about it sometime. I'm a certified teacher, too. :)

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