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A HUGE thank you to the lovely yoga instructor and belly dancer Krystle Hope! Her class on back bending is AMAZING. A great back bend can take your performance to another level *imo*, but it’s easy to do it wrong – as I’ve learned the hard way haha. Krystle gives perfect instruction to help you increase spine flexibility and core strength to execute the perfect back bend!

 

First a bit about Krystle:

“Krystle Hope is a belly dancer, certified yoga instructor, and dedicated practitioner committed to promoting empowerment through achieving mind-body-spirit wellness. Passionate about health and wellness, Krystle has received her Life Coach and Holistic Nutrition Specialist certifications through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona, and offers Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching as a member of the International Association of Health Coaches. Krystle is also a certified Hypnotherapist and utilizes her mind over matter technique to facilitate long-lasting lifestyle changes. Join Krystle on a journey to wellness and create change in your life.”

For more information about Krystle Hope and Serenity Haven, visit www.SerenityHavenStudio.com.

Thanks again Krystle!!! <3

I am so so so so excited about this you guys! This month TBB will feature mini yoga classes for belly dancers by belly dancers that are also yoga instructors! Belly dance and yoga *in my opinion* are so intertwined and yoga can be the perfect supplement to your dance practice ūüôā

This week the beautiful Shanti Vina takes us through some hip openers – so key for belly dance ūüėÄ

 

First, a bit about Shanti:

Shanti is a professional bellydancer and yoga teacher in Los Angeles, Ca.  She has been performing dance since the age of 5 years old.  Shanti found yoga 18 years ago has been a professional instructor for 14 years.  She has performed in bellydance companies for over 6 years and currently has a career as a soloist.  Shanti dances in 150 shows and teaches on average 300 classes a year including workshops.  She travels, performs and instructs worldwide.  Check out her website: www.shantivinalove.com or follow her on Facebook here and twitter @shantisuperstar.

Thank you so much Shanti for putting this video together!!!!

Watch Shanti’s 10 min hip opener mini class ūüėÄ

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBLzFDzBpoU]

Here is another great video by Shanti: 10 Mintue Fat Burning Bellydance Workout with Shanti Vina

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il0xQZbe4W8]

Last month I traveled to D.C. or my aunt’s 60th birthday. My aunt and cousin have both taken/ are taking classes at the famous D.C. belly dance studio, Sahara Dance. My cousin spoke so highly of Sahara’s well known owner Rachel, that I decided to send her a message to see if she would like to meet up for an interview. Lucky for us, she said yes! yay!

We decided to grab coffee at Whole Foods and sit and chat/interview. Let me just tell you – this woman is amazing! Not only is she the founder and director of Sahara Dance, she is also the director of both of Sahara’s dance ensembles, Raqs Sahara and Raqs Caravan East, she created an intensive teacher training program, and…oh yea – she’s an incredible dancer!

The path that led Rachel to creating Sahara dance included learning from some of the best. She studied with both Autumn Leah Ward and Yousry Sharif as well as Sahra Saeeda (whom she also did a dance enthnology tour with in Egypt), Yasmina Ramzy, Haida, Faten Salama, Aida Nour, Jillina and others. All of this training allowed Rachel to cultivate her own vision for belly dance. She focuses on community, mindfulness, celebration of all body types, and developing belly dance as an art form.

I really can’t say enough good things about Rachel. When I was editing her interview I couldn’t stop smiling watching it – she’s just such a warm person, so wise¬†and articulate, warm and sweet, humble, inspirational and incredibly cool. I hope you guys enjoy getting to know her as much as I did.

For more background info on Rachel visit the Sahara Dance site.

*disclaimer – the filming quality is a little low budget, content quality is high ;)*

TBB: How did you get started in belly dance?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrPlZ-K5dgI]

TBB: What type of belly dance/ME music speaks to you the most?

RKB: I love Egyptian dance, I love Egyptian music, I like a lot of different types of music that fall into the belly dance genre or can easily be adaptable to belly dance movement, but  Egyptian is my first love.

TBB: What is your favorite song right now?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIn7FIexx8I]

Listen to White Flag by Gorillaz feat. Syrian National Orchestra :

[spotify id=”spotify:user:1272124796:playlist:5E0SMWQXJWsrhXiXo5tXa5″ width=”300″ height=”80″ /]

TBB: Who were some of your belly dance mentors?

RKB: Autumn Leah Ward  is my first teacher and probably my largest influence and then from there Yousry Sharif is certainly a big part of my dance training, Yasmina Ramzy, Sahra Saeeda, Hadia, and then going to Egypt and studying… there are a lot of influences, but those I think would be primary.read more

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This morning I took a great yoga class. In the beginning of class the teacher spoke a bit about Pata√Ījali, who compiled the yoga sutras around 400 CE. She specifically talked about sutra 2.1. This sutra states that the practice of yoga consists of three components. When she was telling us about them, I immediately thought they applied to bellydance as well.

1. tapas or austerity/discipline, dedication and studentship.

2. svadhyaya or self-study. Our teacher explained that this means being willing to see all the facets that make up you – all of your weakness, but also all of your assets for growth.

3.Ishvara pranidhana or surrender to pure awareness or a greater energy. It means being aware of a greater energy that is contributing to us and that we are contributing to. Conspiring to our awakening, as our teacher put it.

She said we awaken through these three paths, we become fully alive and engaged.

Inspiring right?

If you want to read more about it go here.

Xoxo

TBB

p.s. #FBF/#TBT post to come!!!!!