Super easy way to condition your body for dance while at work!

When you don’t do much physical activity during work or study, and then start belly dancing, you are at a bigger risk of injury than someone who is more physical. Worse yet, Dr. James Levine did research showing that for every hour you sit down, your life expectancy decreases by two hours! (Mercola, J., 2017)

Ouch!

Now that seems like a bit of a high estimate to me but never-the-less, it is clear that excessive sitting is  doing no favours to your body and by extension, your dance. Another study indicated ‘Sitting time was responsible for 3.8% of all-cause mortality (about 433,000 deaths/year) among those 54 countries’. (Rezende, L et al., 2016).

The majority of people these days have desk jobs or jobs that require a significant amount of sitting and a whole lot of belly dancers keep day jobs as well as their dancing. The fact you are dancing is more than likely helping you avoid many of the more serious issues faced by office work but what if making a few simple changes in your office job could help out your dance too?

It is reported that anything more than sitting for 3 hours per day is detrimental, however, sitting cross-legged (lotus position), squatting and standing are said to contribute to better outcomes. Outcomes such as weight loss, younger bodies and stronger joints for example. All common aspirations among belly dancers.

young happy student. over white background

Even sitting on the ground is said to be better than sitting in a chair.

According to author Kelly Starrett, starting off by swapping 20 minutes sitting for standing at work, will help condition your muscles and reduce injury for activities you do outside of work. YAY! Easy done. After a week or 2 you can increase it. If you want to read more about his suggestions, he has written a whole book about it called “Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World.” Which sounds like it would be very valuable for anyone doing a lot of desk work. I also thought his YouTube channel MobilityWOD looked pretty good as he has divided his videos into sections like Shoulder Pain, Exercises, and Stretches and Ankle Pain, Exercise, and Stretches.

So according to Dr Mercola (2017), stand up and … be younger and fitter and stronger. I was so impressed by what I read that I am seriously thinking about getting a sit-stand desk or maybe just doing more reading and researching on my iPad. I love that this simple change doesn’t involve some complicated routine or time out of my schedule, I just stand up whenever I can complete a task that way. It makes sense!

What do you think? If you have a desk job, will you try to stand up a bit more?

 

 

References

Mercola, J. (2017). Sitting Too Much Ages You by 8 Years. Retrieved from http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/02/03/too-much-sitting-makes-you-age-faster.aspx

Rezende, L et al. (2016). All-Cause Mortality Attributable to Sitting Time. American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 51 , Issue 2 , 253 – 263

(This is post is not to be taken as medical advice. It is intended for discussion purposes only)

Seize the day to dance: A heartfelt reminder & memorial to Elisheva

A memorial and heartfelt reminder to take face your fears and to follow your dreams.

Some of you may know that a well-known belly dancer has recently passed. Elisheva of Bellyqueen will not be gracing the stage in this world any more.

I am pretty shocked because it was only a year and a few days ago that I was dancing in the Perth show of Journey along the Silk road with her. Thus my recent Facebook feed has been full of those memory reminders from a year ago featuring her and the other women that made it such a memorable experience and I have been happily reminiscing.

After the silk road perth

Such a fun person to be around! I wish my hand was steadier for this selfie but she had me giggling!

To then see Kaeshi, Irina, Maki and Nathalie posting memorials just seems bizarre! How can it be that one so vibrant is no longer with us any more?

I learnt so much by participating in that show but I particularly learnt a lot from Ellie. She drilled me in her sword dance and I took a fantastic workshop on choreography theory. Several concepts from which I have been incorporating into my own pieces and dance. Only last Friday I was thinking of her while participating in a Biodanza class. I was again playing with the feeling of leading from different parts of the body – being aware more consciously of where the energy starts – in my own improvisation.

Journey along the silk road after party

Journey along the silk road after party, Elisheva and I at the back.

To be honest, I was not even familiar with Elisheva’s work before the show, but sometimes someone crosses your path for a brief time (in this case 2 weeks) and makes a profound impact. She was a great teacher and a very friendly and caring woman who danced with great feeling.

Signing up and sending in audition videos for the show was utterly terrifying for me. I had to face some deep-seated beliefs.

Some of you may know that I have had to face many auto-immune issues, and at one point was so ill I couldn’t walk more than a block (and that was with assistance). When you have been that ill and ill for a prolonged period of time; even when you work so hard on your health and make great gains; it is hard to think of yourself as truly vital. I was so scared I would not physically be able to keep up, that my body would revert to all the issues of the past, that I would become an object of pity and waste everyone’s time.

I was also scared that I would not be able to keep up with the last-minute choreography changes that are often common in such productions. Learning choreography has always been a challenge for me and again, even though I made great gains and learnt so many way to improve on it (hence the ebooklet I wrote). I was still fearful I wouldn’t adjust in time.

Fear and anxiety are crazy things, they can make simple tasks difficult and difficult ones seem insurmountable. Yet I really wanted to try out, so I faced all those fears and went ahead. If I hadn’t gone ahead, I would not have met Elisheva and the opportunity to learn from her in person would have passed for this life time.dance on this earth

So I am sharing this story to express my grief that one so young has died, but I am also sharing this so that anyone that is standing before a big opportunity in hesitation and needs a bit of a nudge of encouragement to go ahead, does so.

This is the hint, the sign you were wanting

– if there is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t, take the plunge!

 

 

In memory of Elisheva ❤

Want to show your teacher some Christmas love? Belly dance themed cards are sure to make them smile.

Early this year I had the honour of joining a great cast of dancers for Perth’s edition of Bellyqueens’, ‘Journey along the Silk Road’. Among the dancers was Australian belly dancer & card designer Marta. Marta (over at Marta Belly dance) has created a small line of boutique cards that are perfect to let your teacher and fellow students know you are thinking of them over the Christmas period. I don’t get any kick backs from this plug, I am simply supporting the community and lovely Marta’s efforts. 3 cards go for $15 AUD and considering how the Australian dollar is worth so much less than the English pounds or the US dollar – that makes it even cheaper if you are overseas! (Contact her for overseas postage rates).

 

 

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What is the best belly dance present you have ever received or given? Feel free to comment below.

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