Nestled deep in the soul of Elbow Collective resides one steamy, sweaty practice that is capturing the hearts of any who breathe its fiery breath. A fusion of Thai Qi and Yoga, the illusive Dragon Dance is a rhythmic, repetitive flow of energy, movement and stillness. We hear from Grace about why she's so crazy for this intense and vibrant practice
What is the Dragon Dance?
It’s a fusion of Yoga and Thai Qi movements inspired by the myth of the Chinese Dragon Dance. Just like Thai Qi, one breath connects to one movement. The vigorous, repetitive sequence builds a fiery, breathy, moving meditation into a something of a trance.
Tell me more
This practice is designed to build awareness of body and breath and the flow of energy or prana contained within both. The Dragon Dance stimulates and removes any blockages of energy whilst challenging the entire body. Strength, balance and flexibility are called upon as you step deeper into the Dragon’s fire.
Where does it come from?
The flow is inspired by the rich teachings of Paul and Suzee Grilley, well-known reputable names in the practice of Yin Yoga and energy work. Your Body, Your Yoga author Bernie Clarke shares the Dance to his students in Canada.
How did you discover DD?
I discovered The Dragon Dance at the Bali Spirit Festival in 2016, guided by the wonderful Cécile Roubaud and Valentina Duna and I’ve been sharing it regularly ever since. Here's a video of Cécile sharing a snippet of 'le Danse de Dragon'
How is the Dragon best Danced?
The dynamic nature of the Dragon Dance delves deep into the layers of your body, both physical and energetic. The intensity should be balanced with periods of stillness and quiet, releasing yin postures and grounding meditation to complete the practice. My favourite time to practice is under cover of darkness, accompanied by candlelight and a deep, ambient playlist.
The Mythology of the Dragon Dance:
The movement of the Dragon Dance is said to symbolise the roles of the Dragon or Hero within us all. Just as through life, we dance courageously between the Dragon of Desire and the Hero of Duty or dharma. The dragon represents that which we crave and the Hero that which we must achieve. A constant battle ensures as we struggle between the rules inflicted by society and culture and our own expressions of individuality. We teeter between guilt and power as we strive to find our true path, a constant dance between rejecting society to become a rebel or transcending duty all together. The dance concludes with the Hero spiralling around to mount the Dragon as the two merge and rise up as one. Now is the time to transcend the earthly struggles, now is the time of liberation.
Where can I try it?
Elbow Collective take the Dragon Dance to festivals across Europe and you’ll always find a DD flow on Grace’s retreats or teacher training courses.
If you want to bask in the fiery Dragon’s breathe, email us firstname.lastname@example.org GF