This month’s Unconditional Body Beautiful is all about showing love to the center of your body– our fabulous belly.
Our belly is the core of our body. It keeps us centered. It’s our first connection to life. After all, it’s where our belly button lies and before we were individual beings on this planet, that button was our umbilical cord. That cord served as a bridge between us and our mothers. It was the connection that supplied us with nourishment for growth and development. So our bellies deserve a lot of love and adoration on our part.
And when I think belly-love, I think of belly dancing.
What’s belly dancing? Belly dancing (known in Arabic as Raqs Sharqi, or Eastern dance) is a Middle Eastern dance “with movements emanating from the torso rather than in the legs and feet. The dance often focuses upon isolating different parts of the body, moving them independently in sensuous patterns, weaving together the entire feminine form. Belly dancing is generally performed barefoot, thought by many to emphasize the intimate physical connection between the dancer, her expression, and Mother Earth.“
Unlike the way it’s portrayed in a lot of western media, belly dancing is not a dance for male enticement or seduction. Belly dancing is a celebration of womanhood, of the female body and the connection to both herself and nature. It’s empowering, vibrant and sensual.
Belly dance, in its purest form, is a dance for women by women. In ancient times it was considered sacred and not intended to be seen by men at all. It was a fertility ritual dance, a type of Lamaze in which the mother-to-be’s female friends and relatives would gather and dance in order to help her with breathing and increase the chances of a healthy birth. The dance was performed barefoot in order to celebrate and maintain the connection to the fertility of Mother Earth.
There’s magic in being a part of such an empowering dance. Being in tune with your body as it sways and moves in its natural rhythm is definitely food for your soul.
I took belly dancing about 10 years ago, and I have to admit that I was intimidated at first. I went in thinking that it was only for certain body types, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s a true celebration of womanhood that embraces ALL women, regardless of body type or age. And once I finally got out of my head, I began to enjoy myself. And I loved every single part of it, from the flowing undulations of the arms and upper body, the hip shimmies, the figure 8’s. I felt connected to my body through the movements and music– and it was absolutely glorious!
Belly dancing is much more than gauzy customs and pelvic thrusts. It’s a form of female empowerment. And when it comes to self-love, it’s the perfect way of showing your beautiful belly some well deserved TLC.
If you’re intrigued and would like to find a dance class near you drop by www.bellydanceclasses.net— they have an extensive list of belly dancing teachers broken down by country/city. If you’re not ready to take your belly dancing on the road, but want to get your belly lovin’ groove on drop by YouTube. They have lots belly dance videos for beginners, so you can practice at your own pace at home.
Until next time my lovelies– remember to be kind and loving to yourselves,
Unconditional Body Beautiful is a self-love series created by Rebequita Rose — “It is a year-long collaboration which I created-slash-founded, and I will be doing this with many other bloggers…We will focus mostly on discussing our bodies more than on fashion, but at the same time we will fuse the two together.”