Step Three – dance your heart out

Today, your assignment is to go to a beginners dance class. Whatever your preference might be; contemporary, salsa, ballroom – as long as you can move to some music and work up a sweat. The benefits of dance are endless and they suit the healing of a broken heart tremendously.

 

First of all, dance is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise, meaning that it gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing. You get to burn fat, sweat out toxins and release tons of endorphins (feel-good hormones), which you have probably been lacking for the past few days. Dancing, as with any other cardio exercise, is the best way to lose weight and get fit, and the great thing about it is that you get to have fun while doing so. I don’t know about you, but exercise is about appealing to me as being locked in a dark room with a Justin Bieber song playing on repeat, so any way to make it less of a chore is welcome.

 

Another benefit of going to a dance class is that you are exposing yourself to something completely new and different, and meeting more people while doing so. This has two important benefits: firstly, this is something sacred that you can own and look forward to, which nobody else can touch. Secondly, it’s an opportunity for you to make friends with your classmates and open up to new experiences. There is nothing here that will remind you of your ex, and all these novel things will form a great distraction. You don’t need to be particularly good at dancing in order to reap its benefits – my best attempt of ‘breaking it down’ resembles that of a limp blow up doll having an epileptic fit. The fact that you are trying something different and breaking through your comfort zone will give you a fabulous feeling of accomplishment.

 

The class I decided to go to was Nia, which is a technique that links the mind, body and spirit. It draws from Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, jazz dance, modern dance, yoga and more (click on this link to watch a demonstration) What attracted me to this was the fact that it is so inclusive. Beginners of all shapes, ages and sizes are welcome, and you are encouraged to go at your own pace.

 I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed exercise so much in my life. One of the things that I loved was that it’s not crucial for you to be good at keeping to a routine (which I am  most certainly not). Rather, it allows you to express yourself in a way that you feel comfortable with, and it concentrates on finding peace and joy through the continuous movement of your body. I thought I would feel a bit silly, seeing as this is quite an esoteric form of dance, but everybody was incredibly welcoming and friendly, and the joy around me was infectious. At one point, everybody in the room was smiling and some were even laughing. You don’t even notice how hard you work your body, because the music makes you want to carry on and go faster, and by the end of the 45-minute session I was catching my breath, my legs felt like jelly and I felt invincible.

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I’ve decided to go to this class every week, and I’m so excited for the next one. When I got home, I was on such a natural high that when my ex made his Facebook status about looking forward to getting drunk with his friends, I thought “Well shame, good luck with the hangover buddy” and slept like a baby. Of course, it upset me the next day, but the important thing is that dancing gave me strength and new-found confidence and it can only get better from here.

To find out more about Nia and what it can do for your life, visit www.nianow.com

Image sourced from http://www.emilydolan.com

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