Bellydance Wellness & Prenatal Bellydance
Created & facilitated by Serena
BellyFlow is a healing movement method based on my experience teaching Yoga, Bellydance, Ecstatic dance, and Meditation. It is designed to reawaken your sensual intelligence and free up blocked energy in your pelvis, hips, belly, heart and spine. It restores your mind-body connections to cultivate pleasure, relaxation and spontaneous joy. The movements of BellyFlow tone your muscles, improve flexibility and nourish your belly- the seat of your creative desires. I describe BellyFlow as a yogic mind-body practice rather than a dance class because it focuses on the healing power bellydance, rather than aesthetic and entertainment.
Here, we are fusing yoga, mindful movement and healing imagery with the beauty of an ancient dance form. BellyFlow helps you reclaim your body as your own, improve your self-image, helps you rediscover the wisdom of your impulses and sensual instincts. It enhances fertility by improving pelvic blood flow and prepares your body/mind to create new life, as well as tones & heals your body post-partum, re-creating core strength, restoring energy and hormonal balance .
Rather than taking bellydance to the aesthetic level for performance and entertainment we take bellydance within ourselves as a mind-body practice, which allows us to radiate our natural beauty from inside out. BellyFlow is an effective stress-reliever for all ages, and beginners. It also provides support for fertility, pregnancy, post-partum, other reproductive health conditions or to improve sexual pleasure, creative flow, or overall health. Classes are small and intimate, all fitness levels welcome! LGBTQ friendly.
Next 6 week series begins: TBA- email email@example.com if interested.
To register or questions please email Serena: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is how a typical class goes… we spend 90 minutes by:
Settling in: Shedding the layers of our day, tuning into our inner wisdom with a meditation and a Goddess oracle card.
Warming up: Getting our energy moving with juicy, tension-releasing floorwork, a yoga lunar salutation, spinal warm-up, and trance-like waves.
On our feet: Guided mindful pelvic isolations, then a guided breakdown and learning of a bellydance technique.
Putting it together: We string some movements into a simple and fun dance that we do together.
Shimmy: We almost always do a group shimmy- a bellydance movement of shaking the hips- it feels so good and lets loose any residual blocked energy.
Free-Dance: We spend a song moving however our body needs to move, following our instincts towards pleasure.
Cooling down: Yoga stretches release tension, and end in a relaxing ‘Savasana’-where we allow ourselves to fall deeply into stillness and absorb all the benefits of the work we did.
At the end of the session you will have an increased intimacy with your body, what makes you feel good and gets your creative juices flowing!
I use a variety of music- but mainly electronic and world influenced, or female vocalists- like Azam Ali, Lisa Gerrard, DCD, Layne Redmond, Loreena McKennit, Mercan Dede, etc.
For more info on my approach read my blog ‘The Real Reasons Why I Bellydance’.
If you have any questions, please email Serena: email@example.com
Womb-waves pulsed and flowed with the cycles of the moon–moved into the primordial bodies of women to pulse and flow with the rhythmic tides…. a place of creation… a place of sensuality… a body evolved to feel Her rhythms, to give birth and life and inevitable death and rebirth and life…. to know the ecstasy of being one with all and salt tears still flow – the taste of Her ocean within you.
-Poem ‘Womb Waves’ by Anne Wilkerson Allen
Prenatal Yoga- Bellydance fusion
Did you know that bellydance originated as a birth dance? The labouring woman would be in the centre of a circle of supportive friends and relatives undulating and moving their hips- mimicking the waves of the uterus to help encourage her baby down, and create a very sacred and loving environment for birth. Many women instinctively do the movements of bellydance while in labor to help relieve pain and help birth their baby more effectively. The path of motherhood is a sacred journey. When you are going through deep changes physically and emotionally and still meeting the demands of the outside world, it is crucial to have a special time and place just for you, to nurture and replenish yourself and bond with your baby. This class gently weaves yoga and bellydance into a nourishing flow that honors you and your changing body at this sacred time. Next session TBA. Inquire if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are pregnant, you may also benefit from a Personalised Healing Session to de-stress and ease your transition into parenthood.
Prenatal Bellydance encourages each participant to follow their body’s impulses in a safe, open, yet structured environment. We open with a meditation, followed by breathing with mudras (yogic hand positions) designed to help your body prepare for labour, pelvic floor awareness and exercise combined with a yoga warmup followed by gentle bellydance movements to release tension and feel sensual, beautiful and comfortable in your changing body.
Special attention is given to the pelvic floor, moving with fluidity, releasing tension through breath and vocalisation, listening to your natural impulses and bonding with your baby. We often use and create affirmations to transform fears into calm confidence. This is also an excellent opportunity to bond with other women and feel supported in a community of other moms/parents.
I put much care and consideration in creating this class, drawing from 10 years experience as a yoga instructor and from my training in prenatal yoga with Janice Clairfield, several years as a bellydancer trained in both traditional and modern styles, experience in women’s healing and ritual facilitation and as a mother myself. I did this practice during my pregnancy which I know greatly contributed to my smooth birthing experience. I joy in giving other women what I felt I needed most during my pregnancy.
Prenatal BellyFlow benefits:
- An increased bond with your baby in utero as a whole, sentient being.
- Trust in your intuition and instincts
- Confidence using visualisation and affirmations for pregnancy and birth
- Deepened breathing- increased oxygen to fetus.
- Ability to consciously relax and listen to your body which you will need in labour
- Strengthened muscles of the pelvic floor
- Relief of muscular and joint tension
- Improved posture and weight bearing of the body
- Improved circulation to uterus and fetus.
- Increased ‘happy’ brain chemicals
- Improved balance
- Increased focus and stamina for labour
- Gentle strengthening & relaxation of the abdominals and other muscles required for a smooth labour.
- Relief from pelvic strain and discomfort
- Helps your baby move into the optimal head-down position for birth.
- Increased self-esteem– feeling beautiful in your curves.
- Community- being part of an intimate circle helps you feel supported, honored and accepted
If you are interested or have questions, please email Serena: email@example.com
I have never tried yoga or bellydance before, is this for me?
Yes! All the poses and movements are suitable for complete beginners and can be modified for your needs. As with any form of exercise, any special concerns should be discussed with your doctor or midwife prior to attending.
I am in my first trimester, can I start now?
It is advisable to begin in your second trimester, as your pregnancy will be more settled, and nausea will (in most cases) have ceased. Nausea can impede your ability to participate in this class.
I am in my third trimester, can I start now?
Yes! Even if you are only a couple weeks from your due date, you can benefit immensely from this class. You will learn new ways to move during labour, and benefit from the postures, relaxation and affirmations.
What do I bring to class?
- Clothes: Wear comfortable clothing you can move in. Pants can be stretchy or loose, shirt can be t-shirt or tank top, wear a warm layer (such as a hoodie or long sleeve shirt) on top for meditation.
- Yoga mat: The studio provides these, and other props such as bolsters, blankets, blocks and pillows. You may bring your own mat if you choose.
- Hip scarf: For the bellydance portion of the class, we provide plenty of optional bellydance scarves to adorn the hips. You may also choose to bring your own.