House of Inanna

Dancing for the Joy of it, combining both the Sacred and Silly.

27 September 2014
by inannasdancers
0 comments

Proptober is almost here!

Get ready to have your swords (and more) at hand in a couple weeks.  We’ve almost reached  Proptober — we’ll be offering a sampler of belly dance props including swords, veils, and canes, used in a Tribal/Group way with dance moves that you are familiar with, plus some extra moves that especially showcase the prop!

Here’s the tentative calendar:

October 4 & 6 – The HoI Troupe favorite:  swords!
October 11 & 13 – Playful and Balanced Baskets!
October 18 & 20 – Sultry and strong moves with Veils!
October 25 & 27 – Petra’s favorite, and the most traditional of props:  canes!

We have extras for each of these props; however, please bring your own if you have them. Also, we’re highly likely to use one of these props in an upcoming show or three. Come try them out and see what you like, so you too can be part of that decision-making process.

Please feel free to repost this note wherever is appropriate.

Thanks!
Petra

11 June 2014
by inannasdancers
0 comments

Dance of the Taras at Tribal Fest 2014

In this performance House of Inanna honors a rare and beautiful occurrence — a Female Bodhisattva — by dancing her story: a lost soul who becomes a Tara, an an enlightened one, through breaking through her suffering and finding compassion for herself and others.

Gratitude and thanks to Carolena Nericcio, Fat Chance Belly Dance, and other teachers like Azar (veil), Colin Peterson (buugeng) and others who have taught us how to handle props well. Also very importantly, we thank Fontain’s MUSE for putting together an original score for our piece. The collaborative process rocked, and we’re honored to have them involved. Buy their music!

 

7 March 2014
by inannasdancers
0 comments

Open Heart/OM Yoga classes

I love doing and sharing yoga!

Yoga and belly dance are great compliments for each other: both use movements anyone can do (sometimes with modifications) to strengthen the body while also deepening the spirit. The posture is very similar in both, and this concentration on good posture allows energy channels to open and flow within the body.

While not quite a panacea, practicing yoga can provide great benefits to your body, mind, and spirit, regardless of your size or level of experience. More than just practicing postures, it can open you up to a more fit physical body and a more open and flexible mind. Practicing Pranayama and Meditation will quench your spirit and give you so much more energy and enthusiasm for living.

If you’re interested in consultations or private lessons, please contact me!

The Yoga Process

Below is a brief synopsis of the Eight Limbs of yoga, written for the yoga teacher training program I did a few years ago. The Eight Limbs are the traditional way that yoga is taught, beginning with the most outward part of the self: our interactions and relationships with others. You might be surprised to learn that Asana practice — that which is generally referred to as “Yoga” in the west — is the third Limb rather than the first!

Thankfully, at least from my experience, you will benefit from any of these practices regardless of where you start — although I’m sure some purists would shudder to read this. Still, I feel it’s best to practice them all, and in the order given. At a minimum, this is good food for self-reflection:

1) The Yamas (self-restraints on behavior):

  •  Ahimsa: “harmlessness” – nonviolence, compassion. This includes having compassion for oneself.
  •  Satya: “truthfulness” – living your truth in congruity with the Eight Limbs. Learning to listen to your inner voice.
  •  Asteya: “nonstealing” – not appropriating the material, time, or wishes of others without their expressed consent.
  •  Brahmacharya: “self-restraint” or “right use of vital force.” This Yama has historically been translated as “sexual restraint” or “abstinence.” This could also be translated as “seeing the divine in everything,” and therefore not exerting manipulative behavior over people and things. Manipulative behavior can take the form of, for example: sexual manipulation, social expectations, peer- or power-pressure, or taking advantage of those less fortunate (With thanks to yogini Julianne Rice for this definition).
  •  Aparigraha: “not hoarding or collecting” – non-attachment. The realization that change is the only constant in the universe. In accepting this we can let go of the obsolete physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual items in our life while making room for new items.

2) The Niyamas (self-observances):

  • Saucha – purity, cleanliness. Respecting yourself and your personal surroundings.
  • Santosa – contentment. Being satisfied with what you have.
  • Tapas – self-discipline, purification. Burning away doubt, laziness, etc.
  • Svadhyaya – self-study. Observing and being honest with yourself; self-improvement.
  • Isvara Pranidhana – surrender of separation, surrender to the divine.

3) Hatha Yoga – Physical poses or asanas, which tone and strengthen the body and therefore strengthen our personal connection and deepen our understanding of ourselves.

  • Pranayama – Breath/Vital Force Control; this increases our conscious use of Prana, the vital energy of the universe.
  • Pratyahara – Removing one’s consciousness from the sensate world; taking refuge in the self.
  • Dharana – Concentration on one point; one-pointed awareness of an object outside of the self.
  • Dhyana -- furthering Dharana: awareness of the relationship/connection between the object and self.
  • Samadhi -- furthering Dhyana: no difference between self/Object; Union.

The synopsis above is merely a drop in the bucket. I am always happy to learn and teach more about anything related to yoga.

Please do remember that nothing replaces an actual yoga teacher. It is best to take classes with someone you enjoy, and extend your practices at home. Like dance, yoga is a physical activity that involves some risk, so please make sure you work with a qualified person.

Namaste!

~ Petra

P.S. If you’re interested in further research on this fascinating subject, I suggest the following:

Yoga is Youthfulness – my favorite yoga studio, where my mentor Tom Abrehamson works — he’s an excellent teacher! I substitute for him fairly regularly at Yoga is Youthfulness.
Yoga Journal – both the website and the magazine are great resources.
The Wikipedia site on Yoga Nidra, a sleep/healing yogic technique.
Yes: Yoga Educational Seminars – Joyce Anue is a great teacher; I received my yoga teacher training through her organization.

~ Petra

8 January 2012
by inannasdancers
0 comments

Descent of Inanna: Journey to the Underworld

This ritual interpretation of the Descent of Inanna was performed at Tribal Fest 2011. Due to the nine-minute limit on stage time we reduced the traditional number of gates from seven to three, and we concluded not quite stripped bare, but wearing simple, unadorned shifts to symbolize the lack of any of the trappings of the ego. The ritual was a profound practice for us; more of an internal exploration than a performance piece.

We received a lot of help with this, for which we are very grateful. Many thanks to Elena Melendez for the beautiful voice-over of Inanna, and to Mixmaster Sean Gugler for mixing our music: A Muey A Muey (Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring Effects); Izgrejala (Vas version); Cantara (Dead Can Dance); Jilala 1 – Nocturnal Ritual (Moroccan Spirit); Shashkin (Rare Elements – O.F. Tekbilek remixed). A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible!