Belly dance is a wonderful sensual workout for the female body. Like other forms of physical activity, it shapes, tones and boosts our physical and mental well-bring. But belly dance is so much more – it’s a complete inner and outer beauty system.
It’s not only about getting your heart rate up – it’s about MOVEMENT, and, a such, encompasses all of its elements: posture, grace, coordination, confidence, fluidity and, of course, skill. Belly dance is excellent all-round exercise form. It promotes vitality and energy, frees the spirit, and nourishes body and soul.
Belly dance fitness
While belly dance will transform your shape (it burns up to 300 calories per hour), it will also change how you move in general, and your physical awareness. So if you just want to build muscle, pick up some weights. But, if you want the freedom to express yourself, experiment, break out of the traditional exercise mode, delve into your sensuality, and feel and look feminine, then belly dance is for you!
Not surprisingly, this is an ideal method of weight control, and often works when other approaches fail. Belly dance can kick-start your metabolism and make you feel great. It often works wonders because it’s low-impact and low intensity, so you can keep going for a longer period of time than other jarring aerobic activities.
Plus, it’s lots of fun, so you’ll WANT to do it for a longer time. This discipline gets you working muscles you never knew you had, and using them in several new ways.
When belly dance movements are executed correctly, they work very specific muscle groups, which means you train each area more intensely. The movements require circular motions and undulating figure-eight movements, isolating your upper and lower body both vertically and horizontally by extending and contracting your muscles, and moving them in a sinuous manner, sometimes in opposition.
The intriguing moves put the joints and ligaments in the lower back and hip through a full range of gentle, repetitive motion. This pattern helps increase the flow of synovial fluid (nature’s lubricant) in these joints. And, because you are on your feet, moving during the dance, it is considered a weight-bearing exercise, which can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones.
The repetitious swaying, circular and flowing movements are akin to a state of dance-meditation. The dancer often finds that a session of slow, graceful dancing clears the mind and brings about
mental relaxation. The faster forms of belly dance are stimulating and fun, and either slow or fast belly
dancing can be useful in cases of anxiety and mild depression.
Belly dance works the core muscles in your abdomen, pelvis, torso and back, even though it’s your hips that actually initiate the movements. The steps are not jarring or invasive, so they feel natural, and the circular movements emphasise the natural curves of the female body.
All of this gives you to a fabulous total-body work-out that burns fat safely and steadily, strengthens the cardiovascular system and correcting all the female trouble areas (trimming thighs, firming buttocks, sculpting arms and flattening the tummy).
With the basic movements quite easy to learn, they can be combined in unlimited sequences that allow steady improve of your skills, so you can strut your stuff – at own home, in class or for an audience, if you so dare.
Belly dance is ancient and trendy all at once, and connects you with the sexy siren inside!
Belly dance fitness lifestyle helps you:
- Improve your physical appearance
- lose weight by burning calories, decreasing food cravings and boosting metabolism
- charge up your energy levels
- Relax and get your beauty sleep
- Perk up and even out your mood
- Increase your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Improves all your body systems – including immune, endocrine, reproductive, circulatory and digestive systems
- Boost your brain power and memory
- Improve your posture
- Improve your muscle tone and flexibility
- Reduce the risk of many serious diseases
- Be a better lover
- Look and feel younger!
Benefits of specific belly dance movements
- Basic stance – back erect, chest lifted, knees bent and pelvic tucked. A grounding and protective posture and base for all belly dance movements.
- Slides & Twists – eliminates toxins; tones the waist/ oblique muscles.
- Hip circles – removes unwanted inches, tones abdomen and fosters reproductive health Assists in pregnancy by building strength and control in abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, gently stimulating gestation and facilitating the delivery process. Also tones the abdominal and pelvic muscles post-natally.
- Bicycle hips – strengthens and stretches the hips, thighs and ankles.
- Rib circles and camel – removes unwanted inches from waist; maintains internal organs, reduces back stiffness; strengthens upper abdominals. Has similar benefits to hip circles in the upper abs.
- Wrist circles and hand undulations – facilitates energy flow and ease stiffness from sedentary activities; strengthens wrists. Upward moving ones connect dancer with the sky energy, while the planted feet, firmly ground, establishing the connection with the earth.
- Snake arms – fosters flow of Chi between the left and right sides of body; regulates blood pressure.
- Undulations -promotes energy flow body between upper and body through the different chakras and meridians; regulates blood pressure.
- Hip bumps, drops and raises – strengthens the hips; removes stagnant energy. Also tones buttocks and upper thighs.
- Shimmies (executed in BOTH upper AND lower body) – good prescription for general health promotion. Removes stagnant energy; HIGHLY invigorating; useful for weight loss, circulatory, joint and cardio health; eliminates fatigue and stress.