This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a fundraising gala for Pratham, an organization whose mission is to spread the gift of literacy and education among the poorest children in India. And with this gift, the hope of giving them the chance to transform their lives. As a mother of two sweet girls, their cause easily speaks to my heart.
The gala was organized around a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ theme. They picked seven amateur dancers to be paired up with seven experienced teachers. Yes, I was among the amateur group. I have always loved dancing, but never had the formal opportunity to learn. This was that chance, and not only, it was the chance to be paired with my very talented sister, Priya Jhawar.
So you might be wondering – What does this have to do with yoga, meditation or your thoughts on day to day living, as these are often the themes I write about. Well it has plenty to do with all of that.
Preparing for this event allowed me to explore so many of the same things that I find both on my yoga mat and in life. First off, it pushed me to be persistent, to work hard and to believe that I could do it, regardless of the outcome. There was no way around that. My sister and I had chosen a more classically oriented dance which she choreographed. The moves did not come easily. Beyond persistence and diligence, this performance was to be given in front of more than five hundred people, easily nudging me outside of my comfort zone. By now, I have had the opportunity to speak in front of groups of people, sometimes larger groups, but nothing close to this. To add to that, this was something that I was not accustomed to doing. Delving into artistic expression and dance in front of a group that large was new and a bit scary to be quite frank. As trite as it sounds, it was a real lesson in courage and facing one’s vulnerabilities, self talk and fears. There was an almost exhilarating feeling that accompanied this willingness to step out of one’s element in support of a meaningful cause.
The dance itself taught me to build an attention to detail, to timing, to the moment, to the rhythm, to the mood, the expression across body, mind and spirit. I can easily see why dance can get one into the zone, so to speak. Almost a kind of samadhi, where you are one with the body and music. It was a beautiful and growing experience on multiple levels.
I cannot end this post without giving immense thanks to my sister, Priya. For those who don’t know me personally, I have been affectionately called ‘Big Momma’ in our family, always finding the need to take care of things and people, perhaps even when the need has been long gone. This was a sweet reversal of roles where I was taken under the wings of my sister, her craft and her teachings. Thank you Priya for being an amazing partner, teacher and soul sister.
It was an honor to support this very worthy cause and event. If you are interested in reading more about Pratham and how you can get involved, please follow the link below:
If you are interested in reading more about my sister and her journey into yoga and dance, check out her blog at:
Lastly, I’ll include a link to the aforementioned dance for your viewing pleasure.