Shiva Nata – Learning (and Laughing) Through F(l)ailure
Note: due to changes in the world of Shiva Nata and my own desire to pursue my love of ritual and nature connection, I am no longer teaching Shiva Nata classes. If you want to learn more about this amazing system, check out the founder’s (Andrey Lappa) website for link to instructors, trainings, etc.
Shiva Nata, or Dance of Shiva, is this incredible system for training your brain and your body.
Using only 8 arm/hand positions, the challenge lies in connecting these 8 positions through following increasingly complicated spiraling patterns.
The point? To use our body to challenge our brains so that new neural pathways are formed.
The point of that? Over time, you will find yourself reacting quicker physically and processing (thinking) faster and more clearly. Plus, it is amazing for increasing physical coordination and making it easier to learn new things – physical or otherwise.
Note: The flailing part comes in because at some point you will likely not be able to keep up and your arms will just be kind of madly flailing about – which is awesome and basically exactly where you want to be.
In short, Shiva Nata improves:
- Mental concentration and focus,
- Reaction speed, dexterity, coordination and balance,
- Our ability to make new connections and to see other perspectives, and… our
- Ability to learn about ourselves and to notice our patterns* in a loving, conscious way that allows them to transform.
*To learn a bit more about Shiva Nata and the importance of noticing patterns, read this post.
I particularly enjoy the free-writing exercises at the end of each session, when it feels like I’m channeling my subconscious mind through my pencil. And, I’ve noticed significant improvements in other areas of my life – namely, in my Tai Chi practice and in my schoolwork – that I attribute to my Shiva Nata experience.
I would definitely recommend Larisa’s series to others–in fact, I already have! Shiva Nata is a fun way of moving your body to engage your brain, and Larisa’s classes are great for anyone who is looking to explore the patterns that govern our lives and/or develop a deeper mind-body connection.
Even MORE important (and awesome):
In a Shiva Nata class everyone eventually reaches a point where it becomes impossible to think, where we have no choice but to be totally present in the moment. It offers us a reset, a chance to explore new options and new possibilities from a place of enhanced perspective, awareness and insight.
Basically, Shiva Nata gets us out of our heads and deeply connected to our bodies… which allows for all kinds of crazy, amazing things to happen.
Our instincts kick in. We begin to once again have that sense of deep internal knowing – of what is right for us, of what we need to do to care for ourselves, of what that next step is in our businesses, in our relationships, in our lives.
Shiva Nata is performed standing.
After learning the basic positions, you simply attempt to mirror my lead. After a while, your brain will get tired of trying to figure out the patterns and your mind will become quiet.
At this point, we will do some writing. I’ll pose some open-ended questions and give you time to free-write.
It’s really amazing what can come out of writing in this way. It’s as if we are able to tap into a deeper, wiser part of ourselves and see our patterns and what is important more clearly.
Finally, why I so madly love Shiva Nata.
- It is the most effective movement-based system I know to get myself out of my head and into the present moment. Even just 5 minutes can do the trick!
- Introduced by an engineer, it is highly structured, systematic and scientific… which somehow allows for tons of freedom, play and permission.
- It’s super fun! I’d do it just for the laughing even if it didn’t have all the brain and pattern changing benefits described above.
- It reminds me how strong and joyful my body can feel when it is doing something that simultaneously challenges and nourishes it.
- It helps me break out of patterns of paralysis and anxiety and return to a place of perspective and calm – quickly!
- You are welcome to attend any workshop or class series whether you are a total beginner or already an actively practicing ShivaNut. I’m expecting a full range of abilities to be present and, rest assured, all brains will be melted. :)
- So yes, absolutely no previous experience with Shiva Nata is expected or required. If you have some, great. If not, you will be in fantastic company.
- Bring a notebook and pen and wear comfortable, work-out-ish type clothes.
- That is all. :)