Ahymsin Newsletter Banner: Left is Swami Rama, Center is Yoga Is Samadhi logo, Right is Swami Veda

The Dance of Transformation

by Ildikó Duna

The Dance of Transformation: A Soul-Warming Weekend with Prakriti Bhaskar

The first time I saw the words “dance and transformation” interlocked was in the newsletter of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition. Transformation has been a constant and natural part of the last nine years for me, and dance  –  as a hobby  –  has been an abundant source of joy for the last thirty. However, when I saw these two concepts linked together, side-by-side in a sentence, what’s more, as a title of a three-day workshop, I had no idea what would happen if I signed up, only that I had to: that my place was there.

The three days were a soul-warming flow. We all bathed in the love radiating from Prakriti, in her devotion, and in all the experience of forty-five years spent on the road of learning dance that she could share with us in three short days.

I had a great many epiphanies and moments of understanding. After years of meditation, I just discovered dance to be a wonderful form of meditation for me. We could get a taste of Prakriti’s tradition, Baratanatyam. This traditional Indian dance has a highly regulated structure, and it’s incredibly complex, requiring multiple layers of attention so it can be performed. One needs to watch out for a great number of things, which makes it impossible for distractive thoughts to emerge and crawl into one’s mindplace. This brings us to a state of meditation, since meditation is attention, presence and being free of thoughts. As I attempted to synchronise the movements of the hands, feet and head to the lyrics and the rhythm while expressing emotions with the eye, everything ceased to be around me. It was challenging, very challenging, but – as Prakriti told us – you need to learn to follow the rules first, which is no fun, but hard work, and practice will be the thing that leads us to joy in dance – and in spirituality. We learnt that practice brings experience, and that teaching can only be made into knowledge through experience.

I never liked dances that followed a strict set of rules. I was always attracted to the freedom in dance, like in everything else. Because of this, I was focusing just as much on the dancer during the workshop as I focused on the dance. I was looking for the person behind the rules, so I could know and feel who she was in that exact moment. I observed the feminine and masculine energy coming from her with curiosity. I could find, feel and understand complicated concepts through Prakriti’s dance. I cannot put it into words how grateful I am that I could see her perform up close. It was an experience of a lifetime. Not just because of the concentration and unity of the beautiful movements presenting themselves in the here-and-now. But because I could see a God in her eyes.

I’ve never been a professional dancer, so I can only evaluate the dance of others from the point of view of an amateur. I could never understand how could a professional dancer be happy and content after having just performed a tragedy or drama that conveyed infinitely negative emotions to me. Thanks to Prakriti, I can make sense of it now. Performance art is special in the sense that both the performer and the audience gets involved in the performance – conveying either negative or positive emotions – but doesn’t necessarily gets connected to these emotions, nor do they necessarily identify with them. We can get caught up in the emotions during the performance, maybe even cry, but once the performance is over, and we are no longer under the spell of the performed emotions, we can get the sense that we witnessed something amazing. Being pulled into something without attachment or identification has brought me an opportunity of understanding and self-betterment in many areas of my life.

For the ones walking the road of spirituality, the time spent with Prakriti had many treasures to offer. She was happy to share her knowledge on existence, which is the source of the pure, empathic love that was so wonderful and uplifting to experience.  Along with teaching of body awareness, the mind and emotions she taught us simple but extremely practical things. For example, she told us how to best handle situations where one had made a mistake:

  • Laugh instead of crying
  • Learn instead of complaining
  • Let go instead of clinging on

The Dance of Transformation is an excellent title for everything that Prakriti represented and gave us during the three days. I came to the workshop without expectations, so everything I was given I received and internalised with gratitude. Many people know many things about dancing. Many great artists of transformation have lectures and workshops on transformation. I think Prakriti is unique in sharing her immense wisdom and experience with love and humility; it was a blessing and a grace to experience it.

Finally, let me share the lines Prakriti shared with us at the end of the workshop of gratitude born in the here-and-now:

I danced in your PRESENCE…
You transformed it with the fragrance of your LOVE…
Now, I hear your SILENCE in the rhythm of the beats…
Now, I feel your GRACE in the flow of the movements…
Now, I don’t dance anymore…
I pray…

Thank you for everything you have given us, Prakriti, I cannot wait to see you again in India or here in Hungary so I can learn more from you!



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

Copyright © by AHYMSIN ®