Categorized | Community Events, Health

Who Benefits from Shiva Nata?

By Anna Lawrence—

PERTH AMBOY — Previously we discussed the basics behind Shiva nata (Dance of Shiva) and how waving your arms around in specific patterns can help you to create new neural connections in your brain that will allow it to function better. There are a multitude of benefits and side effects to a faster functioning brain, and some of them may surprise you.

Most of the benefits of Shiva nata are mental benefits. But first, a metaphor.

The first time you are driving through a town, you will probably stick to the main roads. It will get you from point A to point B, but you may hit traffic, and it may not be the most direct route. In time, as you learn more about the layout of the town, your day to day driving involves more of the secondary roads, back ways, and short cuts that make getting around town so much faster. You rarely hit traffic on any of your commutes around town, and if you do, you know the best detour to get around the backup.

Creating new neural connections is a lot like learning the back roads of your own mind. It doesn’t magically teach you new things, and there is no higher being to download new information and insights from, but what it does, is it helps you make the connection between point A and point B within your brain a lot more quickly. With new neural connections popping up amongst all the things you already know in your own brain, there is the potential to become more creative and be a better problem solver, as you are thinking about all of your old things in a new way. You can also improve your memory, focus and concentration, in addition to being able to think faster and more clearly.

Anyone who has a job or a hobby that requires brain function can benefit from Shiva nata. Much in the same way that all athletes work out regularly at a gym, creative types – artists, musicians, dancers, writers, photographers – can all benefit from a brain workout with Shiva nata. Also, anyone whose job involves a lot of problem solving and critical thinking – anyone from engineers to teachers – can benefit as well.

A side effect of the mechanics of learning Shiva nata, and not really a direct benefit of new neural connections, is that you learn a lot about yourself in the process. You learn about the ways you learn best – learning Shiva nata involves a variety of visual, auditory and kinesthetic techniques – and some people naturally learn better one way or the other. If you don’t already know what kind of learner you are, you may come to the realization while learning Shiva nata, and will additionally strengthen your abilities to learn in other ways as well, which can come in handy for those of you who may still be in elementary school, high school or college.

Shiva nata can also potentially change the way you interact with things like mistakes, challenges and new situations. You may be the kind of person who is afraid of making mistakes, or who approaches new situations with trepidation, but once you realize that in Shiva nata, making mistakes is the only way you get better, your view of mistakes in other parts of your life may change. Shiva nata can also help if you have attention or focus issues. Sitting still and quieting your mind may be a great way to focus and quietly meditate, but when your life is too hectic that you can’t even manage that, remember that Shiva nata is never more hectic than you can manage, demands 100% of your attention and actually bring you to a very focused state of being. Finding peace while you are frenetically waving your arms around can help you to stay calm while in the midst of your busy work day.

Children love doing Shiva nata because it is just so silly, and looks cool, but is really hard (this is an actual paraphrase of feedback from children who have done Shiva nata). Sometimes, while it is still a challenge, children actually pick it up faster than adults do (this could be attested to the fact that children are constantly in learning mode, and between sports and dance, are much more active than adults are). In a world where adults are generally better at everything than children are, Shiva nata is a very level playing field where children and adults can grow and learn together.

Besides the mental benefits, Shiva nata can also strengthen and tone your arm, leg and core muscles. You won’t see results overnight, but in time, you will start to feel the effects of better balance and coordination, which comes from strengthening all these muscles together. It is a gentle and generally sweat-free workout that is great for young and old bodies alike. If you participate in sports that require super fast coordination and reaction times, adding a little bit of Shiva nata (with legs waving around in the air as much as the arms are) can be a great addition to your regular work out routine.

If your interest is piqued enough in all the ways Shiva nata can improve your life, be sure to visit http://www.missannalawrence.com/shivanata for more on upcoming events.

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