My Favorite Saying
The Thrill of Letting go
The power of song and dance
By: Leila Cotran
“Those who do not know how to sing and dance will never reach God.” – Swami Kripalu (1913-1981)
I came across this quote in an issue of Yoga Journal that I was reading on the plane on the way home from Cancún.
I had been feeling blue for several months and for many reasons, but the vacation had lifted me out of the doldrums. I flew through the air on a flying trapeze. I tried wakeboarding. I took yoga classes on a wooden platform by the beach. I went dancing every night and swayed to the music with whoever was on the dance floor, singing along with all the songs I knew. I learned the steps to the dances the resort staff guided us through each night.
After a few days, I realized I was having fun and felt happy, a feeling I hadn’t experienced in months. I attributed it to the thrill of trying new things and just letting go, not caring whether I fell the first time on the wakeboard or whether I bumped into the guy next to me during a line dance when I went left instead of right. I was reflecting on this when I saw the quote, and it made me smile.
Music and dance are universal pleasures enjoyed in some form by all cultures. As humans, we’re hardwired to enjoy these things. They provide a release for so many negative emotions. As I buckled my seat belt and prepared for landing, I promised myself that I would try to include joyful activities in my daily life – singing and dancing are two of the most basic. I’m an amateur at both, but they bring me pleasure and lift my spirits. After I got home, I started taking a Latin dance class. Instead of listening to the news on the radio on my way home from work, I’ll find a really great song and belt out the words to unwind before picking up my kids. I haven’t forgotten this quote or my promise to myself. And I haven’t slipped back into the funk I was in before my vacation.