January 13, 2015

Three Cheers for the Power of Oriental Belly Dance!

Would you like to get Fast, Safe, and Effective Relief from Lower Back Pain?

If you think that this is a commercial for a Pain Medication or Muscle Relaxants, I have a surprise for you. This is waaay more FUN, it’s FREE and has absolutely No Nasty Side Effects to worry about! If you guessed that I am going to recommend an Oriental belly dance movement solution, Bravo! You are absolutely right.

If you are a professional dancer or teacher or just a super enthusiastic student and you dance daily, it is unlikely that you will suffer from back pain. But, if, in spite of your many hours of dance per week you still find that you have nagging lower back pain, my first recommendation is to check in and see if you are one of the many who contract your abdominal muscles to flatten out the natural curve of your lower back. Surprise! This actually creates rather than protects you from lower back pain. 

Lumbar vertebrae, nerves, dics
Lumbar vertebrae

Anatomy 101 time. The key concept here is that the natural forward curve of our lower back actually keeps our back healthy and happy by balancing the weight of our torso and upper body evenly between the main body of the vertebrae (see photo) and the two sliding joints at the back of the vertebrae. This avoids compression of the discs that are designed to cushion our movement between the vertebrae. If we flatten out the natural curve, this shifts all the upper body weight forward and compresses the dics, which can lead to nerve irritation, sciatica, bulging and eventually herniated discs. Believe me, you do NOT want this – OUCH!

If you already do suffer from any of the above, I highly recommend that you avoid sitting whenever possible, as this position automatically flattens out the natural Lumbar (lower back) curve and increases pressure on the discs.  If you are not familiar with my technique, then my #1 easy and quick solution is to do a virtually effortless, gentle pelvic rotation (sometimes called an “Omi”) by shifting one hip to the side, a very gentle pelvic tuck front by contracting both gluts, a shift to the other side and a relaxation into the neutral position that restores your natural lumbar curve. You can actually find this movement defined in the dictionary on my website, and you can have free access to a video demonstrating the movement simply by singing up with your name and email address. If you are familiar with my technique, i.e. my Body Logic for Bellydance – soon to be renamed SavvyBodyBellydance – then I also recommend my full torso open and close undulation movements, beginning with diagonal and eventually trying the front to back version. This is actually the best, simplest and completely free self-massage EVER!!

If you have a day job which requires lengthy periods of sitting then it is important to try to take regular quick breaks and do a front to back undulation while seated in your chair. This is tricky unless you seek to touch your elbows together in front of your chest (allowing a gentle slump and rocking back onto your tail bone) then opening the elbows and chest while rocking onto the front of your sit bone (belly button forward) and repeat several time with as little effort as possible.

If you have to commute to and from work with other passengers, you can do this in your car seat when it’s not your turn to drive.  If you do the driving, be sure to put a cushion or rolled up towel behind your lower back when seated to maintain your natural arch.

I hope that you found these little tricks and clarifications helpful in your dance and work day. You are also very welcome to share this info with your other dance friends.

Thanks again for your time, and feel free to comment or ask questions on Facebook and I will do my best to reply and clarify.

Until the next one… May you dancing keep you healthy, happy and young!!

-Hadia


January 4, 2015

Benefits of Belly Dance

HadiaWhat is your #1 Resolution for 2015?

>If you are like most people, it is highly likely that at least one of these common goals will be on the list:

  • Get Healthier and more Active
  • Have More Fun
  • Tone up Your Body
  • Lose Weight
  • Start a new Hobby or Learn Something New
  • Make and Take more Time for You

This is why joining the gym or a new exercises class are two of the top New Year’s Resolutions for so many of us. However, what most people don’t realize is that the most current research has shown that dance offers a multitude of extremely powerful benefits for our body, mind and soul! Here are the first two on the list:

1.  Increased Energy

Can’t seem to find your get-up-and-go? Taking a dance class might help. Research published in The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program could improve physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.

2. Improves Co-ordination, Posture and Balance

If you are nervous about falling as you get older, some dance lessons might help ease your worries, according to a study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that showed dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Dancing requires a lot of fast movement and good posture, so frequent dancing will help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

I Love virtually all forms of dance and have spent the past 43 years of my life studying, dancing and teaching jazz, contemporary, ballet, oriental belly dance and folklore, flamenco, Polynesian, African, Afro-Brazilian, Samba, Latin, Argentine Tango, Indian, Turkish Roman and Tap.

I have also spent the past 22 years practicing, teaching and developing Massage, Manual and Movement Therapy. This enabled me to discover the absolutely amazing secrets of our bodies and how they work, which made me realize that the Art of Oriental Belly Dance is the safest and most gentle form of dance. It is actually physically therapeutic and specifically beneficial for a woman’s body, which is not at all surprising, since it was created by and for women!!!

This has inspired me to write a new, ongoing series of articles about the multiple benefits of Oriental Belly Dance for a woman’s body. I am sure that if you are already belly dancing (like an Egyptian), having fun and loving it, wouldn’t you be doubly excited to discover that due to the gentle, unusual and multidirectional undulating movements that we do with our torsos, we can get and keep our entire spine supple, mobile and healthy. In fact our dance is the single the most effective way to prevent and avoid the #1 most common physical complaint in today’s world – nagging lower back pain!ear by Celebrating the Multitude of Wonderful Physical, Psychological, Social and Spiritual our Benefits of our Beautiful Art Form!!


January 1, 2015

Happy Holidays!

by Hadia1
Categories: & Etc., Special Moment
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: Comments Off

Hello and I sending you a warm and fuzzy Happy Holiday and Bring in the New Year dance from my house to yours!

I have been VERY busy with my full time therapy career again and loving it, but still managed to keep my toes in the dance world with my annual Asia Tour (Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China) and a wonderful action-packed Australia tour with a stop in Japan for a very important and special wedding and pro course. I also had the delight of co-teaching again with my dear friend and Master Teacher Denise Enan, our Egyptian Canadian Folkloric Queen, in my home-town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (now THAT is a mouthful)!!

I would like to thank you all for your patience with my repeated disappearing acts, but just in time for the New Year to begin I have some surprises and changes on the horizon. As these are busy brewing in the background I would like to reboot and continue a series of posts and discussions about the 7 Most Common Injuries of Belly Dance and how to avoid them. However, since becoming a massage therapist and discovering 1,001 fascinating well-kept secrets about our bodies, I have been singing the praises of our art form as the most powerful (and delightful) way to GET AND KEEP YOUR BODY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND YOUNG. I will send these out in my Hadia.com blog right after Christmas Day calms down. I will also post a quick version on my Hadiadances FB and invite and answer any questions and comments that you might have.

In the meantime, it is my pleasure to offer you a Special ‘Tis the Season Sale’ on all of my Ultimate Oriental Instructional DVDs. Just click here for full details, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!!

Xoxo Hadia


May 10, 2014

Magical Morocco Tour: Fez to Casablanca

by Hadia1
Categories: & Etc.
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off

July 28/29 : Casablanca

Dinner at Al MouniaAfter the mystique of Fez “le Bleu”, we are ready for our trip south west to the city of Casablanca. Upon our arrival we will check in to our rooms at at the Hotel Al Mounia in Casablanca, which will also be our choice for a scrumptious dinner.

In afternoon, your guide will take you on a monumental tour exploring Casablanca, the largest port of the Maghreb, and “capital in all but administration.” Habous MarketNext, you will visit the Habous quarter to be introduced to your first Spanish Moorish ambiance of a lively market in old Casablanca, then of course the Art Deco colonial downtown with the real flavor of the Mystic French connection.

Hassan IIYour guide will introduce you to La Corniche and Ain Diab shoreline. This will give you an idea of the creative architecture in neighborhoods of the well off Moroccans of Anfa quarter, and also the inclusive resort of La Corniche. And of course, you will not miss the great mosque of Hassan II, the second largest mosque in the world. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner.

As Time Goes By...July 30: Casablanca – Montreal or New York

You will take a morning drive to the airport in Casablanca. We will assist you with checking and wish you a wonderful trip back home. Those of you who depart from Marrakech will take the train directly to the airport for your connection.


May 7, 2014

Magical Moroccan Tour: Marrakech to Fez

by Hadia1
Categories: & Etc., Travel & Tours
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off

  train3July 26: Marrakech – Fez

Now that we have been completely captivated by Marrakech’s Magical beauty and immersed ourselves in the vibrant living folk traditions of the people of Morocco, it is time to fall under the timeless spell of the country itself. After our morning departure on the train, we will spend our day en route to Fez, which will give us our first taste of Moroccan daily life outside of the impressively modern cities of this fascinating North African country. This is where we will experience the best of Arabic, Berber and French people, as they merge to create a unique and truly magical culture.train2

As we arrive into the oasis of Fez ‘le Bleu’, we find a city that captivates the imagination and provides satisfaction for every possible taste. Little surprise stops along the way will include visits to Berber villages, a wealth of scenic views and traditional markets, before we arrive in Fez, home of the Sacred Music Festival, where a yummy dinner at our hotel awaits us.

fez-medina_2167487b (1)July 27: Fez

We will spend our next day exploring the majestic city of Fez, beginning with visits to the Mellah, the King’s palace and the Bat’ha museum of Moroccan Arts. The remainder of our morning will be spent on a walking tour of the Medina (the old city), a walled city with a maze of medieval twisting alleys, blind turns, mosques, shrines, fountains, workshops, and numerous markets. We will break for lunch at a typical local Moroccan restaurant, before continuing to explore and shop, shop, shop!

hammamWe will also have the completely relaxing and renewing experience of treating ourselves to an authentic, traditional Moroccan bath called a “hamam”. Although the baths of Middle Eastern countries are famous throughout the world, Morocco is famous for its traditional and all natural products such as Rasoul and Moroccan Argan Oil. Then we will end the day at our hotel with dinner and sweet dreams of the dessert, oh and don’t forget the deserts!!