Emotional Detox: Raw Cacao Dance Ceremony

//Emotional Detox: Raw Cacao Dance Ceremony

cacao dance
I’m an open-minded person but not a particularly open-hearted one. I am not talking about meanness, I think I’m nice enough, I’m talking about emotional freedom. When I’m faced with an unfamiliar, unplanned situation or one that makes me feel vulnerable – I don’t much like it. My therapist once ask me to scream and hit a punching bag and all I could get out my a weak slap and my best effort at a growl. This is what I have come to Thailand this summer to work on. Not just open-mindedness but open-heartedness – and the ability to quiet my mind. But peace cannot come without letting go.

Emotional health is as important as physical health. Bottling up our feelings not only causes inflammation of the skin through acne, rosacea and eczema but also, according to Ayurveda, is the root cause of disease. So, when a new friend I met in Thailand invited me to a Raw Cacao Dance Ceremony, I thought “okay, this is an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone”. I had no idea what it was but it was the words “dance” and “ceremony” that had me the most anxious.

Before the even I was asked “Have you ever done cacao?”
What did that mean? The stuff I put in smoothies and gluten-free cakes?
“…Um…No?”

unassumingly powerful

unassumingly powerful

We made our way through the jungle to a yoga studio that had been made out of a bamboo hut. As we entered, we were each smoke smudged and placed in a circle. People in the circle were already crying. Maybe I should make a run for it, I thought. But it was too late. The woman guiding us through the experience was already talking. She was explaining the power of the chocolate bean for healing as well as the concoction it came in that was being passed around: cacao, chilis, fresh coconut, local honey. This isn’t so bad, I reassured myself, at least I get dessert.

We were then asked to go around the circle and share what we would like to invite into our lives, what we would like to let go of and who we would dedicate our experience today to. She said whoever we dedicated it to would feel a shot of love straight in the heart wherever they were.

Forgiveness, happiness, action, self-love. Judgment, spite, over-thinking, negative patterns. This was reassuring, they shared what I have thought many times over and everyone nodded, smiled and seemed at peace. There were dedications to mothers, brothers, gurus and “those who needed love most”. When it came to my turn I felt my heart pounding in my chest. In a near whisper I said I would like to invite in calm and acceptance and let go of my desire to control the future ending with a nervous laugh (no one else laughed). My dedication was to a family member who was very sick…and very angry about it….and very scared. I hoped they felt that shot of love. I was skeptical but still hoped. I was choking on my words and tears were streaming down my face. Snot was bubbling out of my nose.

What the F*#! This is not happening. Get a hold of yourself! You’re making a scene, you’re being self-indulgent. Poor next guy, you’re stealing his moment. Selfish! But I couldn’t. I was hyperventilating. I felt a hand pat my back. I was floored by this reaction. I had not realized how much it had bothered me. But in this space of loving, non-judgmental people, it was pouring out of me in the most violent way. It was not sexy.

emotional_detox

We then laid down in svwavasana to begin the dance. The drum beat started. We were going to dance our way through the elements. Earth. Water. Fire. Wind. Ether. I could feel the beat resonate through the floor into my body. We started with a crawl like animals of the earth. Growling and howling at each other. There’s no turning back now.
I shook my head vigorously. We rose up to our feet; we were to dance the energy of earth. I made my body heavy and solid, stomping around the room.

Water. The music softened and so did our movements. Fire: the beat quickened to a hot hot heat. There was a lot of jumping as if stepping on hot coals. I blinked my fists in a way I thought looked like fire crackers. By this point we had been dancing for an hour and another hour to go. People started to get tired. The older group members (myself included) started to dance more of a slow burn. Some of the twenty-somethings were still doing star jumps. I grappled with holding on and not waning.

Wind. Light fluttering. We were asked to feel like we had angel wings. Ether. Space. I expanded and contracted my body to take up as much and as little space as I could.

We ended in svwasana. Two hours later, panting and smiling. I felt like we had just been through a war together – a war with ourselves, an emotional detox.

So this is what “doing cacao” means.

2017-05-01T16:38:34+00:00 By |Stress|0 Comments

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.