I have recently fallen in love with yet another blog. (I’m a blog addict, I admit it.) Yogic Dancer is written by Elizabeth, an American currently living in the Republic of Georgia, studying dance and anthropology on a grant. Her posts are beautiful and thought-provoking. Whenever I visit her blog, I feel so peaceful.
Elizabeth graciously consented to answer the following questions about True Beauty:
Tell me a little about yourself.
I am a dancer, yogini and movement arts teacher. For the past nine months I’ve been living in the Republic of Georgia, studying Georgian folk dance on an independent research grant. It’s been an amazing journey so far- nothing like living in another culture to completely rock your Self! Learning about others is mind opening and can intrinsically cause deeper understanding of multiple things, Self included.
Over the past year, my personal yoga practice has grown deeper roots. I started my blog Yogic Dancer as a means to share my evolving path, and I am grateful for the world-wide mindful community it has connected me to, including A Green Spell!
What have you learned about beauty from your adventures abroad, your dancing, and/or your yoga practice?
Cultural standards vary from place to place. Yet a thin figured woman dressed in a certain way with styled hair/makeup is regarded as beautiful in more cultures than I anticipated. That image is shared worldwide through the film and television industries (and even the internet). Yet in my experience, authenticity is valued as well. Different cultures have different norms for when it is appropriate,
but smiling, for example, can really be beautiful, well received and provoke greater relaxation and deeper trust between people.
In dance, beauty standards differ from style to style. However, across many genres one thing is an essential element: the commitment/submersion of the dancer into the dance. This has little to do with “knowing the steps”! It is the commitment of the dancer to the particular dance they are dancing at that moment. This could be a trance dancer as easily as a professionally trained ballerina- if they are committed to their dance, it is beautiful. I think this is a lesson in yoga, too… those times when I have been truly “present in the moment” have resulted in the most beautiful moments of my life.
What makes someone truly beautiful, in your opinion?
People being truly and completely themselves are gorgeous to me. When people are fully listening to their Selves and acting on that, they radiate happiness because they are content with themselves… and that happiness is glowingly beautiful.
If you take away the traditional beauty props (makeup, clothing, hair styling, etc.), what makes you feel the most beautiful?
Sunshine. Dancing. Experiencing the beauty of Nature. Moments that remind me to “be here now”.
Don’t miss Elizabeth’s articles on Elephant Journal, either!
Photos by Daniel Winters. Used with permission.