What is Let Your Yoga Dance®?
Let Your Yoga Dance® (LYYD®) is an amazing chakra fusion — a joy-filled, powerful dance combining yoga, the breath, and user-friendly dance moves with fabulous music from all around the world. It is a funky, sacred, inspirational dance of the multi-dimensional self, bringing tons of fun and healing to body, mind, spirit. Let Your Yoga Dance® is for every single body and wonderful for all ages.
Created at Kripalu Yoga Center by Founding Director Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Let Your Yoga Dance is the practice that changed my life in 2005. I signed up for the teacher training after taking one class, left my New York City life behind, moved to the Berkshires, began teaching it soon after, and have never looked back. I began assisting training almost immediately and have been leading them since 2016.
What actually happens in a Let Your Yoga Dance® class?
Grace in motion happens. A chakra dance explosion happens. Seven energy centers provide the foundation for this dance of yoga. We dance the yoga of the wild and woolly, the sexy and silly, the deep and delicious. We wrap ourselves in our biggest embodied self while dancing beyond our dreams. We are held in the sacred arms of Mother Earth while simultaneously honoring her. We are shaken to our core by drums and the rhythms of the Earth. We dance our animal archetypes and our spirit prayers. We dance our energy, inviting it to flow upward from the base of our spine up through the crown of the head, and back down to the earth again. Result? A blissful body, a joyous heart, a steady and quiet mind.
Watch this Video Introduction to Let Your Yoga Dance®:
Where can I take a Let Your Yoga Dance® class with Jurian?
When is the next Let Your Yoga Dance® Teacher Training with Jurian?
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I’m considering taking the LYYD® Teacher Training. What if I’ve never had any formal dance training?
That’s no problem. LYYD® is about finding and releasing the dancer within. As a teacher in training, you’ll receive loads of support to help you connect to the joy of dancing freely, with ease and confidence. Then you’ll learn how to help others do the same. Though there’s lots of methodology and tools to learn, it’s not about memorizing moves or turning your body into a pretzel or perfecting a particular way of moving technically. If you love dancing and have never taken a single dance class, you can do this training.
Do I need to be a yoga teacher to take this training?
No. It’s helpful to have a yoga practice, though even that is not a pre-requisite. If you don’t practice yoga regularly, start going to classes once or twice a week now. You don’t need to be able to do advanced postures, but it is helpful to be familiar with the foundational poses, to have some familiarity with yoga vocabulary, and to have some basic knowledge of yoga principles. There will be more teaching on this during the training. You will benefit from doing the recommended prior reading: Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology, by Megha Nancy Buttenheim, CJO (Chief Joy Officer) and Founding Director of Let Your Yoga Dance® (available at letyouryogadance.com and amazon.com). Do the Takeaways in the book as you read along. We also recommend Megha’s Moontides CD, to familiarize yourself with the Moon Salutation, which you’ll learn during the training (also available at letyouryoagdance.com and amazon.com.)
How do I know if I’m fit enough to take this training?
The mission of LYYD® is to spread joy and consciousness throughout the world by transmitting body health, brain health, heart health and soul health to ALL populations. At the core of the practice is the accessibility to all. We will be dancing a lot during the training, it’s true, but it won’t be consistently high-energy dancing. Plenty of it will be on the gentler, slower side. There will be periods of relaxing and of sitting in a lecture, chanting or discussion. If you can take a brisk walk and climb a set of stairs without being winded you can do this training. To support yourself in preparation for the ten days, consider committing to a regular exercise regimen that includes 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity several times a week.
I’m not sure if I want to teach. Can I still take this training?
Of course! We’ll warn you, though, that lots of people have said that over the years, and they often change their mind! This is a certification training with required hours of attendance. To maintain the integrity of the training, we ask that all participants practice punctuality and attend all sessions even if they have no intention to teach.
I’ve never taken a Let Your Yoga Dance® class.
That’s all right! Many successful graduates have been in the same situation. LYYD® is often so life-changing that just one experience of it makes people sign up for the training! You will definitely benefit from doing the recommended prior reading: Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology, by Megha Nancy Buttenheim, CJO (Chief Joy Officer) and Founding Director of Let Your Yoga Dance® (available at letyouryogadance.com and amazon.com). Do the Takeaways in the book as you read along. We also recommend Megha’s Moontides CD, to familiarize yourself with the Moon Salutation, which you’ll learn during the training (also available at letyouryoagdance.com and amazon.com.)
What will our days be like?
Some early mornings (though not all) will begin with yoga. This will prepare your body and mind for the day, offer an opportunity to deepen your understanding of yoga postures, provide healthy and safe alignment principles, and increase your vocabulary of postures, breathing techniques and movements on which to build. Following breakfast, we will spend our morning in session – dancing, diving into the chakras through lecture, discussion, visualization and chanting, as well as delving into other pieces of LYYD® methodology. Lunch will be followed by another session, which will include a review of what we did in the morning, more dance, opportunities to practice teaching, and time to integrate the lessons of the day. Dinner will sometimes be followed by a short evening session that will focus on less active pieces of LYYD®, as well as chances to connect to others and to put into practice what you’re learning. Some evenings will be free for you to practice or to unwind. We will always finish our days by 9:00 pm so that you have plenty of time to rest for the following day.
I have an old injury (or some other physical limitation). Is this right for me?
The mission of LYYD® is to spread joy and consciousness throughout the world by transmitting body health, brain health, heart health and soul health to ALL populations. At the core of the practice is the accessibility to all. That said, we don’t want you to injure yourself further during the training. It’s certainly fine to spend a session or two dancing in a chair if need be, and you’re always welcome to dance at a lower intensity, but it’s not recommended that you do this training if dancing or being active is going to cause you pain or suffering.
I’ve never taught before. Will this be too overwhelming?
You do not need any teaching experience to take this training. You do not need to be a fan of public speaking or an extrovert. In our experience, the training itself cultivates a tremendous amount of self-confidence. There may be emotionally powerful moments for you as you conquer old demons that have kept you from taking a role “at the front of the room”, and we think you will be truly – and very pleasantly – surprised at what you find yourself capable of. Compassion for self and others is essential to the teachings of LYYD®, and we think you’ll discover that it creates a very supportive learning environment.
What kind of music will be used?
All different kinds! Everything you can think of! We will use contemporary yoga music, old-school funk, African drums, Latin rhythms, instrumental music, music with words, music from the radio, folk songs and more.
Can I use my own music once I graduate?
Yes. During the training, we’ll ask you to practice with the music we’ve chosen, but you’ll learn to hear a song and know what chakra it belongs to, regardless of what style it is. You’ll discover that all music can be heard through the lens of the chakras. Once you have a sense of the chakras and how to choose music to create the arc of an LYYD® class, you can use any music you like.
What kind of support is offered after I’m certified?
The Let Your Yoga Dance® Teachers Association is a phenomenal resource. Upon graduation, you’ll receive a free trial membership. Once that expires, you can join the Association for a low annual fee, which gives you access to thousands of videos and other resources – playlists, suggestions for moves, choreography, marketing tools, and more. In addition, the LYYD® family is a big and loving community, and you will be shocked to find how much emotional and very practical support is right at your fingertips.
Can I begin teaching when the training is over?
Yes, if you attend all sessions, are punctual, have a successful practice teach in which you demonstrate an understanding of LYYD® methodology, and you have conducted yourself in a professional and ethical manner during the training, you will be a certified Let Your Yoga Dance® instructor, ready to go out and begin teaching.
How is this different from Nia? Five Rhythms? Shake Your Soul? JourneyDance? Soul Motion, etc?
All of these dance practices could be categorized as Conscious Dance. They have in common a desire to connect the dancer to him or herself through movement. Each one does this in a different way. Let Your Yoga Dance® uses the ancient yogic map of the chakras as its foundation. The arc of an LYYD® class moves us through various qualities of movement associated with the elements, so we move with earth, water, fire, air, sound, light, and ether, dancing to experience those qualities in us.
What do I wear?
Light, comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. Layers are recommended. Many people enjoy dancing barefoot, but some prefer – or require – more foot, ankle or knee support. If that’s the case, consider the Bloch Boost Dance Sneaker, Bloch Pro Elastic Ballet Slipper, Capezio Show Stopper Jazz Dance Shoe, ToeSox Releve Half Toe Grip, or something similar. All are available at Amazon or dance suppliers. You may also find that a simple pair of lightweight sneakers work well.
Can I continue to work while I’m in the training?
It’s not recommended. The schedule is demanding. Most people enjoy disconnecting from work as much as possible during the training. It’s not realistic to expect that you’ll be able to be in constant contact with an employer or employees. You will certainly be able to check-in daily with the world, but you will not be able to maintain a regular work load.
What should I bring?
Clothes for dance and yoga, including layers
Shoes or sandals that slip on and off easily
A bag to carry personal items
Refillable water bottle
Journal and pen
Visit letyouryogadance.com for more information.
If you are considering training and still have questions, contact me.
Check out what some of our graduates have to say…