Ever since my parents saw that I always moved to any tune or just danced in excitement they decided to put me in for dance classes. This came with a hope that if I turned out unsuccessful in the conventional jobs out there, I could always teach dance and earn my living. Back then you had to be above 10 years of age to join. Being eager and adamant, I joined at the age of 9 to a classical form of dance – Bharatanatyam- an Art form where imagination is presented in the form of expressions and stories. Basic training, which is crucial, was for about 2 years then got into in-depth training till I was 15. During these years I have completed Formal examinations till the Senior level. Education took an upper hand and so my dance training stopped which made me miss out on the final exam that would qualify me to be a teacher. I come from an orthodox family where other forms of dance were not entertained and so my horizon was limited to folk and classical. After the break of the dance training, during under graduation, I realized how much I missed dance and took any opportunity I got to dance and began exploring other forms. This also led me to meet various artists, see behind the scenes and got exposure to commercial shows. After 3 years there was a turning point in life where my dream of dancing crashed as I met with an accident and had to stop exerting myself. I had given up and thought oh! those were the days, move on.
I moved to Bangalore and through mutual friends got introduced to climbing, slacklining which opened new doors and got introduced to flow arts. Being very excited, I first picked up poi, practiced for a while and couldn’t get my head around it and my body wasn’t supporting either. Disappointed, I stopped. After watching videos for many months, I thought maybe Poi is not my prop and gave a chance to fans. Surprisingly it did not feel strange in my hand. I found new motivation and began physiotherapy to help myself. This is how my journey in flow arts began and has transformed my life around. This has motivated me to build on my body which I had neglected since I thought I could not dance anymore.
Flow arts are not just tricks and technique, it mostly is, but above all, it connects your soul and body making it flow to the tune of your frequency. Anything that flows is flow arts and different props are extensions of your body. It improves your attention span, hand eye coordination, strengthens muscles and rejuvenates you. It is said that you need to stick to a prop for at least a year or two to get comfortable and connect with it. Even though I found my flow in fans, exploring, I started with hoops and to my surprise where there were roadblocks in fans, doing the same in hoops made me understand fans better. This motivated me to pick up poi again and voilà it does not feel strange to me anymore.
Giving shows came as a part of flow arts. Even though stage and audience were not new to me, after the break, I found myself to be conscious and very shy. I could not get myself to flow if people were around. All the flow artists I know have been very encouraging and with constant push I received, I slowly started performing again. To woo the audience, fire and flow arts go hand in hand. Fire is the element that adds all the lust to these props and enchants the crowd like no other. This has rekindled the spirit in me, and I finally started giving shows in multiple locations and to different crowds. The props I use for shows are fans, palm torches and a new addition poi. The rush of the cheering crowd, heat of the fire, music to the body and oneness with the flow is a feeling like no other. The same vibe is passed to the crowd when performing and the look on their faces swaying to the flow ignited within them is priceless.
Working full time with a corporate job makes it difficult to find time to practice. Nevertheless, I have never once thought of quitting. I’m thankful to the Bangalore flow community who have been an inspiration and their constant support and opportunities have encouraged and helped me grow. My partner has been a backbone support, his rigorous practice, training and providing feedback has been a blessing. I am thankful to everyone who has encouraged me and not let me shy away when I questioned myself to be good enough. A big shout out to all the artists around the globe connected via flow through Instagram, you are all an inspiration.
Crafts has also been in my interests and I make and sell dreamcatchers and yarn mandala along with 2 partners with Instagram handle as @svapnajalika. Weaving here is very similar to the flow state.
To all you folks reading this, flow Is rewarding in any form it may come. Flow can be found anywhere and It’s never too late to start. Hoping to pass on the vibe and inspire as many people as I can. Do give it a try, reach out and connect with yourself.