CLASSES: Belly Dance & Qigong
Belly dance and qigong are an exquisite combination of practices for women because they each bring elements to enhance the other. Both movement forms enhance strength, flexibility, grace, and well-being, as well as mental sharpness. And when these practices are combined, they become even more extraordinary!
Belly dance offers beautiful music, gorgeous costuming, and personal expression, while qigong enhances presence, energy flow, and deep inner power. Together, this is a potent and yummy elixir that makes women happier, healthier, and more connected to themselves.
Belly Dance Classes: Movement Medicine for the Feminine
Weekly Belly Dance Classes
Cultivate your feminine mystery and mystique with this ancient women’s dance form from the Middle East!
Belly dance is more than just exercise for your body. It’s true that it increases grace, strength, flexibility, balance, and burns calories. But even more importantly, it is a way to nourish and develop your whole self, connecting you to your body, your emotions, and your feeling of confidence and personal power.
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in, and ideally bring a fringed or coin scarf or shawl to tie on your hips so you can see and/or hear your hip movements. No scarf? No problem! Just come as you are. Bare bellies are welcome, but not required!
I currently offer classes online only.
Private lessons are also available.
Alchemical Belly Dance
Energy flow, body bliss, and healing meet in this magical blend of belly dance, qigong, and the elements of nature.
Next Series: May 6 – 27, 2021
Details and sign up here: https://annya-ishtara-dance.com/alchemical-belly-dance/
Dancing to Live Taksim
4 Weeks of dancing to live taksim with 2 instructors – a dancer and a musician. Co-taught with Meg York. Dates to be announced.
Details and sign-up here: https://annya-ishtara-dance.com/live-taksim/
If you have questions about belly dance class, check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S) page.
Write to me at annyaish(at)Annya-Ishtara-dance(dot)com to be notified of upcoming classes. *Be sure to fill in the appropriate punctuation in the email address.
I have been taking Annya’s wonderful online belly dancing classes for the last 8 weeks from all the way across the world in Singapore. The classes really make me happy, as I get to learn and practice belly dancing from the comfort of my home with Annya, who is a patient, talented, and just wonderful teacher.
Annya teaches belly dancing in easily digestible steps, and she is very encouraging for beginners like me. I also love the follow up videos that she sends after the class. They are a great recap and practice, if we like to do some additional belly dancing in between classes.
Annya is light hearted and also humorous in the way she teaches, and it is a joy to participate in her classes. Thank you, Annya, for bringing your classes online!!
I love belly dancing because it feels so sensuous to make those moves. Dancing is keeping my body, mind and spirit healthy.
For me, the way you explained a dance movement taking place inside the body with energy flowing, as well as muscle response to that energy, and the mind “seeing” or directing the intent of that movement, really made sense. I felt I was internalizing something instead of just trying to copy or mimic you. It made for a deeper learning experience. I also wanted to say the age range of dancers (teens to 60’s) and their skills (beginning to advanced) says a lot about your talent as an instructor. I also thought the prices of your dance classes, zill classes, and hip scarves were very affordable.
I love Annya’s belly dance class! I feel that I can move much more fluidly and easily than when I started 6 months ago, and my stamina has definitely improved.
Learning belly dance with Annya Ishtara has made disciplined muscle toning fun and inspirational, and as well, has helped me find great joy in the embodiment of the feminine through graceful rhythmic movement. Annya is a highly skilled dancer and teacher!
We met for an hour and I learned so much! While we danced together, Annya observed my style and was the first teacher to ever help me figure out what my strengths and weaknesses were! As a person who is very self critical, I thought I had only weaknesses, not any strengths. But here was Annya, a stranger to me, telling me what she saw in my dancing! I was amazed! Her comments were thought provoking and positive – not in a false, cheerleader way – but in a way that led me to believe that she really understood the mechanics of dancing. From her comments, I was able to see my dancing in a new light.
In the workshops I have taken from her on improvisation and performance, Annya is passionate, articulate and fun(!), invariably fashioning the kinds of practice that help us easily draw from our own life experiences and extend the emotional range of our dance well beyond our usual reckoning. Every student that I have observed flourishes and grows under her gentle, positive and genuine encouragement; and so do I.
Annya Ishtara’s veil dance creates beautiful cascades of wafting colors that seem to magically outline the musical contours in real time. She can entice you and your floating fabric friend to soar together in partnership as well. Her veil work is based on breath, fined tuned technique, and a high sense of aesthetics. Her profound body awareness and warm personality give her classes grounding rare in the dance world. Annya is a vibrant, conscientious and kind teacher in person or online.
Women’s Qigong Classes: Self-Care with Energy
So why do I offer special qigong classes just for women?
Most qigong is taught in ways that work better for men because this is what most teachers were taught. However, not only do women and men have different bodies, but we have different chi, or life force energy, needs.
In women’s qigong classes, we focus on building yin energy in ways that are particularly nurturing to women’s bodies. As women, we become healthy through nurturing our life force energy slowly and gradually, rather than depleting our female essence through pushing or forcing in the name of health, as so often happens in Western health modalities for women.
Although this work is gentle, it has a powerful effect on your health and an amazing ability to connect you with your body.
Benefits of Qigong
- increase energy
- heal adrenal fatigue
- lower blood pressure
- normalize heart rate
- improve balance
- improve bone density
- reduce pain
- reduce anxiety and stress
- enhance immune function
- the CDC endorses qigong for the prevention of Covid
- according to the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, qigong is also useful for the treatment and rehabilitation of Covid
- and much more!
Transformative Qigong for Women – Online
Start your day with gentle, nourishing energy practices so you can move throughout the rest of your day feeling grounded, alert, embodied, and connected to yourself.
Next session May 4 – 25, 2021. Details and sign up here: https://annya-ishtara-dance.com/transformative-qigong/
Deeper Dive Qogong for Women – Online
A special 4 week qigong class that goes beyond basic practice. April 11 – May 2, 2021.
Details and sign up here: https://annya-ishtara-dance.com/deeper-dive-qigong/
The Womanly Art of Qigong: A 5 Week Course for Women to Build Pelvic and Breast Health and Enhance Energy Boundaries
This 5 week qigong course helps women develop a foundation for physical health and energetic strength in the pelvic area (whole body too!) through the simple movements of qigong. Start (re-) claiming this area for yourself as a safe space where you can thrive.
Dates to be announced.
To find out when the next class series is happening, request to be added to the email list by emailing* Annya Ishtara at annyaish(at)Annya-Ishtara-dance.com. *Be sure to add in the correct punctuation to make this a working email address.
I have been taking qigong classes, workshops, and doing qigong meditation with Annya for several years. I always feel so much better after doing it. I am able to move stagnant energy through and out of my body, which helps me feel more like myself again. Her qigong classes also help me feel more present in my lower body. I highly recommend Annya as a teacher, as well as qigong as a way to restore well being.
In October I went to a free Qigong intro presented by Annya at the Taos food Co-op. I enjoyed it so much that I joined a weekly class for women. I was so inspired that I asked if she would offer a qigong class at my studio. I find many beautiful overlays with the Feldenkrais Method, and I sense Annya’s extensive training and artistic skill in belly dancing informs her teaching on a deep level. I am looking forward to continued learning.
A deeply empowering class: Annya’s ability to transmit living cellular female wisdom is a healing in itself. Where each woman takes it is up to her.