The City of Refuge – Pu’uhonua o HonaunauSeptember 20, 2013
Perserverance – a channelled messageSeptember 23, 2013
Hula is the traditional dance of Hawaii, and much more than just dance! There is a deep mental and spiritual aspect that each dancer (‘olapa) must delve into deeply. It takes focus to coordinate the hula steps with the arm and head movements. Danced in a group (hālau), everyone moves together as one, giving the dance a powerful impact. Timing must be impeccable. Movements must flow and be graceful.
Hula tells stories through its movements and chants, often offering prayers (pule) or giving thanks (mahalo) for the beauty of life.
Each morning at Huna training, we had the option of taking Hula lessons. Our teacher (kumu) was Etua, a revered Hula master on the big island. An incredible kumu, he could tell if someone was out of step with his eyes closed… just by feeling the energy. His teachings of Hula were interspersed with wisdom and teachings of life and mastery. Kumu Etua is an impressive teacher!
Hula is much more difficult than it looks! Trying to coordinate several movements at the same time in sync with the drum beats and all the other dancers is no easy feat. We had to learn the chant in Hawaiian and its meaning so we could send out the energy through the dance. Taking Hula lessons definitely worked areas of different areas of the brain, building new neuro pathways. My experience of hula was very challenging, but one I would recommend.
One night, half way through the course, I had a wonderful dream. I was looking at a Hawaiian scene, some vegetation in front of me, a bay of water, and the shore on the other side. I heard a kingfisher call out ‘kaeha’ twice. The ocean became still and calm, and the trees began to dance the Hula, swaying in the wind, all moving together, with a drum beat in the distance. It gave me a deeper connection to the land and to the dance, and the next day at Hula lesson, there was a significant improvement!