Bhangra is a style of dance that originated in the Punjab region of Northern India. Bhangra was originally a folk dance to celebrate harvest time (and indeed, you can still see traces of this in some choreography when people appear to scatter seeds to the wind, thresh wheat, and do other agrarian moves.) Throughout the course of the 20th century it evolved as a folkloric dance and as Punjab emigres left the country to go to Western countries, a hint of Westernized music began to creep into the music of Bhangra.
As a Kundalini yogi, you’ll see bhangra all over the place. Yogi Bhajan often had students get up and dance after kriyas and at group gatherings such as Summer Solstice and Sat Nam Fest you can have the experience of being in a massive group Bhangra party (and sometimes even take a class). In Kundalini yoga classes around the world, there are kriyas that call for bhangra, which helps you stimulate the circulation (and by using the hands energetically over the head, activating the heart meridian and the lymphatic drainage system.)
Bhangra music is fun and energetic and inspires even those who don’t normally dance to get up and shake it all out! You can learn to Bhangra with the DVD made by Ravi Kaur “Dancing Bhangra with Ravi” (who dances with a bhangra troupe at Summer Solstice every year) and you can listen in to bhangra (and get your own dance on) with the album “Bhangra Remix” which features many western mantra singers. The outfits, colorful and eccentric, are optional, although super fun!
Hankering for a taste of Bhangra? Take a look at the video below. It will put a smile on your face for sure!