"It is the darkness that is the light, and the stillness that is the dancing"
To speak of how bellydancing benefits the body is largely a personal matter. I cannot claim to know how it could benefit you as an individual, but I will let you know how it has benefited myself and those whom I teach and dance with.
Bellydancing has been one of my primary inspirations and guides in my becoming a woman and in accepting feminine qualities and sensuality. The culture I found through this dance has increased my awareness of my body, not only in terms of the possibilities of movement, but also in how I care for it, love it and dress it.
Belly dance can be used as a well-rounded work out or a relaxation technique. It works almost all your muscles but most importantly, considering that the majority of the movements used in the dance are generated from the core muscles of the body, it works to strengthen and tone those muscles that are weak in a lot of people... the lower and upper back, abdomen, pelvic floor and pectoral muscles.
High-energy bellydancing unclogs stagnant blockages energetically, mentally, emotionally and physically, it stimulates the body to release serotonin and endorphins into the system, which uplift the mood.
Done slowly it puts one into a relaxed mood, inspiring sensuality and softness, calming the mind and emotions, allowing for the release of sadness or despair. So don't be surprised if you find yourself crying when you dance to the slow strong rhythms of Arabic music, it is helping in the release of trapped emotions and could leave you feeling comforted and in love with life and your body.
Bellydancing with props, teaches one good posture, balance and co-ordination as well as an awareness of space and how to interact with it.
On the whole bellydancing is a low impact exercise form. It works slowly and steadily to strengthen the body, unless of course you go for high energy dance many times a week, in which case it would have a much more immediate effect. For some of the movements, such as belly roles, it could take longer to train the muscles into operating in this new way. Still, whilst practicing you are building up muscle strength.
The health benefits are...
Take a look at some bellydancing styles by clicking here.