Experiences with the Haka

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In 2014 a friend introduced me to Haka. Since then, I’ve been blown away by the energy, depth, passion, flow, and Aroha [love] of this Māori dance from New Zealand.
An interview with a news agency in 2018 motivated me to learn more about this sacred ritual from the indigenous people of New Zealand. And therefore, I attended the 2019 Kapa Haka Festival in Wellington. More than 40 Iwi’s [tribes] compete for the best Haka in different categories.

-> Read more about the Te Matatini Kapa Haka festival here.

That same year, I met a Māori Elderly, Toroa, who lives in Europe. I try to meet this wonderful teacher regularly to learn from him about Haka and how it can benefit others and me. He not only taught me unique and powerful Hakas, but he also showed me how to dance the Haka the correct way, with the right mindset, and with respect.

The Haka is much more than a little dance. And therefore, I am grateful to have danced different Hakas with many groups. Some consisted of a handful of people, and some other groups had several hundred participants. I have seen wonderful transformations in those groups and individuals.

In this Blog, I share with you my experiences of the Haka that can be of benefit to you too.

Experience true connections

First, Haka is about connection. If there is no connection, there’s no communication. I use the analogy that without a plug, there is no current. When there is a connection, there is also the possibility to influence situations.
As participants experience true connection during a Haka workshop, they tell me that it makes them feel very happy and discover how beautiful other people are.
Because we are afraid to be vulnerable, we cannot make real connections. Also, people are distracted the whole day to make connections (or is this a way not to have to make real connections?).
The other day a man told me that he felt melancholic during the Haka since he did not experience this true connection for a very long time. He longed for this connection all his adult life.
And therefore, since we’re all connected, we are never alone. When I stand in front of a large group, I am aware of all the people behind me: All my supporters, friends, family, loved ones, and those who are not in this world anymore.

Koru made by Shay for me

To be present

But you cannot experience this true connection when you’re not in the present. When you dance Haka, you are not in the past and are not in the future with your thoughts. You move ahead in the present with full force. This is only possible when the physical and the spiritual [Wairua] are connected.
Haka means ‘breath of fire.’ Conscious (and deep) breathing helps to be present. Next, when you are in the present, you are aware of what you do, what others need, and how you can act on that. Then beautiful things can happen. Those are the moments when the intuitive, impulsive spirit acts.

For greater understanding

One time, a man walked up to me after dancing a Haka. He was in tears. Many years ago, his favorite uncle left for New Zealand. That made him very sad. Because of the Haka experience, he now understood why his uncle left. It brought him peace, and he could let go of his sorrow.
Tap from an unlimited source of energy.

Tap from an unlimited source of energy

The first time I danced Haka with Toroa, I was exhausted after only one hour! I was lying on the ground, crying. Toroa explained that you can not only give (energy) during a Haka. You must open your heart to receive this energy [Mana] and, most importantly, love [Aroha]. Because everything is energy, Haka is energy too.

But a Haka can not be successful without masculine or feminine energy. One can tap into an unlimited energy source when one is aware of this flow between man, woman, and the universe.

The other week, I danced Haka for more than an hour and a half with a group. It was very intense, and most people were physically tired. But one man came up to me, and he said that he was ready to go for a run after the workshop. He was able to tap into this unlimited source of power.

To awaken your mission

Therefore, by connecting, being present, understanding, and tapping into this energy source, you discover who you are and where you are headed.
A woman once told me that the Haka inspired her for her mission. Her mission was awakened and gave her the energy and the confidence to realize her mission.

Do you want to experience Haka too?

I have been taught different unique Hakas for different occasions. But I work only with motivated people to learn something new, step out of their comfort zone, and dance Haka with respect.

Because I think many people can benefit from Haka, I am thinking about organizing an open workshop for individuals and small groups.
Are you interested and want to experience the benefits of Haka? Contact me today so that I can keep you informed!

Thank you for reading up to here & sharing this article with your colleagues, friends, or family. And please SHARE this article with your network on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn by pressing the buttons below so that they can also read this article about the benefits of Haka. You are welcome to copy parts of this Blog if you state the source.

Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

Featured picture credits: Arsenio Karsters, @exsternophotography

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