Glowing with health and happiness, Natalie Southgate looks content. At home, with her husband and children in the sunny Queensland enclave of Noosa, she is a woman who lives and breathes the practice she created that is now taught across the globe.
Chakradance is a fusion of ancient wisdom and modern music that is changing lives across the world, one dance at a time.
It all began when Natalie was just 25. She appeared to have it all and was questioning why she felt discontented and out of balance when according to traditional wisdom, she was happy, successful, and living up to all her ambitions.
“I was happily married, running a successful recruitment business in London, we had a great social life, we had money … but the question kept coming up for me, is this it? I felt like something was missing, something intangible, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was,” she explains.
Staring out of her office window she began to notice a woman from an adjoining office racing off every day at 5 pm sharp. “She looked so happy and full of energy, something about her attracted my attention, and one day I stopped her to ask where she was going.”
The answer stunned her and motivated her to search for the answers she was seeking.
“She told me she was teaching a class at the College of Psychic Studies in London, a very old and established school. I thought, wow, why have I never heard of this? I couldn’t believe such a thing existed but somehow I knew I had to check it out,” Natalie tells us.
She did just that and began to take classes across a whole spectrum of modalities. It wasn’t until she began to study the chakras that everything about her life and the feelings she had began to make sense.
Overcoming Imbalance By Focusing On Your Chakras
“I became obsessed with this ancient wisdom. I learned that most of us operate predominantly out of only a few of our chakras, those become excessive and create an imbalance in our lives. I also discovered Carl Jung through my studies and was fascinated by his work, I still study his teachings today.
Psychoanalyst Carl Jung was the first westerner to study the chakras. An esteemed psychiatrist, it became an integral part of his work with his patients.
Natalie continued to work in recruitment by day and study by night. The college asked her to teach a class on chakras as her expertise and knowledge grew.
“At the end of a long day, I would come home and set up space for myself to meditate and practice. As a child, I studied dance to overcome my shyness and music has always been a part of my life. I began to put on music and dance and I felt things shifting. I began to feel how certain musical tones and rhythms would activate specific chakras and would change the way I felt, slowly the buried feelings I had started to release, I was clearing blockages and I started to feel happier, healthier, free,” she shares.
Dancing by herself at home one night the word Chakradance came into her mind. “I had no idea where it was going, but I followed my intuition and suddenly my practice had a name.”
As she physically and mentally began to change, her friends noticed and wanted to know what she was doing. “They wanted to join me so I started inviting friends to my office after work, I moved the furniture aside and played the music that I felt intuitively connected to each chakra.”
What began as a personal journey became a practice. Friends began to tell other friends about it and before long she outgrew the office space.
A Leap In The Dark
Natalie then took a risk and rented a hall, a big one. She had no idea if anyone would come to her first classes. She put up posters and waited to see what would happen. Almost 50 people attended her first class. Over time, word spread, and more people arrived. As her own life began to take shape through her practice, she noticed the transformation happen in others.
“I learned that the music was an integral part in balancing the chakras, it works as a form of vibrational medicine. Each chakra responds to different frequencies,” she says.
With the lights off she encouraged each student to move into their own space, to inhabit it without judgment or concern about what others were doing. “It’s a deeply personal practice and different for each of us,” she explains.
The music began to inspire her to explore more. She spent endless hours sourcing and editing music. Her classes began to grow and she reached a place in her life where she was confident enough to sell her recruitment business and create a business model for her healing.
“Everything happened organically. It was never a plan, it was simply something I felt I had to do for myself. My health greatly improved, my shyness was no longer an issue; once I started teaching something that I was so passionate about, I felt completely comfortable with what was happening in my life,” she says.
Australian by birth, she then felt the call of home and she and her husband made the move to Sydney. It was there that Chakradance caught the attention of other healers and Natalie was invited to join workshops held by internationally recognized healers. Then one day she got the call to open Deepak Chopra’s workshops and overnight Chakradance gained a worldwide audience.
“It was incredible to be teaching in front of such large audiences, and ironic that coming home to Australia sparked all this attention,” she laughs.
Deepak Chopra was so impressed he invited Natalie to teach at his California school, the Chopra Center. Her Chakradance healing modality attracted more and more attention. She was invited to hold retreats around the world and teachers were inspired to share her practice with their students.
Natalie and her family then made the move out of the city to Noosa where they live on the beach and enjoy the kind of freedom that she now understands was what she was seeking all along.
“We were city people, we thrived in that environment. My husband works in digital branding and now he works with me. As our children were still young enough to move we decided to try a different type of life. It was hard for me at first and I made regular trips back to Sydney but one day I was flying back and I thought to myself, I’m going home, I knew then it was the right move,” she explains.
Dance Your Way To Better Health
A Hay House author with a certification course for facilitators around the world, the internet has propelled her business beyond anything she could have imagined. Throughout the world, people are now dancing their way to better mental and physical health. Facilitators have used Chakradance to specialize in different areas of healing, from cancer survivors to toxic relationships. Yet they all follow the same method, created by Natalie.
In her own life challenges still arise but she deals with them very differently these days. Recently diagnosed with a pea-sized brain tumor her doctors are astounded by her attitude.
“I’ve embraced it, my little green pea I call it. I talk to it, I visualize it shrinking and I see some wisdom in it. I had a full calendar this year. I planned to launch a new e-course and expand my teaching programs but the little green pea has convinced me to slow things down a bit, take time to be thankful for what I have, and take the pressure off myself,” she says.
She now works with a talented musician who can create the sounds she visualizes and this is a giant step forward for her. The pair will release the music as part of the newly designed e-courses, live classes, and retreats while her new training will offer business training to her facilitators, from how to grow their audience, structure their classes, and how to take their practice online.
Throughout the process, she has learned a lot about business, and about herself. Chakradance is a structured program designed to create a safe space for each person to allow them to heal in their own time. The classes follow a series that moves through the chakras to soundtracks that have been specifically created to enhance the healing. It also recognizes that for each person healing is different.
“Chakradance is about finding balance in your life, releasing blockages and the healing happens on a very deep level. For those who are suffering from deep emotional trauma, the release is gradual yet the benefits are long-lasting,” she explains.
Natalie is passionate about helping people heal from past traumas and emotional wounding, finding happier, more balanced lives as Chakradance helps them come home to their true authentic selves. She is also the co-founder of Inamojo – a wellbeing program for children, a practice that she is equally as passionate about.