What are Ecstatic Body Postures? Part One

Shamanic Bliss Practices

Shamanism is an ancient spiritual practice that has existed for ten of thousands of years. One major element of shamanism is that the spiritual world may be contacted through the inner senses in ecstatic trance.


Unfortunately western culture seems to have forgotten about our natural evolutionary process of bliss practices. These bliss practices involve getting into an ecstatic trance state through dance, drum and song. By doing this we release endorphins and happy feel good chemicals in the body. We have a reservoir of bliss residing within each of us that can be tapped in to and channelled at any moment if we choose to do so. In our many modern cultures many look outside of themselves to create this ecstatic bliss feeling, choosing drink, drugs or entertainment not realizing that by creating it from within yourself and having your own experience is actually humans natural evolutionary way of creating bliss.

Ecstatic Trance

Ecstatic Trance is entered by listening to rhythmic drumming or rattling of around 180 BPM, its takes about fifteen minutes to enter the trance state, which is indicated by the body going in to theta brainwave. Whilst in the trance state the veils between worlds thin and you are more able to hear guidance from your higher self, spirit guides and ancestors.

One of the main reasons for entering in to ecstatic trance is to heal and be healed. To heal in shamanic terms means the restoration of balance and wholeness, it is an overall maintenance of the bigger picture on all levels. This is in sharp contrast to other healing vocations such as psychotherapist treating a specific muscle or a psychotherapist treating a specific emotional problem. Within the shamanic world it is well known that we are all connected in a web of life and its is important to regard this when healing a particular issue.

Ecstatic Trance Body Postures

Evidence of posture-mediated trance can be found worldwide. By adopting such postures whilst entering in to ecstatic trance it shapes the experience of the altered state, with most reporting similar experiences with a particular body posture as the nervous system is altered by putting


There are 39 known postures found mostly on cave walls and as statues. These postures are used for healing, divination, metamorphosis, spirit journeys, initiation (death and rebirth), living myths and celebration.


Dr Felcitas Goodman, who runs the Cuyamungue Institute, extensively studied ecstatic body postures and has brought their knowledge and wisdom to many. Belinda Gore also studied them under guidance and teachings of Felicitas Goodman and has also written and taught extensively about Ecstatic Body postures.


Continued in Part Two.