Dancers are spectacular athletes. With very unique demands on their physiques, dancers are a special group of performers that deserve a special yoga routine to help take care of their specific needs.
Yoga is one of the most beneficial conjuncts to a dancer’s fitness routine for many reasons. It can help in increasing body awareness, building the deep flexibility needed for dance, and supporting the strength required to practice any form of rhythmical movement.
I believe that all dancers can benefit from a regular yoga practice, and from these five postures specifically.
1. Boat Pose
All dancers need to have a strong core. Whether you are going to be doing quadruple pirouettes or spinning on your head, your core is your foundation for strength, and will be part of the foundation that keeps you safe and injury-free throughout your dance career.
I highly recommend practicing this posture for at least 30 seconds each time your practice, playing with your leg and arm placements to challenge different muscles.
2. Dolphin Pose
This pose is so good for developing upper body strength. Having a strong chest and back will ensure that you can hold your upper body and arms in perfect positions.
This pose is especially good for all you ballet dancers, as it will build all those smaller supporting muscles that hold your arms in position for long periods of time, as is often required.
3. Bridge Pose
Bridge pose is awesome for building strength and awareness in the legs and butt, as well as for encouraging the opening and broadening in the chest – qualities that you require for proper dance technique.
This pose also helps you to draw awareness to your breathing, which is very helpful when dancing. Longer holds – 1-2 minutes at a time – are great strength builders.
4. Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose
I really love this pose for dancers because it will help you develop the strength and balance you need to support your weight on one leg, and will help you develop keen awareness of what your extended leg is doing.
Many dance forms have movements that require you to be turning or standing on one leg as the other is extended, and this pose will help you build the strength and coordination foundations for those movements.
5. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
Finally, I highly recommend that all dancers take time in their lives for some relaxation. Legs-Up-The-Wall is amazing for dancers because it will help take the pressure off of your legs and feet – which you use more than the average person!
This pose will also help you wind down after high-intensity practices or performances, calming your nervous system and drawing you back to your center.
Do you dance? Do you have any special postures you like to practice to support your art? Let me know!