Dancers, irrespective of the type of dance they perform, whether it is Ballet or Tribal or Burlesque or Salsa or Hawaiian etc, need to be confident, flexible and balanced in order to perform well. Yoga is well renowned as the best way to ensure all three in dancers. Yoga for dancers is a combination of postural exercises as well as breathing exercises, which are specifically oriented towards achieving balance or control of the body, increasing the stamina, enhancing confidence and flexibility. However, these are not the only benefits derived by the dancer through the practice of yoga.
Common Benefits Of Yoga
Primarily and perhaps most importantly, the inclusion of yoga in the schedule of any dancer is a great way to counterbalance the tough and demanding schedule adhered to by the dancer. In other words, yoga for dancers, apart from being beneficial physically, is a great way to relax the mind and soul, making it easy for the dancer to absorb and learn more in a shorter time.
Moreover, the practice of yoga, as mentioned above, actually improves the balance or control exerted by the individual on the body. For any dancer, balance is the key to successful dance performance and through the active practice of yoga for dancers, this is easily achieved.
Secondly, yoga also improves your overall posture, which is essential for performing the various dance steps in the correct fashion. In addition, flexibility of the body is increased, which means that there is an increased mobility in the hip region. This is another essential factor for good dancing, which is easily achieved through yoga for dancers.
Practice of yoga also improves the overall stamina and strength of the individual. Dancers require huge amounts of stamina in order to withstand their rigorous dancing schedules and practice sessions. Practice of yoga helps improve blood circulation whilst purifying the body, which helps in increasing stamina.
Additionally, the breathing exercises performed as a part of yoga regime created for dancers also helps increase the stamina. These breathing exercises boost the capacity of the lungs, which means that you are less stressed out after a dance routine. Also, you can last for longer sessions without really running out of breath.
Muscles play a very important role in dancing and yoga for dancers is an excellent way to both strengthen as well as tone these muscles. Strengthening and toning of muscles is essential for improving overall performance as well as for ensuring that there is no unwanted weight gain.
Finally, practice of yoga helps improve the overall clarity of the mind whilst reducing stress, tension and anguish that is often associated with a dance performance. Calmness of mind enhances learning while also improving the overall confidence.
Yoga for dancers concentrates on certain asanas or postures, which are quite beneficial to the dancer. Before actually moving onto the postures, it is important to warm up by performing the Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar along with certain standing postures. These are essential for improving the circulation of blood while also helping you achieve better balance, strength and focus.
Key postures recommended by yoga experts for dancers include the Front T posture, which is essential for promoting balance while strengthening the lower back, hamstrings and gluteals.
The Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutations are excellent ways to increase the strength in your thighs while increasing the stability of your knees.
Similarly, the boat pose is excellent for strengthening the abdominal region while the swing pose is important for strengthening the lower back. Lower back strength is important when you are partnering in a dance or performing an arabesque. These muscles are also strengthened through the practice of the Supine twist.
Plank position is excellent for developing the core muscles while also strengthening the upper body. Upper body is also strengthened through the practice of the full anterior stretch. For any dancer to truly dance, hip flexibility or mobility is essential for which yoga for dancers includes the Cow faced or Cobbler’s pose as well as the Pigeon pose.
Finally, no yoga routine for dancers is complete without performing key breathing exercises like the Mantra breathing or slow breathing, abdominal breathing and pursed lips breathing.
Irrespective of the kind of dance you perform, if you choose to practice yoga, there are certain precautions that you must take in order to ensure safe and enriching practice of yoga. To begin with, you should remember that not all forms of yoga are suitable for the needs of the dancer. Different styles of yoga exist, from which you need to choose the ones that suit your varied modes of dance.
Yoga should be practiced under the tutelage of a good instructor and only after the approval of its practice by your doctor. Similarly, you should always practice within your comfort zone and should discontinue practice if you experience any kind of discomfort.
Picking any asana at random and start doing it without proper guidance can cause more harm than good. Again, many dancers go a bit overboard in their enthusiasm and end up hurting their muscles or body parts while trying to do the perfect yoga poses.
You should steer clear of such things and stick to the prescribed regimen of yoga for dancers that your instructor devices for you. Remember that each dancer has a body that has different capability and endurance levels from others. So, instead of trying of copy other dancers, it would be advisable to set your own goals and challenges, and strive to achieve the same.
Yoga for dancers is an excellent way to improve your dancing performance, which requires tremendous amount of patience, perseverance and dedication. You can even get rid of stage jitters and improve your stage performance with yoga.
What’s more, yoga can help in injury prevention and augment your balance as well as flexibility. So, if you are a dancer wanting to enhance your knowledge as well as skill in order to become the best dancer, you can easily do so through the regular practice of yoga.