Dancers love to move. They love to feel their bodies flow across the stage, but it’s important for them to slow down sometimes. Doing yoga is a great way for dancers to increase their strength, joint stability, and flexibility. Yoga, over time, makes a dancer better, regardless of their dance style. While every yoga pose is beneficial in some way, there are certain poses that are specifically great for dancers. Dance technique is the foundation and cross training through other styles is key to be well rounded.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
This pose strengthens a dancer’s legs, knees, ankles, arms, and chest which is especially great for ballet dancers who are required to execute perfect positions at all times. Strengthening one’s chest and arms give them the endurance and poise required to achieve such precise positions. This pose also helps build muscles required for endurance, posture, and balance. It helps open the hips, groin, hamstring, calves, shoulders, and spine to improve form and flexibility, as well as reduce overstretching related injuries. Frequently performing this move will also help relieve dances of back pain and reduce stress.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
This pose is great for strengthening a dancer’s lower back and core, which is beneficial to all dance styles. It helps add strength to thighs, legs, and knee muscles, and it stretches the spine. This is a great pose for dancers who need to improve their balance and endurance in order to perform high leaps or dance across long distances.
Poorvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
This pose is great for strengthing the upper body. It assists dancers who frequently use their wrists, arms, shoulders, and back. It’s great for aiding dancers who participate in numerous lifts, and it’s extremely beneficial in aiding a dancer with back related issues as well.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Probably the most well-known of all yoga poses, this commonly used pose is great for dancers. It’s a rejuvenating yoga pose, which is why it’s so frequently used in yoga classes. It brings strength not only to the body, but it rejuvenates the mind. It’s great for toning muscles, especially the arms, shoulders, and legs, and it improves circulation to the brain and lengthens the spine. It’s great for dancers who are stressed, sore, or tired. It will help bring a calming peace to their minds, relieving headaches and reducing fatigue.
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe-Pose)
This pose is extremely great for dancers because it helps them develop strength
while resting their weight on just one leg. It drastically improves balance and helps develop and awareness of their body’s movements. During many styles of dance, a dancer will be required to turn or stand while balancing on just one leg. This pose will help build the strength and balance needed to execute those movements flawlessly or hold them for an extended amount of time.
We’ve discussed the specific benefits of these poses, but every yoga pose, including the ones above, offer dancers a benefit that will help them during their performances. Yoga helps dancers focus on their bodies, their form, but it also helps them concentrate on their breathing and therefore perfects their breathing techniques. This is extremely helpful to dancers, especially during intense routines that are particularly exhausting and often push a dancer to his/her limits. Breathing correctly will help push a dancer past their current limits and help them finish strong during even the toughest of routines.
Every dance studio and dancer who’s passionate about their craft should incorporate yoga into their lives. No dancer can pass up the opportunity to tone their muscles, open up their body, and increase flexibility as well as improve their balance, helping them remain stable and in perfect form no matter how challenging a routine may be. Dancers who do yoga on a regular basis are more stable, more energized, and more prepared for the challenges that await them in their career.