Why Yoga is Amazing for Dancers

Written by Dawn Quiacos

✨increases flexibility

✨deepens mind/body/breath connection

✨strengthens your concentration

✨brings calmness to your mind

✨creates more self-acceptance

Try these postures and with time and practice, notice amazing changes in your dance and life!

This yoga posture is for the flexibility of the hips will help improve your turnout. Start sitting on your shins in a kneeling position. Slide one leg back and bring the other knee forward and slightly out, aiming for a hip stretch. Stay square through the hips; hold when you feel a good stretch and breathe. When ready to deepen your stretch, you can move the front knee out and the front foot more forward. Re-centre, hold, and breathe. You can also come down onto your forearms or rest your torso on the mat, remember to remain square through the hips. Hold for one minute or for as long as you can, building up to three minutes. Never overdo: hold a stretch that is not too much but not too little. You should not be feeling pain, rather a good, deep stretch. Carefully come out of your posture, take a moment, then repeat with the other leg forward.

Full locust improves your core strength, targeting your lower back and glutes, making it one of the best yoga poses for dancers’ arabesque and backbends. Start lying on your belly with your arms straight and out to your sides. With all of your muscles contracted, take an inhale, and simultaneously lift your legs and upper body off the mat. Soon you are balancing just on your hip bones, with the rest of your body in the air. Make sure your arms and legs remain straight, all muscles remain contracted. Breathe while in posture, hold for 15 seconds. Rest then repeat again.

One of the best yoga postures for dancers is Melting Heart. It will open up your upper back and shoulders. This link explains how upper-back flexibility is important for your overall flexibility: Click Here
From your hands and knees, walk your hands forward, allowing your chest to drop to the floor. Your arms are straight, and shoulder-width apart or wider. Lining your hips above your knees will deepen the stretch. Hold for a minute, building to three minutes, remember to breathe. This posture will open up your upper back and shoulders.

Grab the inside of your ankle and raise your other arm up beside your ear. Kick the leg you are holding; as you kick up and back, feel the shoulder opening up. Stretch equally forward through the front shoulder. Start to drop the belly down to parallel to the floor, keeping the chest lifted and the front arm strong. The standing leg remains straight as you aim for standing splits. Keep the dynamic forward through the inner thigh and front arm as you equally and simultaneously kick up and back. Aim to hold for one minute and for more of a challenge, aim to keep the hips absolutely square. This yoga posture is for dancers’ full-body strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. It opens the shoulders, chest, and hips. It stretches the entire front of the body while strengthening the back muscles. It also stretches and strengthens the thighs, ankles, hamstrings, improving grand jetés, arabesque, and grand battements.