A Dancer's Crash Course on YogaAug 19, 2021
So you are a Dancer and you want to add a iittle yoga to your life? You are in luck! I am a dance educator as a yoga instructor and have a “crash course” for you on how to safely get your yoga on.
- First off, a yoga class is as different as each teacher is different. Hatha yoga looks quite different from Yin yoga, but Yin yoga taught by two different teachers can be just as different! If you think you don’t like yoga, it may be that you didn’t jive with the teacher. There are yoga teachers who play “yoga” music and there are yoga teachers that play Cold Play and Nirvana. Search around until you find the teacher you like.
- Next, a word of caution to my flexible friends: don’t sink too deeply into postures. Yes, it may feel good to completely sink down into those ultra flexible hamstrings, but beware that this might not be what your already-bendy-body needs. Most likely, if you are hyper mobile or just super flexible, your body needs the strength to support the pliability of your parts. I recommend engaging opposite muscles (your abdominals if you are working on a back bend, let’s say) to keep yourself from over-stretching.
- Enjoy having no mirror. I know it is painful to not be able to “see” what you are doing, but trust me, it’s for your benefit! When we take yoga without a mirror, we learn to focus on what the posture feels like, rather than what it looks like.
- Embrace feeling wobbly and awkward. Yes, that weird balancing pose is hard (you know, the one where you are standing on one foot with one leg wrapped around the other) and you feel awkward and fall-over-y. Oftentimes if a posture is awkward, it is as much about the yogi conquering mind over body as it is a fight not to fall over. Lean into the discomfort! What can you learn? And…in the middle of it, can you apply a small smile to your face? If so, you have tapped into the playfulness that yoga invites us to enjoy.
- Finally, who said it was cool to leave a yoga class early? It’s not!! Laying down and closing your eyes for 5 minutes (a.k.a. savasana) may seem like a waste of your time, but NEVER be tempted to skip the last few minutes of a yoga class. Here a just a few benefits of this most important pose:
- Calms central nervous system, aiding the digestive and immune systems.
- Calms the mind and reduces stress.
- Reduces headache, fatigue and anxiety.
- Helps lower blood pressure.
- Promotes awareness of higher consciousness.
There you go, Dancers! Hope you have fun finding and taking a yoga class. Your body and mind will thank you!
Can I help you further? Need some more advice on practicing yoga? Leave a comment below and I’d be glad to answer.
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