Thursday, October 25th, 2007 - 11:29 pm
Yoga and Dance
by Brooke Murray
Dancers tend to push their bodies to extremes. We work long
hours to train our bodies to become stronger and more flexible.
Over the years, dancing can take its toll and many dancers end
up with health concerns. These include arthritis and repetitive
stress injuries. Incorporating a regular Yoga routine into our
lives can reduce the impact that dance can have on our bodies.
It can also help to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility,
giving us an advantage when learning new techniques.
First, you need to find a Yoga instructor that is trained and
certified. The Yoga Alliance is a great organization that
certifies instructors. A teacher registered with Yoga Alliance
has been trained to meet high standards of safety and has
completed at least 200 hours of training.
Make sure your teacher understands that you are a dancer. This
is important because as dancers we will have issues that are
very different from other Yoga students. The teacher should
include some hands-on and personal instruction so your
individual needs can be addressed. Smaller class sizes or
private lessons are good for these reasons. A teacher that
simply leads you through poses without instructing you on the
specific technique of each individual asana (pose) should be
avoided because injuries can occur if poses are not done
Yoga is great for alignment of the body, so your teacher should
emphasize safe ways to improve posture as well as improving
other alignment issues. If we can learn to feel good posture in
our bodies, then we can improve our dance technique. Finding our
neutral point is where we usually start any dance position, so
if our neutral position includes rounded shoulders and
collapsing chests then our dance does not look as good as it
Yoga is great for everyone who is trying to improve their
overall health or address particular health concerns. Dancers
in particular can benefit greatly from building a Yoga routine
into their lives.
Brooke Murray is a certified Yoga instructor and dancer she
teaches small group and private lessons. To contact please