Yoga for Dancers


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Today, I read an article which touted yoga as the perfect exercise for dancers. Perfect. Question to you yoga folks out there. How does yoga connect to/help you with dance? Is it really a good type of exercise for dancers to pursue?
Hmmmm, haaaa, Hmmmmm... huh uhhh....

How does yoga connect you to the dance? It really depends in the person, the main reason I don't go into spiritual groups is because not everyone is on the same page. Some regardless of what they know choose the egotistical trip to say they yoga.

It can surely help get a person get in touch with themselves and their bodies. I would suggest it to just about everyone who is willing to try something new. I believe if the person can manage to yoga, to get in touch with some of their essece then it will be a lot easier to pass that on to the dance-floor. It will help you become more aware of your physical body as well as your meta-physical one. Getting there is your job...


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I tend to do a more physical sort of yoga.

Yoga will improve your flexibility, your balance, your strength through the standing leg, and also your core muscles. Really, it is an ideal exercise for dancers.


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Yeah, SK. Yoga was touched on in another thread. But that thread covered many things in terms of diet, spirituality, and various exercise disciplines. From my own experience and from what I've read, there's a lot of information/discussion to share when it comes to the dance/yoga connection, in terms of stress relief, flexibility, and strength/muscular development.
oh I certainly didn't mean that there was nothing more to discuss!! I just wanted bring it to light for some folks who may not know the thread existed. :D

Yoga is fun and feels great I would like to do more
I consider some of the postures taught in some forms of hatha yoga to be risky for at least some people. My own experience with yoga has been mixed. I have not continued with it. It provided a very deep sense of relaxation, but even partial inversions seemed to put too much pressure on my sinuses, a weak point. I suggest looking at the book Stretching: For Fitness, Health & Performance by Dr. Christopher A Oswald & Dr. Stanley N. Basco, for some examples of commonly practiced yoga postures which they consider risky.

One thing to keep in mind about yoga: I don't think these systems of movement were designed primarily with health in mind. The ultimate goal was some form of enlightenment. At least one teacher even takes a cavalier attitude about injuries. You know, since it's about putting the ego on the line and going beyond that and so forth, injuries aren't a big deal.

The main thing I would say is: pay attention to your body and be willing to trust yourself if something doesn't make sense to you.
I don't have a deeply thought out answer, Jenn, but personally, my most simple answer would be that I find because yoga, when practised properly, naturally improves your posture, flexibility and breathing, your dancing improves by osmosis.
Hmm, this thread has come up quite a few times, and I think its a good one. I've found yoga to be a good complement to rest of my physical activities. Its great first thing in the morning - to give your body a gentle workout before eating. Or some quick stretches before going out to dance - or even inbetween dances...I do this all the time. :)

And the breathing - its great for a really intense dance (like Salsa). :)

However - I've kind of gone on my own with my "yoga" practice - I don't belong to any regular group and I've incorporated a lot of other physical disciplines into what I do daily.

How does yoga connect you to the dance? It really depends in the person, the main reason I don't go into spiritual groups is because not everyone is on the same page. Some regardless of what they know choose the egotistical trip to say they yoga.
This is the main reason I left my regular group - my body just moved differently then the rest of the people - and I realized I had to go solo to find what really worked for me.

These days I avoid yoga groups like the plague - in fact I rarely tell anyone that I do it at all! :oops:
(warning: another long post)

I find Yoga to be a perfect complementary form of excercise for dancers (and just about anyone for that matter :wink: ). For me, I derive a whole host of benefits from a regular practice.

Physically, It strengthens my body at it's core and improves my flexibility and posture. It also helps improve my balance and allows me to more easily stay balanced on each leg. As you practice, you become more aware of your body and your breathing. As I practiced more yoga, I gradually learned to surrender more to my dancing just by being able to breathe. The effect on my posture has been dramatic, to say the least. If you have challenges with your posture, I have not found anything better for your posture than an intense, regular, yoga practice.

Even my weak ankles were strengthened and my feet turnout much more easily! What were once wiry muscles and skin and bones are now starting to bulk up with true strength. LOL, the other day, a pretty woman who saw me in my latin outfit made me blush. She remarked that I had a very defined body with no bones, and winked! :oops: It is physically demanding, but only if you push yourself a little beyond what you are used to and simply breath into the postures. As far as injuries, if you work with a good teacher and do EXACTLY what they tell you, you will not injure yourself. Physically, I have never felt better.

A good yoga practice will not only change the structure of your body, but it will also help you clear the mind. My understanding of Yoga comes from the idea that the body and mind are one. A sound mind comes with a sound body. I find that my mind becomes clearer and it is much easier to find guidance through prayer and meditation. It is also much easier to feel the present moment and get into that zone where everything around you starts to flow in a way that is unforced and simply comes to you. Music starts to flow and I can feel the ebb and the flow of the rhythm in my body in a way that I was previously unaware. Naturally, this only improves my enjoyment of dance!

I find that my cuban motion became more natural. Spins and turns became easier. Holding my posture and feeling the floor as I glide across it comes easier in standard. Leading becomes more effortless as I become more centered. Overall, my dancing became clearer and the quality of my movement improved dramatically with the help of a consistent yoga practice. No amount of lessons could have helped me achieve and feel these things that I could only give myself thru yoga. While certainly not the only way, yoga is a way to have a sound mind through the body. In many ways, I have never been stronger or had more focus and clarity.

Hope this helps...
Yoga and dance

I have been doing yoga for several months and have found it be very helpful regarding dancing. As others on this discussion have mentioned, it improves balance and strength along with other things already mentioned. I like the balance aspect especially. And doing power yoga, it really helps to build strength in larger muscles.
In addition to this, I also work out regularly in a gym. One thing that I have found very beneficial to build cardiovascular strength (particularly noticeable in the faster dances such as hustle and mambo), is to do fast walking on a treadmill on a regular basis.

It all ties together--the yoga, gym workouts, treadmill, and dancing to improve strength, dexterity, quickness, posture, coordination, and balance.


Well-Known Member
I can't resist!!! Every post in a different color. Is it supposed to mean something? Or is that part of your unique character for df?
I can't help it..... I LOVE yoga. It improved my balance and flexibility, clears my mind, and I've been practicing for 2 years (on/off in college, consistently for the past 4 months). It definitely helps when I have straight legs in Latin and stretched-out posture in Standard..... except I don't find the breathing techniques very useful (inhale one nostril, exhale the other) :?

Taita, you have my applause for your awesome explanation! ^_~
I have been doing yoga for about 6 years now and have found that if I do my balance postures in my shoes, it really helps with my balance on the dance floor!

I have also "created" yoga postures involving my dancing postures to get in touch with how my body is supposed to feel so I can translate it to my dancing.

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