All About Yoga For Dancers

Today’s topic is yoga – a great cross-training technique used to lengthen, stretch, and strengthen balanced muscles.  It’s recommended to dancers by many physical therapists, and it is testified by multiple professional dancers and directors.  Let’s learn a little more about what this technique entails.

What does it do?

  • lengthens
  • tones
  • strengthens
  • stretches

How much should I do, and when?

I recommend 20 to 30 minutes in the morning, and maybe a 10-minute cool-down before bedtime if you feel up to it.  I especially love it right after I get out of bed because it wakes up my muscles and gets me moving without being to strenuous or tiring me out.  It also serves as  a meditation session if you will and allows me to relax and set goals for the upcoming day.  The benefits of night-time yoga include being able to get more sleep, and stretching out to reduce soreness the following day.

Yoga during the day is usually strength-building yoga that is more intense (and NOT relaxing).  I typically only recommend this type of training in small doses because it is more designed for non-dancers, and therefore develops some muscles that shouldn’t be overdeveloped for the best ballerina look.  But, regardless, these muscles are still important, just in moderation.  You can do maybe a 20-minute session of this kind of yoga once every week, I’d say.  But, again, it’s up to you.

How can I access it?

I do my yoga in the mornings through the podcast “20 Minute Yoga Sessions from YogaDownload.Com.”  It’s really great and easy to access.  I assume you can also download their podcasts from their website, but I go through the iTunes store to get my podcasts.

(Side note: Podcasts are really good for dancers, there are some notably great ballet podcasts such as Balancing Pointe that are amazing to listen to while stretching!  It’s like audio TV for dancers!  I highly recommend it.)

You can also take classes at a local yoga studio or recreational department.  Online classes are also available at various locations.

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