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How Yoga Can Help You Become a Better Dancer

Petite Girls Guide

Yoga for dancing

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“All dancers are ultimately on the same quest: to become better, stronger dancers. But in order to reach beyond their limits, many dancers find they need additional training methods besides dance, and yoga is a popular choice.”

“But why?”

“Why is yoga one tool no dancer’s survival kit should be without?”

“Increased body awareness.”

“While all dance classes focus on position and alignment, yoga classes take this one step further. The slower pace of a yoga class naturally allows for greater precision. For example, instead of just putting your feet into a parallel position, you have time to check that the outside edges of your feet line up the with the outside edges of your mat, your weight is equally distributed to all four corners of your feet, your toes are spread wide and your pinky toes are anchored firmly into the floor.”

“By taking the time…

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How Yoga Can Help You Become a Better Dancer

Yoga for dancing

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“All dancers are ultimately on the same quest: to become better, stronger dancers. But in order to reach beyond their limits, many dancers find they need additional training methods besides dance, and yoga is a popular choice.”

“But why?”

“Why is yoga one tool no dancer’s survival kit should be without?”

“Increased body awareness.”

“While all dance classes focus on position and alignment, yoga classes take this one step further. The slower pace of a yoga class naturally allows for greater precision. For example, instead of just putting your feet into a parallel position, you have time to check that the outside edges of your feet line up the with the outside edges of your mat, your weight is equally distributed to all four corners of your feet, your toes are spread wide and your pinky toes are anchored firmly into the floor.”

“By taking the time to fine tune the details of proper alignment (including your pinky toes) you learn to build each pose from the ground up to create a strong foundation, and to stack the joints for greater stability and power. In this way, every movement is conscious and deliberate, a moving meditation. Moving slowly and deliberately allows more opportunity to notice and correct habits that might create issues over time, such as rolling in or out on your ankles as you balance.”

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“Increased strength and flexibility.”

“Many of the standing poses in yoga develop the same muscles that are used for developpés, battements, and jumps, while other poses build strength in areas that are often overlooked. The upper body strength developed from downward dog and handstands is useful during promenades and lifts with a partner. Balancing poses have direct application in center floor (particularly during adagio) and backbends and back strengthening poses such as the locust pose help develop a killer arabesque.”

“Even though dancers are flexible, most of us have certain tight areas. Poses that focus on these areas will help you unlock greater range of movement and since yoga stretches are generally held for longer periods, you get greater results and make the body less prone to injury.”

“Linking breath to movement.”

“One of the most valuable tools you will learn in yoga is breath control. Many dancers haven’t been taught to use the breath to help power certain actions. Even worse, we sometimes forget to breathe at all. Most yoga classes begin with tuning into the breath, focusing on lengthening the inhale and exhale, and working from there to maintain a slow, steady breath through the rest of class. Inhales are used for expanding movements, such as arching your back or lifting a leg, exhales are naturally suited for contracting actions such as stepping into a lunge or bending into a forward fold. Learning to link breath to movement helps you harness the energy of breath and use it to your advantage, which is especially helpful during challenging combinations like big jumps or long adagio sequences where you need extra power.”

“Focused breathing has a few other benefits: it helps to keep your mind from wandering, and serves as a way to measure when you have gone too far past your limits. If it’s too challenging to stay for at least three breaths in a pose then that’s a clear indication you are pushing too hard. Developing this awareness is a way to learn to tune into your body’s pain responses so you can avoid injuries.”

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“Health benefits”

“Aside from the more obvious physical perks, yoga also works on a subtle level that isn’t immediately apparent. Spinal twists, for instance, not only keep the spine pliable, they also put gentle pressure on the internal organs, which has a detoxifying effect on the body. Inversions such as handstands and headstands reverse the blood flow, redistribute blood throughout the body, and improve circulation. This helps the mind feel clearer and calmer and may also ensure a healthier heart and lungs. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.”

“Peace of mind”

“An important component of yoga is taking a break from the chaotic pace of today’s busy world through focusing on the present. Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the here and now; this breath, this pose, this moment. This shifts the balance from your sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight part of the brain) to the parasympathetic nervous system (the calming and restorative part of the brain). It also lowers the heart rate and decreases blood pressure.”

“Yoga practice has also been shown to improve depression and increase serotonin levels. Yoga and meditation build awareness, and the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger and stress and add a little more calm wisdom to your thinking. Yoga poses were originally designed to prepare the body to be able to sit in meditation and many people who practice yoga find they carry the meditative quality of yoga with them throughout the rest of their activities. Some decide to add regular meditation to maintain and grow these peaceful feelings.”

“Become your best self”

“Clearly, the benefits of yoga go beyond the physical; yoga is also a way to soothe the spirit and find peace of mind.”

“Whether you are looking to build strength, improve flexibility and balance, or just recalibrate your brainwaves to a more relaxed state, yoga has a lot to offer dancers. By learning to align your body, mind and spirit on the mat you will bring your best self to your dance.”

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10 Reasons People Who Bend The Rules Have Better Style

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Thought Catalog

1. Being willing to experiment teaches you what works for your body (and your mood).

The fashion industry is going to try to tell you that if you have a certain “body type,” some things are going to look better than others. This doesn’t always hold true, because your body’s type is simply that: a body. Mix and match different trends until you find what you feel your best in. That’s what will make you look your best. One rule does not work for every body of that arbitrary shape every time.

2. At its core, style is about individuality.

Fashion is the thing people send down the runway in patented “looks” — the same looks that are then lobbed in full onto models in glossy magazines, on celebrities in tabloid magazines, and on mannequins that will never actually have the life you actually, y’know, live. Style, on the…

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5 Tips To Become A More Effective Communicator

 

 

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Thought Catalog

image - Flickr / Corey Templeton image – Flickr / Corey Templeton

1. Leverage your identity

In an ideal world, your speech or editorial would be judged on the merits alone. Your identity would not shape the audience’s opinion of what you have to say. But, as you may have guessed, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Identity matters. Effective communicators leverage their identity to amplify their opinion. If you’re a successful executive, people will care about your opinion on how to run a business. If you’re a famous athlete, people will care about your opinion on sports. If you’re attractive, people will care more about what you have to say than if somebody else had said it.

It’s why ESPN hires former athletes and coaches as talking heads. It’s why Sheryl Sandberg can come out with a ghostwritten book and have people give a shit while Erin Callan doesn’t even register in the zeitgeist…

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23 ways to feel better instantly

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Better Bipolar Treatment From A Simple Eye Exam

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What Can an Eye Exam Do For You???

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“One of the many traits of being bipolar is the ability to see the world in a different way. Many might say it is a curse, but it can also be a gift when looked at from a positive perspective. This change in perspective can literally help you to see with greater clarity.”

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IMG_2935.JPG“From early childhood, we have been taking tests to assess our understanding of the world. They have created a world view that places too much importance on passing the test and not enough on learning more about ourselves. In some ways, the tests themselves have gotten in the way of what the goal was in the first place.” 

 

 

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TSA Will Pay You $15,000 If You Can Figure Out How To Make Airport Security Less Shitty

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Thought Catalog

Image - Flickr / indywriter Image – Flickr / indywriter

One of the worst parts of traveling is dealing with airport security lines, amiright? It’s definitely in the top 10 of my least favorite things to do. One time I was on my way to Costa Rica and a TSA agent spent 10 minutes inspecting a box of tampons then deciding he was confiscating them because he said he “didn’t know what they were.” …………

The TSA is well aware people are over their bullshit and so they’re holding a contest that will pay a total of $15,000 to people if they can come up with the best plan to devise a new security line. This is amazing on many levels, mostly because whoever comes up with the idea could make air travel way more awesome for all of us.

They’re asking these potential geniuses to build on the already existing PreCheck program that allows passengers to…

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