8 Yoga Poses Every Dancer Must Do For Better Health

Yoga can help dancers with flexibility, strength, balance, concentration not to mention bringing calmness to the mind. 

Shubhangi Shah
Written by: Shubhangi ShahUpdated at: Oct 15, 2021 09:00 IST
8 Yoga Poses Every Dancer Must Do For Better Health

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A healthy body and mind are crucial for every being. However, for a dancer, for whom the body is the most important tool, it is very crucial that his/her body is strong, agile and flexible. For non-dancers, dancing can be a phenomenal physical activity, but for dancers, they’ve to put in extra effort to maintain an optimal fitness level. And Yoga can help them with it. Not only do Yoga poses help with flexibility and muscle toning, but it also involves specific breathwork, which helps increase the lung capacity and boosts stamina. It also helps with balance and keeps you calm.

Although it must be said that if you are a dancer accustomed to a wide expanse while dancing, the Yoga mat might seem restrictive. But try these poses (‘asanas’) out for their immense benefits, which might help you in your dance routine and improve your overall health.

Tree pose, or Vrikshasana

Tree pose is good for balance

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Here is a step-by-step guide for this pose:

  • Stand with your legs one foot apart and hands on your sides.
  • Next, raise your right leg and place your right foot on the inner left thigh.
  • Press your palms in a ‘namaskar’ and bring it in front of your chest, or extend your arms over head, if possible.
  • Stay in this pose for a few breaths and then switch sides.

A perfect balancing pose, vrikshasana helps with concentration and calming the mind. It also strengthens the legs and opens the hips.

Dancer’s pose, or Natarajasana

Dancer's pose is good for focus

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

What can be better for a dancer than the dancer’s pose? Here is how to do it:

  • Stand straight with your legs hips’ distance apart and hands to your sides.
  • Lean on your left leg and bend your right knee to bring your left foot to touch your left hip.
  • Hold the outside of your left foot with your left palm.
  • Gently raise it so that the right thigh becomes parallel to the floor and the lower leg is parallel to the thigh.
  • With a gentle bend in your spine, bring your left arm parallel to the floor or a little higher.
  • Stay in this pose for a few seconds and repeat on the opposite side. 

Good for balance and concentration, this pose strengthens the feet, knees, legs, shoulders and arms. Not to mention that the chest gets expanded and it makes the back flexible.

Triangle pose, or Trikonasana

Triangle pose is good for hamstrings

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

Here is how you can do the triangle pose:

  • Place your feet 3-4 feet apart and stand straight.
  • Slightly turn your right foot out 90° while your left foot stays the same.
  • Exhale and bend from the hips towards the right, while keeping your back straight.
  • Both your arms should be in one straight line with the right palm towards the floor and the left arm extended in the air.
  • Stay in this pose for a few breaths and repeat the same on the opposite side. 

This pose strengthens your knees, ankles, legs, hips, arms and chest. It is also good for hamstrings, groin, calves and spine.

Chair pose, or Utkatasana

Chair pose is good for legs

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

Here is how you can do the chair pose:

  • Stand straight with your legs hips’ distance apart and hands to your sides.
  • Either extend your arms over head, or join the palms.
  • Start bending your knees till the thighs get almost parallel to the floor. Your torso will slightly tilt forward and both the thighs will be parallel to each other.
  • Stay in this pose for about 30 seconds.

The pose strengthens the hips, legs and the chest gets expanded.

Downward facing dog, or Adho mukha svanasana

Extremely beneficial for various parts of the body, here is how you can do this pose:

  • Come in a tabletop position with your palms under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Place your arms a few inches forward.
  • Tuck your toes and gently rise, with your heels to the ground (if possible) and head facing downward. This pose resembles an inverted ‘V’.
  • Stay here for a few breaths.

This is a strong pose that boosts strength throughout the body, especially the legs, arms, shoulders and feet. This is also a calming pose that relaxes the mind.

Also read: Pre And Post Yoga Workout Routine For Optimal Health Benefits

Upward plank pose, or Purvottanasana

Upward plank is good for the back

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Here is how you can do this pose:

  • Sit straight with your legs extended forward and your arms a few inches behind your hips. Your palms should face forward.
  • Next, bend your knees so that your feet are placed on the floor.
  • Lift your hips off the mat to a point that you come in a reverse table top position with your torso and thighs parallel to the floor.
  • Gently straighten your legs, with your hips still at the same height, your palms pressing down on your floor.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.

A wonderful pose for your arms, shoulders and wrist, this pose strengthens the spine and the back. It is also good for the legs and the feet.

Bridge pose, or Setu bandha sarvangasana

Bridge pose can help with back pain

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

Here’s a step-by-step guide to this pose:

  • Lie flat on your floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, at hip’s distance from each other.
  • Your arms should extend towards your feet and the palms should face downward.
  • Pressing your arms and shoulders onto the floor, gently lift your hips as much as you can and keep your gaze upwards.
  • Stay here for a few breaths.

Extremely beneficial for back muscles, this pose is good for the spine and neck and also gives respite from back pain.

Also read: Simple 15 Minute Yoga Routine For Beginners

Corpse pose, or Shavasana

Corpse pose is a must after a Yoga workout

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

No Yoga practice should conclude without the corpse pose and it is extremely easy to do:

  • Lie on your back with legs apart and your arms to your sides.
  • Close your eyes and breathe gently.
  • Bring complete focus to your breath, clearing the mind of the numerous thoughts.
  • Stay here for a few minutes. 

Along with physical activity, a balanced diet and proper hydration are equally essential. So, try these Yoga poses and watch closely your diet and fluid intake for good health.

Photo Credit: Unsplash, Freepik