1) Marichyasana C
In ballet, we are always externally rotated, and we often externally rotate in other dance styles as well. Stretch your “turn-in” with Marichyasana C. When this posture became part of my daily practice, it was so hard for me to take the bind due to tightness in my turn-out muscles, even after years off from dancing. My ability to “turn-in” had really been affected by all of those years of turning out. To this day, my body still feels so renewed after taking this posture. The twist in the spine is an added bonus and another way of moving that we don’t often get to experience daily as dancers!
2) Inversions and Arm Balances
When I first started practicing yoga, I had no upper body awareness. I had spent so many years focusing on building strength and flexibility in my legs, but I had neglected my entire upper body. Through practicing inversions on a daily basis, my upper body quickly began to build agility and control. Also, when practicing inversions we get to switch up our perspective and give our feet a much-needed break! Just make sure to take your time, never force, and warm-up your wrists when practicing these postures.
As a pre-professional or professional dancer, there is often little time to devote to rest. Just pure rest. No stretching, conditioning, or physical therapy, just rest. Savasana (corpse pose) is traditionally taken as the last posture of the yoga practice. In this posture, we give ourselves a few minutes to reap the benefits of the physical yoga postures, and we practice being still. Savanna just might be the hardest posture of all for dancers, as we are used to working so hard all the time! I encourage all dancers to take savasana, an intentional seated meditation, or quietly sit for at least 5 minutes every day as a reminder that rest is something worth devoting time to…..every day!