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Become A Better Dancer with Yoga

Yoga is a great way for dancers because it builds strength, flexibility, and improves overall mental and physical health.  Just like there are many styles of dances, there are different forms of yoga with different techniques and each serves a specific purpose. Learn more about different types of yoga, and see how yoga can help you improve as a dancer.

 

  1. Bikram yoga is a style of yoga that Bikram Choudhury modified from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized in the early 1970s. Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style which is ideally practiced in a room heated to 40 °C (104 °F) with a humidity of 40%. Bikram focuses on 26 unchanging series of postures designed to rejuvenate the body from head to toe.
  2. Anusara yoga was created by American-born yoga teacher John Friend in 1997. Anusara focuses on alignment, “heart opening” postures, and the spiritual and meditative aspects of hatha yoga. The study of Anusara can be categorized in The Three A’s: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.
  3. Ashtanga yoga was popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century. It is often promoted as a modern-day interpretation of classical Indian yoga. Ashtanga means eight branches, and your physical posture is only one posture. Ashtanga focuses heavily on breathing and employs Vinyāsa.
  4. Hatha yoga techniques can be traced back to the epics and the Pali canon. Hatha yoga has some important principles and practices that are shared with other methods of yoga, such as subtle physiology, dhāraṇā (fixation of the elements), and nādānusandhāna (concentration on the internal sound). It includes disciplines, postures, purification procedures, gestures, breathing, and meditation.
  5. Iyengar yoga is a practice of precision. It puts an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture, and controlled breathing with the use of props. It was developed and named after B.K.S. Iyengar who systematized over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of breathing exercises.
  6. Jivamukti yoga method is a practice of yoga developed by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. Jivamukti focuses on scripture (shastra), devotion (bhakti), nonviolence (ahimsa), music (nada yoga), meditation (dhyana), hatha yoga. Animal rights, veganism, environmentalism, and social activism are also topics of importance in this proprietary method of yoga. This style of yoga has developed a reputation as the style many celebrities choose to study.
  7. Viniyoga is an adaptive, comprehensive, and authentic sequence of the teachings of yoga including asana, pranayama, bandha, sound, chanting, meditation, personal ritual and study of texts. Viniyoga is intended to expand practitioners on many levels: physical, mental, and psycho-spiritual. This yoga practice is intended to bring the individual closer to an authentic and lasting fulfillment.
  8. Sivananda is a non-proprietary practice of hatha yoga in which the training emphasizes preserving health and wellness. The primary areas of focus in Sivananda are proper breathing (pranayama) Exercise (asanas) Relaxation (savasana) Diet (vegetarian) Positive thinking, and meditation (vedanta and dhyana). A typical session lasts 90 minutes.
  9. Restorative yoga is a therapeutic style of yoga which uses props to make it easier for the body to get into certain poses, and thus, surrender to the pose. Restorative yoga sequences typically consist of only five or six poses. Most restorative yoga practices are based on Iyengar yoga techniques.
  10. Prenatal yoga is a form of yoga practice specifically meant to increase strength, flexibility, and mental health in pregnant women. This type of yoga can help maintain a healthy mind and body throughout the varying stages of pregnancy. It is proven to decrease back pain, decrease nausea, and reduce the risk of preterm labor.
  11. Kundalini is a school of yoga that is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It got its name to emphasize on awakening kundalini energy through the daily practice of meditation, breathing exercises, chanting a mantra, and yoga asana. It aims to cultivate better, more ethical practices in daily human life.
  12. Kripalu is a form of Hatha yoga using inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breathwork, and relaxation. It stresses the importance of following the flow of life-force energy, compassionate self-acceptance, observing the activity of the mind without judgment, and taking what is learned into daily life. Kripalu is a relatively new form of yoga.
  13. Yin yoga is a slow-paced sequence of meditative postures intended to apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body and provide a stretch. The aim of Yin yoga is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility while achieving a greater awareness of self. Advanced practitioners may stay in their poses for up to five minutes.
  14. Vinyasa yoga is a flowing, dynamic sequence of poses that create a continuous and require not only balance but strength. This yoga is connected to breathing which symbolizes that yoga transitions are embodied as linkages within and between asana. Power Vinyasa is based on the objective of becoming more fit through practice.