When choosing a side activity, you might want to consider how this activity can benefit your dancing. This way, you’re enjoying doing something else, meeting new people, getting your mind out of your job and yet you’re still improving your craft.
For this yoga is a perfect fit for dancers and we have asked Noémie Djiniadhis, former dancer at Paris Opera Ballet and now yoga instructor, to share with us the benefits of yoga for a ballet dancer. There are many, we decided to highlight five today.
Yoga improves strength and flexibility
The flow and repetition of movement involved in yoga will help you build strength and flexibility, what we typically call mobility. It is the ability, for example, to maintain your leg up high above 130 degrees. A yoga class with a certified teacher will safely develop your flexibility. It is a myth that yoga is only for flexible people, but with yoga practice you’ll become more mobile.
Yoga helps you improve your breathing
Breathing is sometimes overlooked because we breathe naturally and forget to think about it. An efficient breathing pattern is essential to finishing long and challenging allegro combinations. A deep and structured breath will also help you relax and be more centered, which will come handy before going on stage for a big role.
Yoga boosts your energy
Surprisingly maybe, by calming your internal energy and flow of thoughts and triggering the release of these ‘feel good’ chemicals, yoga will help your increase your energy. You will feel light and able to gather all your mental and physical energy for the task at hand. So especially when you feel down and low on energy: take a yoga class to reboot your energy levels.
Yoga enhances your balance
The slow flow of yoga allows you to find the time to optimise your posture and placement, and suddenly you’re surprised to find yourself standing on one leg in a torsion and holding your opposite leg up! By practicing such routine constantly, your body learns the posture and placement required to find and maintain balance. Soon enough you’ll be able to translate those new skills to your dance.
Yoga helps manage stress
One of the greatest benefits of yoga is that you get to spend time focusing on yourself, for yourself, by yourself. There are no external influence coming your way, no judgement, no expectation. Many researches show that yoga supports mental health and stress management. Just what you need to get through the aftermath of the pandemic and make the next season a success for you.
Take a minute to listen to Roxane Stojanov’s reaction and feedback just after finishing a yoga class with Noémie. Roxane Stojanov is a Soloist dancer at Paris Opera Ballet.