When Dancer Pose Doesn’t Dance: Unlocking the Front Body

I see a good deal of masterful postures posted all over social media and many in magazines: some of masterful skill in balance, stamina and focus, and most all of them with certainty need a great deal of hyper-flexibility.

The way I teach yoga now is very different from how I started teaching yoga over twelve years ago; where I was once seeing the posture and the conundrum of how to get a person’s body put into that pose based solely on cues for the pose rather than cues for the person’s body. Long story short, not all postures are created equal and when a person’s body won’t go there (or goes there far too easily) why does that happen? I use to hear people say their backs hurt or they had a pinching in the pose but clueless as to what exactly to do for them, and I know I’m not alone in this arena.

So today I’m here to talk to you about Dancer Pose, a beautiful posture, one of great strength, openness, and let’s not forget flexibility- but often times we end up gaining a false sense of these accomplishments when we cheat in this posture due to learned patters, and an unknowing as to what we are actually doing in the pose and what the true value of the pose is.

Cheat? Yes, I said cheat; when you don’t assess the body properly in a pose it is far too easy to cheat oneself out of the value presented in the pose. And furthermore, by taking the path of least resistance (which I talk about in the video below) you simply avoid the areas that need strengthening and releasing and continue to ask the wrong muscles to do another’s job addition to their own. And when it comes to a pose like dancer:

Dancer + tight front line of the body = funny looking dancer/pain/poor balance

dancer image

So to help you get your Dancer up and dancing, here a few essential tips along with a great video explaining each one plus a few moves to help you along the way:

  1. Understand neutral.
  2. Take a peek at your feet.
  3. Your quad is taking over.
  4. Your body is compensating and you’re not in the pose
  5. Your lower back isn’t to blame.
  6. Hyperplantarflexing of the feet-ouch!
  7. How to help.

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