The connection between dance and yoga
Have you ever felt so in the moment, that time stands completely still? Once you have dance in your body and in your bones, its there for life. No matter what happens, you get this pull when you hear music, you feel instantly excited and equally at home when you walk into a studio, and you daydream about dance. Whether it’s a hobby or a profession, dance is something you were born to do.
For me, dance is incredible because it’s so creative, its passionate, and it requires serious skill and grace. More than that, it brings out the feeling of being alive. You can tell stories with dance. For some dancers, this is plenty! For myself though, I felt like I was lacking a little something… it was hard to describe what exactly, it was just a feeling.
Then I discovered yoga.
Those of you who have practiced yoga, know just how incredible it can be. Like dance, there are moments where you’re in pain or something doesn’t quite work, or you see someone else doing something amazing and you wish you could do that too…but once you continue to practice, you realise that yoga is not a competition. It’s not about being the most flexible or doing handstands or looking the part in your Lululemon clothes. Yoga gives you a chance to really check IN to yourself. To check into not only your body but your mind and your soul. And this is where the magic is. This is what was missing from my dancing! This reconnection back in to myself.
Just as dance can be mostly external, a performance as such, yoga is mostly internal. It’s purely about you. It gives you a chance to step away from the chaos that is life, and just breath in the moment. It gives you a chance to connect back into your heart space, to what is really important.
So. What is the connection? There are so many. On a physical level, yoga can help condition the body for dance. It strengthens, lengthens and builds up your body to enable you to move more freely with more body awareness. Dance gives you the creativity, the fluidity to enhance your yoga practice. You will often hear that yoga is like a dance, and indeed it can be.
But on a deeper level, yoga gives dancers the knowledge of breath, which is so often forgotten in dance training. It teaches dancers to quieten the mind and let go of the drama that often thrives in the dance world. It brings a spiritual element to movement that might not have been there before, and teaches you to connect on a deeper level, both to yourself, your dance partner and your audience.
As a dancer, I can 100% say that yoga has enhanced my dancing tenfold or more. And as a yogi, I can say that dance has improved my yoga practice tenfold or more. I have become more grounded, more fluid, more spiritual and more peaceful. Yoga and dance have been my guiding lights, my therapy you could say to all the drama that is life.