Yoga Dance Therapy – What Is It And How To Do It?

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Do you have a knack for learning new things? Here I am, yet again, with an all new form of yoga for all those out there who like to sing and dance. Yoga has many distinguished types and forms. It incorporates all aspects like warm ups, poses, breathing exercises and meditation. Sometimes, it has only poses, intense poses or meditation.

Have you ever thought of practicing yoga with dance? Sounds strange, right? This unique type of yoga is known as ‘Dance Yoga’ or ‘Yoga Dance Therapy’. This form is based on practicing asanas/poses in such a way that it appears as if a person is dancing in slow motion. Even the intense asanas are practiced in a slow movement without straining the body parts too much.

Yoga Dance Therapy – Steps to Follow:

Dance Yoga has been inspired by three major types of dance forms – Indian classical dance, ballet dance and contemporary dance. Follow the step by step instructions and the techniques listed below to get started with Dance Yoga at home:

Chandra Namaskara:

  1. Stand straight on a yoga mat and look straight.
  2. Bring your hands in front of your chest and join them in Anjali mudra (join the palms together, fingers pointing towards the ceiling, thumb pressing gently onto the chest)
  3. Release your hands from the mudra, bring them downwards and then side wards, taking them straight to the top. Let these actions happen in a gentle way without giving any kind of stress to your body.
  4. When your hands reach upwards, bring them together again in Anjali mudra. This is also known as the prayer pose.
  5. Stretch your hands upwards. Lift up your body a little and bring it on your toes. This pose is known as ‘Tadasana’ or the ‘mountain pose’.
  6. Bring your body down on your feet.
  7. Keeping your hands joined, gently turn your body towards the right hand side from your waist. Do not stretch your body beyond its capacity.
  8. Bring your body back to the central position.
  9. Now, gently turn your body towards the left hand side for some time and then return back to the centre.
  10. Gently turn your hands and your body backwards. Wait for some time and again return back to the centre.
  11. Turn downwards. Return back to the centre.
There may be slight variations in the intermediate poses of Chandra Namaskara.
 

Without giving a halt to your yoga poses, gently switch on from Chandra Namaskara to the side stretch pose. As you return back to the central position, look straight and continue with the side stretch asana.

Side Stretch Pose:

  1. Stand on the floor and look straight. Position your hands beside the body, palms facing down.
  2. Lift your hands in the upward direction. Stretch your hands upwards, bring them down and interlock them behind your back.
  3. Bend towards your right side until your face reaches your left thigh. Stretch it as much as you can. Do not stretch beyond your capacity.
  4. Lift your body upwards.
  5. Now bend your body towards your right side until your face reaches your left thigh. Stretch it as much as you can.
  6. Return to the normal state.
  7. Relax your body.

As you finish the above pose, softly turn your right leg at a 90 degree angle and continue your yoga dance therapy with the following extended angle pose asana.

Utthita Parsvakonasana:

  1. Stand on the floor straight.
  2. Turn your right leg at an angle of 90 degrees in the outward direction.
  3. Keep the left leg as it is.
  4. Lower your body a little.
  5. Now place your right hand on your right thigh. (Another variation here is the hand can be placed on the feet towards the floor)
  6. Raise your left hand up in the air; stretch it towards the right side from over your head.
  7. Look towards your right side.
  8. Return to the first step. Now turn your left leg at an angle of 90 degrees in the outward direction.
  9. Keep the right leg as it is.
  10. Lower your body. Place your left hand on your left thigh. (Another variation here is the hand can be placed on the feet towards the floor)
  11. Raise your right hand up in the air; stretch it towards the left side from over your head.
  12. Look towards your left side.
  13. Relax.

As you finish with this third asana, Utthita Parsvakonasana, you can continue practicing with other asanas or even start with the first asana and practice it all over again.

Now it’s time for you to step into your shoes and start practicing a bit of Dance Yoga everyday to give that flexibility back to your body. Dance Yoga is an ultimate therapy for the mind and body as it needs a proper co-ordination between both.

Enjoy the benefits of yoga therapy with dance! Happy practicing; happy dancing!

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