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Yoga Flexibility Training

Jun 12, 2008
Do gymnasts and dancers need yoga?

Yoga improves the flexibility of the body by improving the range of motion. There are various types of yoga, each having its own focus area. E.g. Hatha yoga has proved to positively increase the muscle movement i.e. the flexibility. Yin yoga helps to move the flexibility from muscle tissue to connective tissue which is very beneficial.

We can say that yoga and dance are somewhat similar- both include movements as well as poses or postures. The difference is that yoga focuses on the physical as well as the mental aspect whereas dance stresses only on the external aspect. We can say that a dancer may look good but a yogi may feel good.

Hence, regular dance practice may improve the flexibility of the body externally but, to achieve a complete development of flexibility dancers should opt for yoga exercises. Adding yoga exercises to regular dance practice has been found to increase flexibility, improve stage performance and decrease stress levels and improve mental fitness in dancers.

Choosing the right yoga technique is very essential for a dancer. Those who focus on the joints and muscles may opt for kundalini yoga whereas for strength and endurance athanga yoga style may be chosen.

Gymnasts need to have a lot of stamina, physical as well as mental fitness and flexibility as well. Though by a gymnast can achieve flexibility by regular training but, similar to dancers, the flexibility is only external. For a complete physical and mental development, all gymnasts should practice yoga.

An essential part of the workout of professional gymnasts is yoga stretching. The flexibility requirement of the body can easily be achieved by a proper yoga workout. Gymnasts need to constantly challenge their bodies by holding their bodies in stretched positions for longer periods and stretching more and more every day. It is advisable that they do this under the guidance of a certified yoga trainer.

Benefits of yoga over dance and gymnastics:

* Yoga helps to improve the mental functioning
* Improves lung capacity therefore higher level of energy is seen
* Helps to reduce stress
* Help in maintaining the balance in dances like ballet dancing etc
* Helps improve stamina
* Boosts immunity
* A few poses for flexibility are as below:

Tadasana - Stand straight with your feet together and hands at your side. Now slowly raise both your hands upwards, fingers pointing towards the sky. Now slowly raise your heels as much as you can and stand on your toes. Repeat 3-4 times.

Trikonasana - Stand straight with your legs apart. Now slowly raise both your hands on each side so that they are parallel to the shoulder. Bend towards the right side such that the index finger of your right hand touches the right toe. Simultaneously, your left hand should go upwards. Return to normal position and repeat with the other side.

Similarly one can try poses like Bhujangasana, Shirshasana, Sarvangasana to gain flexibility, strength and power in your body.
About the Author
Double your flexibility in 28 days using YOGABODY Naturals Flexibility Kit. Stretching Exercises & yoga poses are not enough... you need Gravity Poses and 6 specific nutrients to improve your stretching flexibility fast! www.yogabodynaturals.com
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