6 Yoga Poses for Dancers

In  India,  the  ancient  life  science  of  Yoga  and  the  art  form of  dance  have  been  intertwined  for  centuries.  The  practice  of Yoga  brings  about  stability,  poise  and  balance  in  body,  mind,  and  spirit.  Similarly,  the  elegant,  highly-refined  classical dance forms of India bring into play the mind, body, and spirit through the medium of artistic gestures, poses and facial expressions all set to scintillating lyrics and music.

Yoga  is  like a  dance,  you  are aware,  the  body,  breath,  and mind  are  united:  it’s  like  a  slow  motion,  moving  from  one pose  to  another”,  says  Gurudev  Sri  Sri  Ravi  Shankar,  highlighting  the  deep  connection  and  the  amazing  similarities between yoga and dance.

It  is  these  proven  transformative  qualities  of  Yoga  that  can  help  dancers  bring  a  new  sparkle  and  added  dimensions  to their performances, their personalities, and their career. Let us explore how dancers can benefit from the practice of Yoga.



Yoga helps a dancer in 8 ways

  1. Yoga is a combination of physical and breathing techniques that help keep the body healthy and the mind calm.
  2. Yoga  tones  the  muscles  and  keeps  joints  flexible –  but  do  incorporate  yoga  practice  into  your  routine  early  enough  in your dance life.
  3. Yoga  asanas  practiced  with  awareness,  teach  a  dancer  to link  breath  and  movement,  which  in  turn  helps  harness  the energy breath gives. The result? Higher energy levels and the stamina needed to perform for long hours, or for executing challenging or energetic dance sequences with more respiratory ease and grace.  And less breathlessness!
  4. Helps  dancers  maintain  their  flexibility  and  focus  and  execute  challenging  sequences  with  more  poise,  resilience  and balance.
  5. Boosts confidence and creativity- qualities essential for performances and when choreographing.
  6. Reduces risks of dance-related injuries and overuse injuries.
  7. Helps deal with pre-concert and/or on-stage nervousness. So does meditation (see below).
  8. Especially helpful if you are getting back to dance after a longish break.

Try Sri Sri Natya yoga and see the difference it makes

6 yoga asanas for dancers:

Let's have a look at a few Yoga postures that can help gain agility in your dance moves. Begin your asana routine with a few gentle body-loosening  exercises like neck rotation, shoulder rotation and ankle rotation. These will help as warm-up exercises and help you do the asanas with more ease.

    Sukshma Yoga


    Few Yoga postures for dancers that can help them gain agility in their dance moves.

    1. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
    2. Utkatasana (Chair pose)
    3. Poorvottanasana (Upward Plank pose)
    4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing Dog pose)
    5. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
    6. Shavasana (Corpse pose)


    1. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

    The Triangle pose aids dancers to strengthen their legs, knees, ankles, arms and chest. It also strengthens and opens the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine. This yoga posture also increases the physical and mental equilibrium and relieves dancers of anxiety, stress and back pain.

    2. Utkatasana (Chair pose)

    The Chair pose exercises the spine, hips and chest muscles. It aidsa in strengthening the lower back and torso. It also tones the thighs, ankles, leg and knee muscles. This yoga posture assists dancers to balance the body and brings determination in the mind.

    3. Poorvottanasana (Upward Plank pose)

    The Upward Plank pose strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders, back and spine. It also stretches the legs and hips. Do not do this asana if you have any back related issues.

    4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing Dog pose)

    The Downward facing Dog pose is a rejuvenating yoga posture that brings strength throughout the body, especially the arms, shoulders, legs and feet. It tones the muscles, increases circulation to the brain, lengthens the spine and strengthens chest muscles. This yoga posture helps dancers calm the mind and also relieves them of fatigue or head ache.

    5. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)

    The Bridge pose strengthens the back muscles and stretches the chest, neck and spine. It also relieves the body of back-ache and calms the brain.

    6. Shavasana (Corpse pose)

    The  Yoga  routine  should  be  ended  by  lying  down  in  Shavasana  (Corpse Pose)  for  a  couple  of  minutes.  It  rejuvenates  the body by bringing it into a deep state of meditative rest.

    Things to do before a performance:

    As a dancer, doing a few rotation exercises and a few stretches, and a couple of rounds of Surya Namaskar will help prepare your body for the performance and give more energy. If you are feeling particularly nervous, practice the Bhramari pranayama and shake off pre-concert nerves.

    Meditation Can Help Dancers:

    I meditate regularly and I find this enhances the creativity in me, both during performances, and when I am choreographing.

    - Uttara Antharjanam, Odissi Dancer and Sri Sri Natya Teacher

    Meditation can also add a new dimension to your performance:

    • Helps  a  dancer  connect  with  her  inner  self,  and  to  a  higher  consciousness  which  in  turn  transforms  the performance.
    • Helps in conveying bhava (emotion) better.
    • Brings out the creativity in choreography, like Yoga.
    • It also helps gain focus and calmness before and during a performance.
    • And, like Yoga, helps you to remain equanimous and deal with ups and downs in life with balance.

    Yoga & meditation will keep alive your passion for dance

    Practicing these asanas with consistency, and supplementing it with meditation, will boost your confidence help you retain mental tranquility, as well as keep you motivated, adaptable and smiling through your dance career.

    When dancers learn to enjoy their own performances, they can take their art to a whole new  level. When  you  integrate Yoga into your routine, you can experience – and enjoy - the difference. And so will your appreciative audiences!

    Yoga  practice helps develop the body and mind,  bringing  many health benefits, but it is not a substitute for medicine. Also, it is important to learn and practice Yoga postures only under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yogateacher. In the case of any medical condition, surgery or pregnancy, practice Yoga postures after consulting a doctor aswell as a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.

    Find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at