WITH Lesa Broadhead
The yoga class at Wilmington Conservatory of Fine Arts is Vinyasa Yoga coordinating yoga poses in specifically designed sequences with breath flow from one pose to the next. This class is open to all, as well as the dancer. In the article How Yoga Can Help You Become a Better Dancer, Grier Cooper outlines the many benefits of yoga aligning body, mind, and spirit. Yoga encourages precision focusing on fine tuning proper alignment building the foundation from the ground up. The standing poses, as well as balancing poses, use the musculature needed for developpés, battements, jumps, adagio, etc. The backbends in yoga will produce a much sought after arabesque. The synchronization of breath in Vinyasa Yoga carries over to dance making the dancer aware of breath, which ultimately will avoid unnecessary and unwanted injuries. Developing an increased inhale and exhale will link breath to the way movement is executed. Twists keep the dancer’s spine pliable, and the gentle pressure to the internal organs from twisting detoxifies. Inversions reverse the blood flow improving a dancer’s circulation. The brain is calmed and restored through relaxation, and this relaxation yields lower heart rate and blood pressure. And if the above benefits aren’t enough, improved patterning and memory retention will be carried over to the dance performance.