HATHA YOGA FOR DANCERS
Each workshop day begins with a Hatha Yoga practice led by Jennifer Mann. This practice creates a neutral, more quiet space in which dancers can "arrive" on all levels: physically, mentally and emotionally. Dancers begin by learning how to cultivate an awareness of their breath. This focus improves concentration and helps to clear the mind for a day of learning. A warm up phase follows in which the spine is gently massaged and awakened with movements directly connected with the flow of breath. This flow enters into a "sun salutation": a sequence of dynamic postures that cycle in synchronization with the rhythm of our inhalation and exhalation. They develop strength and increase circulation while preparing the body for a deeper state of stretch and awarenesss.
Every day, a particular group of "Asanas" (yogic postures) are introduced, once the body is warm and the mind alert. Asanas become areas of "active" meditation in which we challenge ourselves to continually direct our attention into the body. For dancers this is important because we are always projecting our energy and focus outwards. It gives us a moment to feel our intrument from the inside. We become more stable, more connected and present. Clear alignment principles help us to fine tune this process in a safe and efficient way. Dancers can expect to have better sense of "center", a larger range of movement, greater flexibility, more balance, strength, focus, stamina and a sense of calm.