Benefits of Yoga
Science is beginning to document the many benefits of practicing yoga. From a physical standpoint (the Asana) offers gains in strength, whole body conditioning along with improvements in flexibility and mobility. The best part of yoga however is the calmness it brings to the mind. Mindfulness can be defined as bringing one's focus to the present moment. It is an opportunity to put aside worries by quietening our thoughts.
Being mindful .... of the mind body connection
So why is it good practice to be mindful? A positive mindset like this creates a positive physical change in the body. This is because our minds and body are always connected; our posture and how we stand is often an outwardly reflection of our thoughts and emotions. By purposefully moving our bodies into yoga postures, we can utilise this mind body connection to affect our emotions. Performing 'chest opening' movements for example, can be confidence building and create an uplifting emotional state.
Dance Connective Philosophy
Educating safely and mindfully
Holding a Bachelor of Behavioural Science degree (Psychology major), I've always been fascinated with the power of the mind. Studying dance when I was young, and then having a career as a dancer however, has made me realise, traditional dance training predominately focuses on the body. We spend hours upon hours in front of the mirror looking at ourselves attempting to perfect technique. The dance industry is also quite competitive and comparative. Physical conditioning classes are a regular at dance studios. Do you have classes that condition the mind? Book a workshop today for your students or teachers to see how it is possible to condition both mind and body simultaneously!
I am PASSIONATE about sharing with dancers the importance of taking time for their MENTAL WELLBEING whilst simultaneously teaching a MULTIFACETED APPROACH TO FLEXIBILITY. My YOGA teacher training along with my own yoga practice has influenced my teaching techniques. Proper DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING, for example, is the only way to completely engage the deep inner core muscles. In forward folding positions (e.g. touching your toes), the CORRECT ALIGNMENT OF THE PELVIS protects the sacroiliac joints. FASCIA contains the proprioceptors which determine how our muscles/joints move … impacting on flexibility. Explicit instruction on these aspects along with a focus on WHOLE BODY TENSION RELEASE and strengthening the MIND BODY CONNECTION are just some of the discussions and practical explorations that occur in my classes.
I take the best parts of yoga and combine them with traditional dance conditioning to bring the BENEFITS OF YOGA to ASPIRING DANCERS. Students leave a class knowing how to independently achieve gains in their mobility, but best of all, give themselves mindful moments.
In essence, a Dance Connective class is about strength, mobility and mindfulness training through a fusion of yoga and dance.
My classes are a dance conditioning class with the addition of specialised yoga instruction. This offers a '2 for 1' scenario ... training the body whilst simultaneously having positive effects on the mind.
Theoretical concepts are covered with a brief anatomy overview so students understand the 'why' of safe dance and strength/mobility exercises (e.g. sacroiliac joint, ligaments of the hip, fascia, spinal column). Once the practical aspect of the class starts, the beginning and end of the session see students spend a few minutes in calming postures that access the 'rest and digest' parasympathetic nervous system. Props such as yoga mats and blocks may be used. Similarly during the class, specific 'chest openers' are performed in the physical body to enhance the emotional state and utilise the mind body connection. Such postures along with a few additional cues breath cues during stretches and flow sequences, allow students to work towards 'mindfulness'.
Ahimsa (meaning non-violence) is a yogic philosophy introduced through cues of 'listen to your body' rather than 'look' at your body. Students are also encouraged to practice Santosha (or contentment) within their own dance journey whilst finding a balance with Tapas (discipline). A DANCE CONNECTIVE class is not a performance, it a time for students to build strength not just physically, but mentally from the inside out.