Importance of yoga for Pole Dancers
I was fortunate enough to grow up with yoga being a way of life, however I was also not particularly fond of it. As a child I did not understand its importance. I went thru the practice mostly because it was expected and required. As a pole dancer and pole instructor over the years I have realized the immense importance of yoga especially for pole dancers. So many aerial yoga students state that their body needs it, their body craves it.
The main benefits for anyone practicing yoga are learning how to breathe, increased flexibility and strength as well as balance and coordination. I can not tell you how many times I have made students realize that they were holding their breath while learning a new pole move. Everyone does it, because our mind is so focussed on performing that we forget to breathe, Practicing yoga slowly helps us understand our breath, and how it allows us to flow effortlessly through life. Practicing yoga teaches us to focus on our breath, our prana, our life force.. Holding your breathe instead of breathing through the entrance into a pole move hinders your ability to even do it. In our classes you will hear your instructors reminding you to breathe. You would think that is an easy fix to do on your own but it takes practice. Something done repetitively, is something that becomes second nature and yoga focuses on breathing in each and every class.
We all know the importance of Flexibility for pole skills ; yoga has a way of moving you into poses that are beneficial not only for your flexibility but also your strength. A very simple example of this is Sun Salutations and Moon Salutations. We close our feminine divine flow with Moon Salutations with calm settling breaths and our warm-ups have variations of Sun salutations. Sun Salutations are a whole body toning and conditioning and each move has a breath associated with it, which becomes rhythmic almost like a dance within you.
One of the biggest challenges in any sport including pole dance is coordination. Coordination is a key component in pole and any time you can practice slow, methodical movement such as yoga, it will help greatly. Coordination is a skill that is learned through practice. It isn’t built into the DNA for some people and not others. The actual definition of coordination is ‘the ability to use different parts of the body smoothly and efficiently’. This skill cannot be more important than in pole. When we work on pole combinations, recognizing unnecessary movements are key to smoother moves and transitions. Yoga is about thoughtful, efficient movement. It’s about flow and transitions involving breath in a very intimate way, exactly what we strive to achieve in pole.
Balance is key, inside and out. Looking at some yoga poses we have all had a thought of tipping over 🙂 but we also know practice makes everything better. The most significant outcome of practicing yoga is mind body connection and at a deeper level with your soul.
If you have taken a class with me I have always equated pole dance with meditation. Even if it is for a few seconds we are completely immersed in learning a move with our full attention with our mind body and soul in that moment. Life today is go go go, and sometimes we tend to bring the same to our pole practice too. The release, calm and relaxation a yoga practice brings is much needed.
If you haven’t tried it before, or if you tried it a long time ago, try it again. I am a big believer in yoga, especially for us. It’s no coincidence that we offer it at our studio. It compliments everything we do as pole dancers and it will help you get to the next level.
Love and Light Always