Dancer Pose The Chromatic WaynatarajasanaDANCER POSE Dancer Pose is the kind of posture that embodies both grace and strength simultaneously. In order to integrate these two things into your practice of this posture, there are quite a number of pieces of the puzzle...
Dancer Pose is the kind of posture that embodies both grace and strength simultaneously. In order to integrate these two things into your practice of this posture, there are quite a number of pieces of the puzzle to consider. You might argue that the “grace” portion comes from its heart opening shape, while the strength comes from all that goes into finding balance even though there are other components that comprise both. The journey of discovering these elements becomes quite profound and rewarding when you follow Matt’s Chromatic approach. In today’s video, you’ll witness techniques that support your development, but more importantly you’ll observe how the “chromatic way” is implemented in order to create deeper awareness and transformation. Dancer pose, along with other “preparatory postures” become more accessible in your practice.
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WHAT IS CHROMATIC YOGA?
Before we look at dancer pose, let’s delve into what chromatic yoga actually means. “Chromatic Yoga is a systematic approach to teaching that provides a highly intentional and purposeful experience for students to cultivate awareness of their body and mind.” (Extracted from Matt’s 300 Hr. Teacher Training).
What does this look like in your physical yoga practice? In a well developed class/practice you’ll start with laying a foundation. This can be done by focusing on a couple of specific actions in some “foundational postures” and/or shapes. This sets the stage and prepares your body for a “peak posture”. Each movement is executed with specific intention. Remaining focused on these intentions helps you to create more awareness of how you move and where you may need to add or edit a particular action. Everything is broken down, simplified, and repeated to support you in realizing your fullest potential.
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DANCER POSE: THE CHROMATIC WAY
Dancer pose is a heart opener and a balance posture all-in-one. Creating the shape of a heart opener requires that you create the action of retracting the scapula, which when done with effort, will activate the rhomboids and lower trapezius. Matt demonstrates how to pattern this activation in Upward Facing Dog. In today’s video, you’ll see that after retracting your scapula, and externally rotating the humerus on each side, you create more space for your chest to move forward. When you lift your rib cage up and out, you create more length and opening in your front body. These are all key actions to start with in order to find more heart space in dancer pose. This patterning continues in Twisted Monkey & Tiger Pose. What you also see are the necessary actions in the pelvis and the activations that promote the lengthening required in the hip flexors and quadriceps.
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DANCER POSE AT THE WALL
If you’ve worked through these progressions, your body is more physically prepared for the next steps. This variation of dancer pose is great, because if you want to spend time being more focused on the backbend and the movement of the pelvis, this reduces the effort required to stay balanced. Here, Matt demonstrates the “dance” (pun intended) between the movement of the pelvis (more anterior tilt) which assists in lifting the back leg further up and opening the pectoralis major along with the action of increased external rotation from the shoulder. After tipping forward with more anterior tilt, Matt then advises you to lift your chest up on an inhale in order to expand through your front body. Going back and forth with these actions ultimately promotes greater opening all together. Activation of the quadriceps and hip flexors are continued by pressing your foot into your hand and vice versa.
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