The next in our advanced pose series following previous articles on crow pose and the classic handstand, this week we bring you Dancer Pose. One of our favourites, Dancer is an aesthetically beautiful pose.
Also known as 'Lord of the Dance', it’s also a fantastic workout helping to develop balance and lower body strength while stretching the shoulders and opening the chest.
As with all our yoga walkthroughs, we recommend warming up and stretching properly before starting and engaging the core throughout to prevent injury.
1 – Start standing upright
Start in mountain pose, standing tall and facing forward – pick a point in the distance and maintain focus on this throughout the movement.
2 – Breath and lean
Inhale and shift your weight onto your right foot. Spread your toes to create a wide, stable base and keep a slight bend in the supporting knee.
3 – Reach for the horizon
Extend your right hand forward away from you. Keep this arm engaged and horizontal throughout the exercise.
4 - Liftoff
Lift your left foot up behind you towards your buttocks, grabbing your ankle with your left hand. You can grab you ankle on either side - pick whichever feels most natural and comfortable.
If your flexibility is limited, use the strap that comes with your Form mat, wrapping around the left ankle and grabbing this instead of your ankle.
5 – Kick away and tip
Kick your left foot away from you hard, but with control – the harder you push, the better, as this increases stability. As you kick away, hinge at the hips, leaning forward; your left foot should lift automatically.
6 – Square those hips
Square your hips so each side is perpendicular to the direction you are facing. This is important to stop your knee fanning out to one side.
7 - Return to Earth and repeat
Return your left foot slowly to the ground (in the same motion you entered the pose with), then repeat on the other side.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, mix it up with these variants:
Once in dancer pose, move your foot so it is held in position by the crook of your elbow. Reach your horizontal arm back and clasp your back hand, forming an O shape between your arms.
This one requires pretty extreme flexibility! From mermaid pose, reach back with your front arm and grip your foot. Pull your foot forward above your head as you rotate your other arm forming a C shape in front of you, while also gripping your foot alongside your other arm.