Dance poses

Dance poses

Directions:

  • Begin by stretching out your quadriceps. Bend your leg back at the knee and hold your foot with one hand. Keep the other hand out for balance. For a deeper stretch, push your hips forward, trying to get your knees to meet. Hold the stretch for 8 to 10 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
  • Next, stretch your neck. Bring your ear to your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Then sweep your neck in a half circle in front of you.
  • Take a big breath in and raise your arms over your head. To stretch your tricep, hold onto one elbow with the opposite arm and pull down. Repeat with the other arm.
  • Move your feet all the way apart, turning out your toes and going into a deep bend, making sure that your knees are right over your toes. Lift your arms out parallel to the floor. Keep your core tight while pushing your pelvis forward. Take a deep breath and stand up and then back down into a plié. Do little pulses to feel your hips open up and stretch your inner thighs.
  • Hold your body in the plié position and raise your arms over your head. Push up with your legs into a standing position.
  • Inhale, raising your arms over your head. Exhale and bend forward at the waist, bringing your fingers to the floor. Come back up halfway until your back is parallel to the floor.
  • Bring your arms behind you and back in front of you.
  • Go into a Downward Dog position by keeping your feet hip distance apart and bending forward with your hands on the ground in front of you (forming an upside-down V). Stretch your hamstrings by bending one knee forward into your chest. Alternate with the other knee to imitate a running motion.
  • Go back to Downward Dog and bring one foot forward next to your hand. Rise up and lift your arms over your head. Find your balance and hold. To modify, you can place your back knee on the floor.
  • To take this stretch a bit further, grab onto your tricep again to stretch your side. Go back into Downward Dog and repeat on the other side.
  • Inhale again and bring your arms over your head. Bend forward until your back is flat to stretch out your hamstrings. Then bend your knees a little further and bring your hands to the ground.
  • Extend your legs back into Downward Dog. Take a big stretch through your back and arms. Walk your legs back in towards your arms, then roll up nice and slow, one vertebrae at a time.

-Eliza, University of Massachusetts-Amherst