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Questions about figure 1-6

srothkin
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Questions about figure 1-6

I've just started reading lesson 1. Looking at figure 1-6, two things jump out at me about stretching at the end of dance classes.

1) The top position looks like something we often do seated on the floor (sometimes the instructor will say to use a flat back, and sometimes she will say to round it) though usually with more stretching towards the feet (either straight ahead to both feet or out towards one foot with the legs spread apart).

2) When we get up from the floor after stretching, the instructors will often tell us to stand up slowly, unbending one vertebra at a time with the neck coming last.

Are these practices to be avoided at all costs, or are they ok?

Sophie Rubin
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05/03/2016 - 11:39am

Hi there! 

This rounded-back movement, whether done on the floor or standing, is extremely common in yoga and dance classes. I would say it should be avoided—not perpetuated—because we round our backs all the time at desks and in cars and as a result, the muscles along the spine get stretched out and don't support our backs properly. That leaves us more at risk for injury.

The place you want to be limber is in your hip joints, and you will achieve that flexibility by keeping a flat back during these exercises, not by rounding. The goal is not actually to touch your toes, its to make you more physically capable. The best way that you can make your body more capable is by respecting its natural architecture.

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