Recently, I had a piano tuner come out to give my piano a much needed tune-up. I also teach music lessons in a store that does repairs, so I constantly see people in and out with various instruments to get pads changed or a sticky key fixed. As a singer and a dancer, I think of my body as my instrument. Unfortunately, I can’t exactly outsource that kind of regular maintenance. Sure, once a year I’ll splurge on a massage, but I use my body way too much to rely solely on a once a year thing.
When I was still young and stupid, I treated my body carelessly without thinking about the implications. Then, I started having soreness in my knee which I later discovered was being caused by tight hamstrings and hips. Much like a beautiful woman got me started dancing, another beautiful woman got me started with yoga. My knees are much better now, and better than that, I am much more conscious about my body and its regular maintenance and upkeep.
Here are a few of my favorite poses for a quick tune up:
- Hero Pose – This pose can be tough on the knees for those who are inexperienced, but there are a lot of ways to modify it. If you have trouble with it, find a good yoga teacher and ask them to help you out. Its a great way to compress and squeeze the hamstrings. It also minimizes the circulation to the legs so that when you come out of the pose the legs get fresh blood and oxygen.
- Legs-Up-the-Wall – In this variation, they place a lot of support under the lower back/hips which creates a nice opening in the chest. Again, this helps the blood drain from the legs to circulate fresh blood into the legs. In a pinch, I’ll use this after hero’s pose to quickly refresh my legs. I can usually stay fresh for another few hours at dance weekends with this trick. Continue reading