Improve Your Dancing With Yoga: Vrikshasana – 
Or Why It Makes Sense For Dancers To Climb Trees.

Guest Writer: Lubosch Bublák       Editing And Translation: Kerstin Lange       Photography: Helmut Römhild


Yoga Tree

The dancer as ‘Rocket Man’?
Better not!

It’s thrust which makes a rocket shoot through space.
It’s thrust which will make a dancer hit the floor.

It’s keeping close contact to the ground which makes the dancer glide through space and time:
A dancer needs ground contact, needs to communicate with the floor through the soles of the feet.

Also in yoga ground contact is essential

and contrary to the media attention these stories receive only a discouragingly small number of people ever saw a yogi elevate.

The classical tree posture in yoga is about keeping a swaying or - in this case - dancing body in balance despite adverse conditions, e.g. being scrutinized by tournament judges.

Standing tall, facing the challenges,

not tumbling down like a rotten tree: We need the body – it provides the power to balance on one leg. And we need the mental capacity to be able to concentrate.

The tree posture not only trains the sense of equilibrium but also the mental ability of staying composed even under stress.


Pause for half a minute to breathe calmy – just enjoy it, then start again ...

1st Level

Bring your feet together, shift the body weight on one foot.

Bend your knee so it points outward, put the sole of your foot against the ankle of the supporting leg.

Keep the knee of the supporting leg flexible. Now start to straighten the body: stretch the flanks, bring up the chest, slightly shift your head backwards.

Put the palms together and, facing straight ahead, slowly raise your arms above your head.

Pause for half a minute to breathe calmy – just enjoy it, then start again with your body weight on the other foot.

Yoga Tree Preparation


Lubosch Bublak

Guest Writer: Lubosch Bublák

Yoga teacher, former competition dancer,

Power Yoga In Dancesport.

In a short sequel of articles Lubosch Bublák will introduce yoga postures which are helpful for the competition dancer.
Using these power yoga poses immediately before entering a competition a dancer can harmonize body and mind, make muscles, tendons and joints flexible and strong and considerably reduce stress: only a well-balanced organism can fully use the music’s potential.
photos will show the yoga posture in detail while the text will highlight the important aspects of the yoga exercises.

The 2 yoga teachers demonstrating the yoga poses are Alexa Potrykus and Petra Reiter-Löbbing. They will show additional yoga exercises helpful not only in dancesport.

There is simply no time to fully exercise yoga before a competition starts. But even a brief sequence of yoga poses, easy to go through, giving the final touch to all the other preparations and training will show results as if by magic.

Power Yoga can become an integral part of the training for ballroom dancing.

While going through their yoga exercises 5000 years ago the Indians probably didn’t consider any implications for ballroom dancing, for Slow Waltz or Samba. Nevertheless the competition dancer can benefit from yoga by using a short sequence of yoga postures to raise awareness and concentration.


Yoga poses are demonstrated by Petra Reiter-Löbbing and Alexa Potrykus.

Petra Reiter-Löbbing

Petra Reiter-Löbbing

Yoga teacher (BDY/EYU)

Alexa Potrykus

Alexa Potrykus

Yoga teacher
TSV Glinde von 1930 e.V.

The yoga photos were shot on the premises of Vital Center Wentorf and sportsclub TSV Glinde. We are grateful for the generous support.

Vital Center Wentorf

Vital Center Wentorf e.K.

TSV Glinde e.V.

TSV Glinde von 1930 e.V.

Well, that was beginner’s level but to learn means to start somewhere.

2nd Level

This time place your foot higher against the inner knee of the supporting leg: now the other leg not only bends outward but also ‘opens’ the pelvis.

Yoga Tree Put Palms Together

To find stability put your fingers against your hip bones. Then put your palms together and raise your arms.

Repeat the routine standing on the other foot.

3rd Level: S Level Yoga!

Place your foot high against the supporting leg, touching the inside of your thigh.

The bent leg will now point outward even further, the foot will start to slip downward, bringing you off balance, and making the exercise difficult.

Now you learn why this is a tree, not a rocket. Burning energy like a rocket wouldn’t help. It only works if 2 forces join in harmony:
Stability is the essential part, provided by the supporting leg. While one foot is pressing against the inner thigh of the supporting leg, the supporting leg provides the counter force.

The neutralized forces are the secret of posture and concentration. They make it possible to breathe calmly and deeply.

Again put the palms together and raise the arms. Show composure while facing forward.

Like in nature also this ‘tree’ grows from inside ...

Now, standing in the final position, you will feel the ischium (the bones you sit on) slightly come together developing the power which lets you straighten up ‘naturally’: like in nature also this ‘tree’ (and the dancer) grows from inside.

Inhaling deeply makes your body stretch. It not only feels better to use this technique than trying it with your muscles alone; it is the only way to combine a strong posture with with a flexible midriff.

Inner harmony and a calm, relaxed posture come together in balance.

Dancers who cannot boast a natural sense of equilibrium can fight instability by keeping the eyes on one point.

Yoga Tree Final

Psychology is also part of the game.

If it is impossible to maintain balance the mental well being should be carefully considered.

Psychology is part of the game: Somebody who always has to work hard to concentrate should always look inside to find the root cause.

How do dancers benefit from this yoga position?

The dancer’s legs will become stronger the body will assume a straight, upright posture. But first and foremost the tree exercise will improve the ability to concentrate, to stay balanced even under the eyes of over-critical judges and keep ground contact despite harsh and unfriendly verdicts.

Yoga works – it works the same way dancing works, not bringing imediate results but building success through regular exercise.

In the end there will a visible difference between a dancer who just dances and a dancer who is able to feel the center and through the center is able to communicate not only with the dancing partner but also with the floor.


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Aktualisiert: 03.08.2009