How Ballet And Yoga Help Each Other

##What Ballet and Yoga Have in Common
Ballet and yoga are two disciplines that may seem entirely unrelated, but in fact share both similarities and complementary components. Both ballet and yoga are physical practices that are focused on body alignment, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Understanding the similarities between the two practices can help practitioners make the most of their ballet and yoga classes and even combine the two disciplines for a deeper physical and mental practice.

##The Balance Ballet and Yoga Share
The fundamental concepts that both ballet and yoga have in common include postural alignment, strength, and flexibility. A good yoga practice will focus on moving comfortably through postures while maintaining spinal and postural alignment, while a ballet class ensures that the dancer can remain in a certain shape while moving in and out of steps. Good alignment and posture are key to both practices and are a necessary building block for creating fluid movement.

Flexibility is required for both disciplines, although how it is developed and applied differs. Ballet dancers must be able to move and stretch their muscles for the various steps and positions associated with ballet. Yoga postures require the practitioner to move into various shapes and poses. Body awareness and focus are necessary for both for both balancing the body and for stretching to the necessary levels.

The strength element associated with both practices is also an important component. Muscles must be developed and strengthened in order to maintain alignment while performing physical poses and movements. Proper posture and alignment must be maintained while at the same time, the dancer or yogi must be able to move and maintain balance through the spaces created by strength.

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##The Cross-Training Effect
Despite the difference in approach, the physical combination of ballet and yoga can have a significant effect on overall physical athleticism and help to strengthen skills in both disciplines. Ballet and yoga can be used to complement each other in order to further progress in either practice.

##### Combinations that Help Enhance Ballet Technique
* Improving physical alignment
* Strengthening necessary muscles for jumps and lifts
* Increasing flexibility

##### Combinations that Enhance Yoga Technique
* Improving core strength for balancing poses
* Greater hip flexibility for binds and advanced postures
* Improved hamstring flexibility for forward bends

Ballet and yoga both share fundamental elements, including postural alignment, strength, and flexibility. Combining the two practices can help practitioners strengthen their ballet or yoga technique, and develop their overall athleticism. Ultimately, combining ballet and yoga can be a great way to improve overall fitness and health.

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