Three possible benefits of practicing dance of shiva include:
Physically, dance of shiva uses 8 positions for each arm. These positions strengthen the wrists and shoulders near their ends of range of movement. The movements between the positions further strengthen them.
Because the positions (and movements) are clearly defined, doing them it is easy to detect imbalances between the arms. You can then work towards balancing them.
In this age of smarter devices and the possible advent of AI, learning to learn is more important than ever. (At least that’s what I think.)
Dance of shiva is made up of clearly defined positions that in turn define the movements that connect them. It is thus easy to break down dance of shiva into smaller elements, and it is also easy to recombine movements into larger elements. In terms of learning, the ability to break down dance of shiva and practice little bits at a time is something that we can apply to anything that we want to learn.
One aspect of learning effectively is that you can practice small enough chunks of dance of shiva movements. The idea is to make the chunks small enough that you don’t have to think while practicing. You practice till a movement is learned, then you learn the next bit, then you glue the bits you’ve practiced together. In this way you not only learn the movements, you practice flowing (not thinking while doing) at the same time.
Applying this to learning other things one aspect is learning to create clear definitions so that then you can not only break what you are learning into smaller bits, you can then practice small bits at a time. But make the bit small enough that you don’t have to think while practicing. There may be problems in the chunk you are practicing, but because the chunk is so small you can focus on that single problem.
Creativity is another idea that Dance of Shiva can help with. It started with smooth spiral movements. You could do these movements in a forwards or backwards direction. But by breaking each spiral into four positions each, there is now the possibility of joining points that would otherwise have been missed. The idea of breaking things down into elements creates possibility. It creates.
While practicing dance of shiva, you might start of with forward and backward moves. After a while you exhaust the possibilities. so what is next? You then learn transquarters, joining non-adjacent positions.
Simply put, by creating clearly defined positions the possibility of new movements is created. To create new movements either add more positions or change the positions you are using.
I find myself in my own yoga practice and in my classes constantly coming up with new ways to do the same exercises just because of this idea of clearly defining actions and then choosing how I combine them. And that came from the dance of shiva and practicing different movements and combinations of movements from different clearly defined positions.
As for the idea of breaking things down to learn them, I actually picked that up from learning to paint Chinese characters. However, Dance of Shiva is important in this regard because you don't have to be interested in painting Chinese characters in order to practice breaking things down. Dance of Shiva provides an easy to learn context so that you can practice breaking things down.
Dance of Shiva Cyclic movements have to be repeated four times in order to return to the start. Cyclic movements with one arm include: Forward, Backward, changeForward and changeBackward (F, B, cF, cB).
This set of videos includes basic combinations of these movements: F-F, B-B, F-B, B-F, cF-cF, cB-cB, cF-cB, cB-cF.
It includes 16 videos of 2 minutes or less, each one focusing on one of these movements.
Here's a preview.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
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Serratus Posterior Inferior can be used to help anchor the latissimus dorsai muscle (making it easier to do chin ups for example).
Anatomy for yoga with a focus on Muscles and joints, Muscle control, and proprioception along with concepts for effectively and intelligently using the body.
Having difficulty bending your thoracic spine backwards? Use your Levator Costarum muscles to lift your back ribs. Then use your erector spinae to bend your spine (and ribcage) backwards.
Improve Strength, Flexiblity, Body Awareness. Muscle control is at the heart of all of these.
You can practice scapular control with the arm movements of the dance of shiva. Scapular stabilization and control can be important when trying to bind in yoga poses like Marichyasana A.
Lifting up into eka pada bakasana from marichyasana A with tips on lifting up and balancing while transitioning from the binding yoga pose to the arm balance.
Grabbing a wrist behind your back. Tips for Binding in Marichyasana C.
How to grab your hand behind your back. Tips for binding in Marichyasana A.
Modified Marichyasana B is done with the other leg not in lotus. This pose can still be challenging to bind it, so some tips on how to bind with awareness.
Steps for working towards bound side angle so that you can bind a little more easily.
Tips for working towards binding in Bound Twisting Side Angle Pose.
Steps for Binding in Seated Half Bound Lotus Pose as well as modifications if you can't bind, and actions you can do when you do bind.
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The standing forward bend yoga pose can be used to stretch or strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. It can also be used to stretch and strengthen the calves and as a balance exercise.
Yoga forward bends includes forwards bends for the hips and spine. Forward bends for the hips include both bent and straight straight positions.
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Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
This sequence of seated yoga poses includes lotus and virasana variations, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
These hip flexor stretches open up the fronts of the hips and can be used as a preparation for front to back splits. Bent knee hip stretches can be used to focus on rectus fermoris.