4 Tips For When Your Body Says “No” to Practicing

The pandemic is slowly creeping on as we enter the last half of 2021… Joy of joys (this is sarcasm)! Whether you are a professional dancer or a hobbyist, sometimes your body will say “NO” to practicing. Our minds may be ready and rearing to go but our bodies just can’t.

Life, stress, jobs, family obligations… lots of that can affect how our bodies respond to activity. And, it’s OK for us to listen to our bodies when they want to just rest. Because if we don’t rest, we increase the risk of injury. That’s why listening to your body is one of the best things we can do for it.

If you are experiencing resistance from your body at practice, check out these tips that apply from head to toe!

#1: Hips

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get tight hips. Maybe my shimmies are small or my figure 8 is just not juicy enough. Before I hurt myself by pushing my body to do what I want it to, I usually take a break. I’ll stretch out my hips, bounce in place, and get a little loosy goosey. I may check my posture as this can affect how well my hips will move in their range of motion.

When all else fails, I’ll slow it down and check it in the mirror. Because what I feel like I’m doing may not be what I’m actually doing. I can see what’s happening and see if I can correct it.

#2: Arms

My biggest problem area is my arms and hands. They protest the most out of all my body parts. This is usually caused by my posture. Depending on your posture, it will make using your arms and hands easier. If you feel tight, take some more time to stretch out this area. Again, slowing the movement down can help you see where the issue is and correcting it.

Another thing I strongly advocate is to cross train your arms. This means doing fitness exercises that increase their endurance and strengthen. I personally like Blogilates or Studio Jibby. for cross training all areas of my body.

#3: Feet

Feet can be a weak area for many people. They are also probably the most tired, depending on how much we stand on them for work and daily life. One huge tip I have is to strengthen your feet and ankles. The stronger they are, the more they will be able to hold you and show up for you when you dance. As you dance, become hyper aware of where your weight is. Then you can correct what issues you notice coming up.

#4: Walk Away for a Bit

When all else fails, walk away from practice. If your body still doesn’t feel like it, then practice can wait another day. We all have days that are less motivating than others. Be kind to yourself and take a break. Try again the next day. Create a nice pre-practice warm up with your favorite music to hype yourself up or drink of water to get in the right mind space.

Remember, practice doesn’t need to be 1 or 2 hours long! Studies have shown that short practices sessions every day do more good for your dance than longer ones spaced throughout the week.

Love what you read? Want to have a quick dance practice to get your motors going right now? Check out my Youtube channel for FREE BELLYDANCE TUTORIALS that you can do anywhere, anytime!

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