The downward dog pose in Yoga is one of the central poses that many modern physical yoga practitioners use both as a foundational pose and also as a transitional one. Very often downward dog will be used to build both strength and flexibility for more advanced poses. So when Leandro used parts of the benefits of downward dog to explain how it can help you with a Colgada in Tango, it was a nice feeling for me – here is a Tango maestro who has been in the field for over 20 years and toured the world and performed everywhere using yoga to explain a Tango move – the Yoga4Tango experiment is definitely on!
Colgadas are definitely one of the more advanced of the Tango moves. They need more balance on you own and also a good understanding of the axis that is shared with the partner. Of course once it is understood the same principles can be used in simpler moves enhancing the quality of dancing.
During the technique and intermediate classes, Leandro and Maria broke down the technique elements of a Colgada, how to push the hips back, engaging the core, how the shoulders rest in the back rather than hunching up, the disassociations that can be used, etc. Leandro made an important point though – you’re not going to be able to do a Colgada by just learning the technique, it is about practising it and finding that feeling of balance yourself with every partner. The class was structured starting from simple exercises where each partner understands their part individually and then combining it all together. There is no point writing about it all – you simply have to go to one of the classes this week at LPTA and experience it!
Working on the core theme during the Yoga4Tango class was not very different from what we normally do in the classes, we are quite used to working on the core in any Yoga4Tango class! This week we experimented with starting the foundation from the feet and building a secondary foundation using the core so that the upper body can stay relaxed. There were several poses we could relate to building the foundations for Colgada – Utkatasana (Chair pose), Adho Muka Savasana (Downward Dog), Vrksasana (Tree Pose), etc. As usual it was a fun experience doing Tango and Yoga together – this week especially so after how Leandro related the two together!
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