Session 2-Conditioning Exercises

Bharathanatyam involves a completely mastery of the fine and gross motor skills that are involved with the technique. To get started here are a few exercises that helps one to mentally and physically prepare oneself for the task.

Eye Exercises:

Move your eyes in the following patterns.

1. Right and Left
2. Up and Down
3. Diagonals (R-up, L-down then L-up and R-down)
4. Circle

Neck Exercises:

Move your neck following the instructions below

  1. Right and Left (Nod as in agreement)
  2. Atami (The movement commonly seen in Alarippu and reshiro-bedhas.jpgquires precise movement of the neck muscles)
  3. Up and down(Ref Fig. alongside)
  4. Bird’s neck(Move neck to front and back in short jerky movements). Repeat this movement facing the right , left and front or centre.
  5. Swirl (Rotate , start from down , bend neck to right, back, bend neck to left, down and straight. Repaeat on the other side)

Warm Up Exercises

Here is what renowned dance guru Prof . Sudharani Ragupathy has to say about warm up exercises in Bharathanatyam.”A good warm up is very essential before a Bharatanatyam recital. Stretch exercises help. The most common and easy exercise is touching the toes sideways from a standing position ( with legs stretched apart) and by bending downwards in the front (with feet together). This provides a good stretch for the arms and legs. Full sit, ‘Muzhumandi’ and getting up. Doing the ‘Namaste’ with your hands (joining the palms) behind the back.”Source:( Kutcheribuzz)
1.  Frog Jumps: Squat in the full mandi/full sitting position with your heels up. You weight is balanced on the toes . Now try jumping forward in this squatting position.
2. High Jumps: Relax your body and Jump as high as you can folding at your knees when when you reach the high point. An attempt must be made to touch one’s bottoms with the sole.
We will see some more of the fleibility exercises in our next class. See you there. We will try to post apt photos to make understanding easier.

7 Responses

  1. Dear ma’am,

    These lessons are wonderfully designed and developed. Thank you.

    A small suggestion, if you can upload YouTubes instead of photos, it will help us understand the movements better.

    Anusha Palvannan

  2. Hi Anusha,
    Thanks for your suggestion. This website is basically for teachers to plan their lessons and for students as an learning guide. And it also intented to reach places without a high speed internet connection…. Videos become harder to view then… So I have planned to have small animations put up in You Tube as you may see in most of the sessions…
    Once I get all the adavus loaded up will think of providing videos as an additional resource..
    I have the photos needed for animation for a few other steps, and would then need some models for the rest since I had to move to Malaysia, just hoping that things will work out.

  3. Hi,

    I could not find the session 3 onwards where should i search for that

  4. Dear Madam,
    I would like to ask you if there is a age limit to start learning Bharathanatyam.
    As i would like to continue after a long break due to some family commitments.I would be pleased to have
    your advice and sugestion.

    Thank you,
    Kalaishelvi Ramamurthy.

    Dear Kalaishelvi R,
    Age limit- well lets say it would be more your physiological limits. If its just that you are healthy and within 40, have no problem whatsoever with increased physical activity, do the warm up exercise and start off little by little. May be 5 mins at first and within 2 months to 20 mins , 30 mins in 6 months and >= 1 hour in a year.
    I am not aware how old you are here, underlying physical conditions and your physical fitness as such! Bharathanatyam is vigorous exercise as you realize and it would be prudent to consult a Dr. if you have hypertension, diabetes or are recorvering from surgery. Spondilitis, knee pain and disc prolapse may also require Dr.s inputs. If you feel shortness of breath, be cautious and stop. Otherwise you should be ok.
    But before you begin start off with all flexibility and warm up exercises, especially if you havent been all that active. Walking and yoga will also ease your muscles to cooperate with you when you dance.

  5. Dear Ms Sangeetha,
    thank you for the great advice and will do as you say.


  6. I am learning bharatnatyam locally.
    this is really nice for revision and clarity.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Rajeshree .Joshi.

  7. Dear Sangeetha,

    I needed some quick reference while teaching my students. Thanks for this lesson. It helped a lot. Great work.


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