Nalini Method

Most dancers are familiar with basic exercises like squats, planks and push-ups. But the Nalini Method—a style inspired by yoga, pilates and resistance training—offers new, challenging variations on each. Used by both dancers and non-dancers, the method is known for increasing allover strength while developing long, lean muscles. It also promises to enhance flexibility, reinforce your core and improve posture. Here Rupa Mehta, creator of the technique shares three Nalini moves with DS.


Power Push-Ups




Lower your body into a push-up position with your knees bent onto the floor. Your hands should be flat, placed slightly wider than your shoulders.









Slowly lower your body all the way to the floor. Tip: Keep focus between your hands.









Push back up about half way, then lower back down to the floor.









Finally, push all the way up. Repeat 10 times and follow with 10 standard push-ups (all the way down to the floor and all the way back up).



Why this is good for you: The extra contraction challenges your chest muscles.



Squats in Second



Start with your feet turned out in a wide second position, and place your right hand on a barre or a chair back. Bend your knees and sink your hips down into a grand plié (your pelvis should be in line with the knees). Lean back slightly and lift your chest. From the lowered position, raise your pelvis up about one inch, then lower. Repeat 20 times with a 10-second hold at the end.




Tip: Keep your shoulder blades back and down.


Tip: Engage your abs.


Tip: Stay grounded.


Why this is good for you: Mini squats target your butt and thighs.










Plank Plus




Get into a standard plank pose with your weight on your forearms and feet. Hold the position for 20 seconds.










Push your hips to the right, back to center, then left and back to center. Repeat the movement 20 times.







Tip: Keep your focus down, slightly in front of your hands.



Tip: Keep your hips aligned with your body in plank position.



Tip: Remember to breathe.



Why this is good for you: This move works your entire core at once.




Model and consultant: Rupa Mehta


Rupa Mehta is the creator of the Nalini Method. Her studio is located in NYC.



Go to to see Rupa demonstrate these moves.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search