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Natarajasana – Lord of the Dance or The Dancer Pose

February 3, 2014

natarajasana

Natarajasana – Dedicated to Shiva, Lord of the Dance or The Dancer.

  •  Begin in Tadasana – feet together or Samasthiti – feet hip distance apart
  • Maintain a firm left leg and bring the toes of the right foot on the mat
  • Bend the right leg taking the right foot behind the thigh and grab the top of the right foot or right ankle with the right hand
  • Maintain a hold on the foot with the hand throughout the pose
  • Align and connect both knees side by side to establish alignment and steadiness
  • On an inhalation move the right heel  / foot away from the right thigh or  buttock by lifting the leg back and away from the body simultaneously straightening the right arm and lifting the left arm up above the head
  • The intention is to bring the right thigh parallel to the floor and the right shin perpendicular to the floor with the right foot pointing upwards
  • Keep the chest as upright as possible
  • Keep the hips square i.e. both hips facing forward as much as is possible
  • The left leg should be as firm and straight as is possible or comfortable
  • Hold for 3 -5 breaths as a beginner and 8 – 10 breaths as a more advanced practitioner
  • To release slowly bring the right arm down releasing the extended right leg back to the starting position and bring the left arm down
  • Return the right  leg to Tadasana
  • Repeat with the left leg raised for the same duration of time. 

Counterpose /  Pratikryasana:

Tadasana, (feet together)

Tadasana

or

Samasthiti, (feet hip distance apart).

–       Both are ideal for beginners.

Or

Ardha Uttanasana

Ardha Uttanasana

or

Uttanasana

Uttanasana holding elbows

–       Ideal for advanced practitioners., (unlock the knees and bend legs if prone to lower back and / or knee issues).

Benefits:

  • Rejuvenates and stretches the spine backwards
  • Stretches, tones and strengthens the leg muscles
  • Strengthens the ankles
  • Stretches and tones the quadricep muscles
  • Stretches and strengthens the arms
  • Opens and expands the chest
  • Invigorating

Natarajasana Male

 Cautions and Modifications:

  • If prone to inner ear ailments, e.g. Vertigo, other balance disorders or flat feet, practice close to a wall for extra support and a sense of security by placing the fingertips or extended hand on the wall
  • Unlock the knee joint of the balancing leg if the stretch proves too strenuous
  • Use a belt around the foot to hold the leg if the stretch is too challenging on the shoulder
  • Avoid the pose if suffered any knee injuries and in early stages of recovery
  • The raised arm can also be in line with the shoulder joint instead of upright
  • Do not raise the one arm if it compromises one’s balance, rather rest the hand on the waist or hip 

Chakra Association:

Svadisthana and Anahata Chakra.

Natarajasana with Chin Mudra

May your practice bless you in every respect! 

Yours in Yoga, 

Juanita.

Juanita Caprari

Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since 2007. jcaprari@mweb.co.za or visit the website www.yogamala.co.za or www.facebook.com/YogaMalaCapeTown

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