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Dancers Yoga Pose – Natarajasana

dancers-pose-shiva-natarajasana

Natarajasana

[not-ah-raj-AHS-anna]

Nata means dance. Raja means King.
Nataraja is the name Shiva dons in his role as the Cosmic Dancer. This dance of Shiva is called ‘Anandatandava’, meaning Dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death.
Nataraja is depicted as a famous statue called the Ananda Natanam. In it, Shiva is dancing through a ring of flames, lifting his left leg and balancing over a demon or dwarf who symbolizes ignorance. His dancing represents all movement and vibration in the universe as well as the primal creative force that is beyond the circle of illusion most mortals live within. As Nataraja dances, he creates the universe and then dissolves it at the end of each cosmic era by playing his drum.

Benefits of Dancers Pose

  • Provides a powerful stretch for the front side of the body, especially the pectoralis muscle in the chest, the psoas and the quadriceps.
  • Teaches us how to maintain grace and poise while facing a challenge.
  • Improves balance and strengthens the nervous system.
  • The lifting of the chest expands the intercostal area and allows for healthier breathing patterns.

Contraindications

  • Recent Back injuries or pain.
  • Spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.
  • Vertigo or other balance related issues.

Step-by-Step

  • Stand with your toes touching and your heels half an inch apart.
  • Allow your legs to pull you back into Downward Facing Dog pose. Keep your knees bent and stay on the balls of your feet, focusing on lengthening in the waist.
  • Spread and lift your toes.
  • Relax them down and feel all four corners of each foot come into contact with the earth.
  • Feel a gentle pressure across the entire ball of the foot.
  • Maintain this activation of the feet as you gently release your toes onto the mat. Lift the right foot and grab onto the top of the foot with your right hand.
  • Bring your lifted heel toward your right gluteal muscle.
  • Make sure your hips are level and lengthen through your waist.
  • Press the top of the right foot into your hand and press back with your right leg, allowing the torso to come forward naturally.
  • Make sure the right knee does not come out to the side like a chicken wing as this can cause compression in your lower back on the right side and pinch the nerves.
  • Bring your left arm forward with the palm facing up, keeping the upper arm bone snug in the shoulder socket and your shoulders level.
  • Bring your left arm forward with the palm facing up, keeping the upper arm bone snug in the shoulder socket and your shoulders level.
  • Imagine your body is a bow with the back leg holding most of the tension and acting as a balance for the momentum of the torso moving forward.
  • Ensure that your nose is in line with your bellybutton and your chin is parallel to the earth.
  • Feel space between each and every vertebra. Allow each inhale to expand these spaces a little more. This brings the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical curves into a healthier extension that utilizes the deeper spinal muscles.
  • The knee joint of the standing leg is extended, but be sure not to hyper extend the knee. For someone experiencing knee pain in the standing leg, suggest a small micro-bend in the standing leg.
  • Release your arms and lower your foot to the ground.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses

dancers pose natarajasana hands on