Natarajasana – Dancer Pose (Lord of the Dance Pose)

Dancer Pose - Natarajasana - Lord of the Dance Pose - Fitzabout

Natarajasana, also known as Dancer Pose or Lord of the Dance Pose, is all about beautifully overcoming the challenges that focuses on building ankles and legs while simultaneously stretching your chest, shoulders, abdomen, thighs and groin. This can help improve your balance.

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Beginners of this yoga pose may find it difficult to balance themselves; Do not hesitate to seek wall help for additional assistance. Often, a light touch on a static surface can make your body think that it has another solid point of contact, allowing you to maintain your balance more easily.

Meaning

Natarajasana comprises three Sanskrit terms that signify the posture — Nata + raja + asana:

  1. Nata” = “dancer”
  2. raja” = “lord or king”
  3. asana” = “pose or posture”

Nataraja is, one of the many names of Lord Shiva, also known as the God of Dance and known as Nataraja, hence the pose name is dedicated to him. It is his dance avatar, through which his love for music, dance and art is depicted. Apart from being a yogic pose, it is also performed as a step in the Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam.

Symbolic representation of Nataraja, apart from grace, Shiva also represents the liberation of fear. A physical incarnation of King Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva, the Natarajasana, or Dancer Pose, or Lord of the Dance Pose is a tribute to this powerful deity of destruction. Embracing death as part of the cycle of destruction and even change and development, this yoga pose is a helpful reminder that no one can exist without evil, no birth without death.

In most depictions of King Nataraja, he stands on one leg (hence the shape of the asana), staring at the head of a small dwarf, whose presence represents ignorance. In this way, the Natarajasana – Dancer Pose encourage the consciousness to rise above ignorance, above normal thoughts and misunderstandings that cloud the thought. The balance that comes from the pose awakens the understanding that clarity brings stability.

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Information

Also known as:Dancer Pose, Natarajasana, Lord of the Dance Pose, King Dancer Pose, Dancing Shiva Pose, Utthita Ardha Dhanurasana
Sanskrit name:नटराजासन
IAST:Naṭarājāsana
Pronunciation:na-­ta-­rA-­jA-­sa-­na
Level:Advanced
Total time:10 to 30 seconds
Drishti:Straight ahead, at fingertips
Chakra:Anahata Chakra, Manipura Chakra
Focus:Ankles
Counterposes:Uttanasana, Garudasana, Urdhva prasarita ekapadasana
Preparatory Poses:Downward Dog Pose, Bow pose, One-legged king pigeon pose, Cow Face Pose, Monkey Pose, Reclined Hero Pose, Reclining hand-to-big-toe pose, Wheel pose, Camel Pose, Standing Forward Bend Pose, Warrior Pose III, Warrior Pose I, Hero Pose, Tree Pose
Follow-up poses:Hanumanasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana, Virabhadrasana III, Ardha uttanasana, Bowing yoga mudra, Parasarita Balasana
Indications:Balance, shoulders, chest, groin, abdomen
Contraindications:Vertigo, High blood pressure, Injury to ankle, arm, elbow, knee, low back

Benefits of Natarajasana – Dancer Pose (Lord of the Dance Pose)

This yoga asana talks about the strengthening of the entire muscles from the shoulders and chest to the hips and toes. Most asanas bring almost the same benefits, but in Natarajasana – Dancer Pose, although the benefits are more or less the same as other asanas, the most important here is the lower back bending as well as balance while standing. Extending the leg and curling it is a challenge between the legs and the hip.

Let us go into physical and mental benefits of this yoga pose:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Strengthens the leg muscles and arches of feet
    • Increases lung capacity
    • Opens the chest and shoulders
    • Tones the spine
    • Develops poise
    • Helps reduce menstrual discomfort
  2. Mental Benefits:

Step bby step Natarajasana – Dancer Pose (Lord of the Dance Pose)

Step-1

Start by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand tall and straight with the feet separated enough to feel stable. Establish a solid connection with the ground by shifting the weight distribution so that it is equally divided between the base of the big toes, the base of the little toes, and both left and right sides of your heels.

Step-2

Inhale, balance yourself on the right foot and lift the left foot off the ground by bending the knee and raising the foot toward the rear. Press the top of the right thigh back into the hip joint and raise your kneecap.

Step-3

While keeping the body upright, reach behind the body and grab hold of the outer foot with the left hand. At the same time, raise the pubis toward the abdomen and lower the tailbone toward the ground to avoid shortening the back.

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Step-4

  • Start raising the left foot up and away from the body. Stretch the left thigh away from you until it’s parallel to the ground. At the same time, extend the right arm in front of you, also parallel to the ground.
  • Stay in this position for 10-30 seconds, breathing deeply and steadily.
  • To release yourself from this pose, let go of the foot, bring it back to the ground.

Step-5

  • Return to Tadasana. Stand tall and straight with the feet separated enough to feel stable. Establish a solid connection with the ground by shifting the weight distribution so that it is equally divided between the base of the big toes, the base of the little toes, and both left and right sides of your heels.
  • Repeat this process on the right foot.

Modifying Natarajasana – Dancer Pose

1. Natarajasana with Chair

  • Place a chair with your back in front of you.
  • Place your hand on top of the chair for support.
  • Then, raise the alternate leg while holding the toe by hand.

2. Using yoga strap

  • Place a strap in front of you and bring it to the floor.
  • Place your right foot on it and cross the strap to form a loop around the leg.
  • To raise the leg, pull the strap backwards, grab the strap with both hands and bring the leg back to the head.
  • You can also stand by leaning on the back of the chair to prevent it from falling forward.

3. Against the wall

  • Stand in the tadasana facing the wall retaining an arm’s distance.
  • Raise the right leg up, bend the knee, hold the leg and pull it backwards.
  • Move the left arm forward with the fingers to the wall.
  • Slowly try to increase the distance between the wall and you.
  • Beginners yogis should try this modification to build balance and confidence.

5 variations of Natarajasana – Dancer Pose

1. Saral Natarajasana

  • Stand in Tadasana. Bend your right knee so that the foot comes backwards.
  • Hold the ankle raised with the right hand.
  • Relax as much as possible by pulling the leg behind the body.
  • Move the left hand forward with the thumb and forefinger upward.

2. Natrajasana B

  • After attaining Natarajasana, pull your left arm backwards while keeping the right leg behind the head.
  • Hold the right leg with both hands, pointing both elbows upward.
  • Raising the head upward, pull it forward to relax the leg.
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3. Natrajasana Mermaid Variation

  • With tadasana bend the right knee, move the foot behind the body with the right hand.
  • Bend the right elbow to shift the leg from hand to elbow crook.
  • Lean forward and pull the feet up with the right hand together.
  • Move the left arm forward and bend the left elbow and hold the fingers of the right hand.

4. Natarajasan II

  • Hold the right leg behind the body with the left hand and bend at the knees.
  • Keeping the spine straight, lean forward on your hips.
  • Reach the floor with the fingers of the right hand.

5. Nantum Natarajasana

After placing the right big toe with the right hand behind the body, tilt the right elbow upward.

Contraindications

This yoga asana is considered an advanced level pose and should certainly not be practiced without proper steps by step guidance. Following are the some contraindications that you should keep in mind before performing Natarajasana – Dancer Pose:

  • This type of posture has very few contraindications, meaning that, as it requires tremendous flexibility to move the thighs upward, it brings it parallel to the floor, this is usually only practiced if one’s Has strong legs and strong back. So that anyone can get hurt from anywhere in the body.
  • While lifting your foot and pulling it backward do not twist your corresponding hip.
  • Neither lock nor overbend your knee of the standing leg while holding the pose. Engaging your quadriceps muscles will keep the knee soft.
  • Individuals suffering from a slip disc should avoid it completely. Since a lot of pressure is felt on the lower back.
  • Individual with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome should avoid this posture as the wrist is rotated to hold the toes to bring the feet up high.
  • Avoid this yoga pose at all costs if individuals have low blood pressure.
  • Practitioner could ask the instructor to help gain balance when they begin practicing this yoga pose. It is advised that consult a doctor before practicing this yoga pose.

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Co-founder Anjali Kumari - FITZABOUT

Written by Anjali Kumari. She is a certified yoga instructor, Diploma in Make up, Nails and Beauty, Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning. Anjali is the destination of choice for the latest updates, tips and resources in beauty, health and wellness, and all topics that mean the most to today’s woman. Whether it’s advice from a trusted expert or a DIY tutorial, she has it all. She is passionate and obsessive about science and how it can be applied in daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is the key to achieving good health and beauty. When she is not working, she likes to spend quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and healthy choices for foods to promote good health.