Natarajasana - The Dancer Pose

At a Glance

Nataraja means King of Dancers ("nata" means "dance" and "raja" means "king"). This refers to Lord Shiva doing the cosmic dance of creation and destruction, which symbolizes the cycle of birth and death. We are part of this dance, this eternal rhythm. Just as Shiva keeps his tranquility in action with his dance, this asana reinforces the inner stillness which can also be achieved in an active stance. It also bestows grace, increases the sense of balance and fosters concentration.

POSE TYPE
Standing pose

POSE CATEGORY
Balancing
Back bending

ORIGIN
Ancient symbol
Dhirendra Brahmachari

SANSKRIT
Natarajasana
नटराजासन

PRONUNCIATION
na-ta-rA-jA-sa-na

TRANSLATION
Nata = Dance(r). Raja = King / Lord
Lord of the Dance Pose

Performance

STARTING
Stand in the middle of the Yoga mat, possibly in front of a stable object (wall, pillar, statue, etc.).

ENTERING
Firm the left leg, bend the right leg backwards, and catch hold of the ankle with the right hand either from the inner side, or from the big toe side.
Extend the right leg upwards, raise the right arm, and arch the spine backward to assume a bow-like shape.
Stretch the left arm forward with the palm facing downward or in Jnana Mudra.
The eyes are open, with the gaze firmly fixed on an imaginary spot at the level of the middle forehead.

RELEASING
Bring the torso back into a vertical position, then release the right leg and come to a stable standing position on both legs with the arms beside the body.

ALTERNATING
Repeat on the opposite side.

Effects

PHYSIOLOGICAL
- Strengthens legs and ankles.
- Stretches thighs, groins, abdomen and shoulders.
- Expands the chest.

ENERGETIC
Activates the Third Eye Chakra and the Navel Chakra.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
- Develops mental concentration.
- Refines the sense of movement.
- Increases the sense of balance.

Contra-Indications

- Knee problems
- Pregnancy: avoid practice after first trimester

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