Natarajasana is pronounced not-ah-raj-AHS-ana. The term “nata” means dancer; “raja” means king. The dancer’s pose is difficult. It should be practiced well into a session — when your¬†muscles, joints, and emotions are flexible. ¬†Natarajasana is one of the names of Siva, Lord of the Dance, inspirer of great Indian bronze and sculpture. Siva is also considered the source of yoga itself.

 

How To Practice

Begin standing tall in mountain pose (tadasana). Remain standing tall on the left leg while bending the right leg up and behind you, sole of the foot facing upward. Now grab your foot by the toes by reaching the right arm and hand behind you. This will all be made easier by pointing the toes out to your right and pointing the elbow of your right arm outward to the right, as well.

Slowly lift the right leg up and the foot toward your head. Throughout this movement, keep the right hip square and level with the left side of the body. You are essentially forming a circle. The final pose can have both hands holding the right leg behind your head — or the right hand only — while the left arm is pointed straight out in front of you, palm down.

As a balance pose, you will develop more poise and grace than you thought possible — in mind, body, and spirit. The upper body and vertebrae will receive full extension and expansion with this pose. It will also energize you.

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