Nata meaning “dancer”, raja meaning “king”, and asana meaning posture or seat. Nataraja is the name given to the Hindu god Shiva in his form as the cosmic dancer. This asana stretches the upper body, engaging the shoulders, chest and abdomen and develops balance.
This aesthetic stretching and balancing asana is used in Indian classical dance.
Organizing the Pose:-
- Stand in Tadasana
- Bend the right knee and grasp the right ankle with the right hand behind the body. Keep both the knees together and maintain balance.
- Inhale and stretch the left arm up and fix your eye gaze to a point in front of you.
- Slowly raise and lift the right leg backward, as high as comfortable. Don’t twist the right hip and raise the right leg directly behind the body. This is Saral Natrajasana or preparatory dancer’s pose.
- Lower the left arm to the side, lowering the right leg, bringing the knees together, release the left ankle and lower the foot to the floor coming back into Tadasana.
- Bring the lifted thigh parallel to the floor.
- Engage your core and fix the eye gaze to a point in front for balance.
- Hold the upper foot instead of the ankle.
- Bend your supporting leg.
- Stand erect but lean forward.
This asana strengthens the back, shoulders, arms, hips and legs. It helps to develop a sense of balance and coordination and improves concentration.
Thus Natrajasana is a divine heart opening asana which requires us to be stable yet at ease, committed yet not attached and fully engaged yet at peace!
Neelanjana Bharadwaj – Yoga Expert