How to do Natarajasana (King Dancer Pose) & its Benefits

A powerful balancing pose that strengthens your legs and engages shoulders, chest and abdomen with a full body stretch. Natarajasana is used in Indian classical dances.

Nata-Dance | Raja-King | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Nut-ah-raj-AHS-anna, Sanskrit- नटराजासन. Natarajasana is also known as Lord of the Dance Pose. Nataraja is another name of Lord Shiva, a dancing avatar. In this avatar, he depicts his art, and love for dance and music. When you do this asana fully and properly, it resembles one of the dancing poses of Lord Shiva.

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Level of Asana: Intermediate with standing backbend (Balancing Pose)

Benefits of King Dancer Pose

  1. This asana helps to improve your digestion and build full body strength.
  2. Strengthens thigh, calf muscles, knees, ankle, hips and spine.
  3. Develops concentration and grace in everyday life.
  4. Opens up your shoulders, chest and hip.
  5. Releases stress, anxiety and calm your mind.
  6. Improves posture and increases the balance of your body.
  7. Stretches shoulders, chest and abdomen.
  8. Increases metabolism and helps to reduce weight.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who are suffering from low blood pressure, insomnia, dizziness or migraines should not practice this pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current ankle or lower back injury.

Steps to do a perfect King Dancer PoseLord of the Dance Pose.JPG

  1. Begin this pose by standing in Tadasana or Mountain Pose with your arms at your sides and feet together.
  2. While shifting your body weight onto your left foot, bend your right knee and bring your right heel toward your right hip.
  3. Bring your right hand down and clasp with your right foot’s inner ankle.
  4. Beginners can wrap a yoga strap around the top of their right foot and then bend their knee to enter into the pose. They can hold onto the strap with their right hand.
  5. Now, draw your knees together.
  6. Bring your left arm overhead and pointing the fingertips toward the sky/ceiling and facing the palm towards the right.
  7. Now, ensure to look at a fixed point in front of you to concentrate and maintain balance.
  8. Ensure that your left knee and toes are facing forward and straight.
  9. When you feel comfortable and flexible, deepen this pose by pressing your right foot away from your body while leaning your torso slightly forward simultaneously.
  10. Continue to reach your left hand’s fingertips up towards the sky/ceiling.
  11. Try to raise your right foot as high as possible and press your tailbone toward the floor.
  12. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable and balanced.
  13. Now, to release, slowly and gently return to your starting position i.e. Tadasana. Relax for few breaths and repeat the same procedure with the opposite side.

Variation

There are two kinds of variation for practising this pose. The advanced pose requires you to hold the raised foot with both hands overhead. The second one requires holding the lifted leg with one hand and the other hand raised forward.Natarajasana.JPG

Beginners might find it difficult to hold on the ankle of the raised leg as shown in the figure. If you face the same challenge, then use a strap. Wrap a yoga strap around the top of your foot and then bend your knee and enter into the pose. Hold onto both ends of the strap with your same side while you stay in this pose. Beginners who are new to this pose should practise standing thigh stretch to gain strength and flexibility. You can also rest your free hand on a wall, chair or any object which is stable to maintain balance.

You can deepen this pose, after gaining strength and flexibility. To enter into the advanced pose, hold your outer ankle with your opposite hand. As shown in the figure, if your left ankle is raised, reach your right hand behind your body and hold onto your left foot’s outer ankle. Now, you can raise your opposite arm forward and higher up.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Keep the following points in mind while practising this pose to gain maximum benefits for your mind, body and soul.

  1. While you enter into this pose fully, keep your gaze fixed on a fixed point in front of you to increase concentration and balance of your body.
  2. Ensure that your knee and the toes of your standing leg are facing forward and straight.
  3. Firm the muscles of your standing leg and resist the calf muscles against the shin. This movement will help to stabilize your lower leg.
  4. Your bent knee shouldn’t splay open to the sides. The neck should be relaxed, reach forward through the crown of your head.
  5. Ensure to keep your movement slow, steady and smooth. Don’t force or push any movement in this pose. This will only reach you in an injured state.
  6. The most important part is to keep breathing throughout the pose and never hold your breath.

You will fall many times during this pose. But, don’t afraid to fall. With every fall and failure, you will learn patience, calmness and a new way to learn and win. Regular practice of this pose will provide you strength to fight challenges in life and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

How to do Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose & its Benefits

A standing Pose that can stretch your legs, challenge your concentration power, patience and boost your balance! We are talking about such a deep stretch pose today. This asana is known as Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, which stretches your hamstrings and strengthens your ankles and leg.

Utthita – Extended | Hasta – Hand | Pada – Foot | Angusta – Big Toe | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as oo-TEE-tah HAHS-tuh pahd-ahng-goosh-TAHS-uh-nah, Sanskrit- उत्थित हस्त पादांगुष्ठासन. Practice warm-up exercises of the whole body before you attempt this pose. This pose involves deep stretch and if you have tight hamstrings then this pose may seem difficult. But, with regular practice and patience, you can master this pose.

Benefits of Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

  • This pose helps to improve your sense of balance, concentration and focus
  • Opens up the hips, arms, and shoulders and stretches the hamstrings
  • Strengthens legs and ankles and makes them strong
  • Releases stress, anxiety, and calms your mind

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who have recent or current low back injury or ankle problem should avoid this pose. It is always advisable to attempt this pose under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

  • Begin in standing position with your feet together and arms at your sides.Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose.JPG
  • Inhale deeply and while you exhale, shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right knee up.
  • Now, bring your right hand to the inside of your leg to touch the big toe.
  • Fold your thumb and hold your big toe with your thumb and middle finger.
  • Ensure that your spine is straight and the upper thigh of the standing leg pressing back.
  • With the continuous inhalation extend your right leg out to the front and straighten as much as possible. Hold there for few breaths.
  • Keep your shoulders back, chest wide open, both hips on the same line and spine straight.
  • Hold there for few breaths, as long as you feel comfortable.
  • To release, draw back your right knee back to your chest and slowly lower your foot to the ground.
  • Relax and repeat the same procedure on the left-hand side.

Variation

Beginners might find it difficult to touch the big toe in initial days. If you are not able to touch the toes of your raised leg, then practice standing knee hug until you gain enough flexibility to practice the full pose. Moreover, you can also use a yoga strap around the ball of your foot to straighten your lifted leg. Hold the strap in that same side hand and straighten your leg to stay in the full pose.

As you gain flexibility and strength in this pose, variations can be practised. You can press the raised foot against the wall or can rest it along the top edge of a chair or table.

For a deeper stretch, when you feel balanced, inhale and bring your extended leg out to the side.

Tips

Ensure to keep your stomach empty before you practice this pose. Have your meals at least four to five hours before you practice this pose so that you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to keep your spine straight throughout the pose. Don’t force your body to master this pose. Instead, use a strap to bring necessary adjustments.

Always remember that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You should always enjoy the journey while being patient and dedicated. This asana involves a mental and physical challenge. You just need a yoga mat and lots of willing power to start this asana!

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

 

How to do Tree Pose

How to do Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) and Benefits

Have you ever struggled while walking on an edge of a kerb or slipped on a mountain during trekking? The regular practice of this pose will help you gain both physical and mental stability to overcome the struggle. Tree pose is a powerful balancing pose which helps to concentrate your mind and balance your body.

Vriksha-Tree | Asana-Pose

Tree Pose is pronounced as vrik-SHAHS-anna, Sanskrit- वृक्षासन. This pose reflects the steady and graceful stance of a tree. This pose requires your eyes to be open in order to maintain the balance and focus your mind.

Benefits of Tree Pose

  • Builds strength in the ankles, calves, and tones the abdominal muscles.
  • A perfect posture to improve your sense of balance and concentration.
  • Strengthens your spine, back and legs.
  • Stretches the thighs, groins, torso, and shoulders.
  • Helps to reduce flat feet and provides relief to those suffering from sciatica
  • The knees become stronger and eyes and ears get strengthened.

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Precautions

If you have any current or recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from a migraine, headache, low blood pressure, dizziness or insomnia should avoid this pose. Those with high blood pressure should not raise their arms above the head in this posture. They can stay in Anjali Mudra at the chest.

Steps to do a perfect Tree Pose

  • Stand erect on your yoga mat and place your arms beside your body.
  • Now, bend your left knee and place the left foot high up on your right thigh. Ensure that the sole of the foot is placed firm and flat on the thigh.

How to do Tree Pose

  • Your right leg needs to be absolutely straight and erect. Take deep breaths and find your balance.
  • Inhale and gently raise your arms over your head and bring them together in a Prayer pose or Anjali Mudra.
  • Look to a certain point in front of you and maintain the balance.
  • Keep your spine straight, take deep breaths and relax your body.
  • After few breaths, gently bring down your arms down from both sides and release the left leg.
  • Relax and repeat the same procedure with the other leg.

Variation

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Initially, it might become hard for the beginners to be steady and maintain the balance. You could practice this pose by holding the support of a wall for balance. Take several deep breaths before and during the practice and gaze towards a certain object in front of you to concentrate and balance your body.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to place your sole of the lifted foot above or below the standing knee, but never beside it. When you place the foot beside the knee, you put pressure on your knee.

Conclusion

This asana is a balancing pose which helps to improve your balance, concentration and nervous system. This pose is more about being mindful irrespective of whatever you are doing. You tend to divert your mind during activities, and this pose helps to focus your mind and body.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!