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
- This asana helps to improve your digestion and build full body strength.
- Strengthens thigh, calf muscles, knees, ankle, hips and spine.
- Develops concentration and grace in everyday life.
- Opens up your shoulders, chest and hip.
- Releases stress, anxiety and calm your mind.
- Improves posture and increases the balance of your body.
- Stretches shoulders, chest and abdomen.
- Increases metabolism and helps to reduce weight.
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 Pose
- Begin this pose by standing in Tadasana or Mountain Pose with your arms at your sides and feet together.
- While shifting your body weight onto your left foot, bend your right knee and bring your right heel toward your right hip.
- Bring your right hand down and clasp with your right foot’s inner ankle.
- 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.
- Now, draw your knees together.
- Bring your left arm overhead and pointing the fingertips toward the sky/ceiling and facing the palm towards the right.
- Now, ensure to look at a fixed point in front of you to concentrate and maintain balance.
- Ensure that your left knee and toes are facing forward and straight.
- 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.
- Continue to reach your left hand’s fingertips up towards the sky/ceiling.
- Try to raise your right foot as high as possible and press your tailbone toward the floor.
- Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable and balanced.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Ensure that your knee and the toes of your standing leg are facing forward and straight.
- Firm the muscles of your standing leg and resist the calf muscles against the shin. This movement will help to stabilize your lower leg.
- Your bent knee shouldn’t splay open to the sides. The neck should be relaxed, reach forward through the crown of your head.
- 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.
- 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!