How to do Natrajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose)
‘Nat’ means dancer, and ‘raj’ means king, the natarajasana or the Lord of the dance pose has been inspired by the Hindu god Shiva who is considered as the lord of dance or the King of the Dance. This pose is practised very frequently in the Indian classical dances. The pose of natarajasana convey the idea of being steady and joyful at the centre of your heart without getting affected with the changes happens at the wheel of samsara and the hub.
This is a difficult advanced pose which requires open hips, shoulders, and back-bending ability. Before practising this pose you should work on the flexibility of your back and hip. You may practice the following preparatory poses for desired flexibility: Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana), Bow Pose (Dhanurasana), One Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana), Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana), Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana), Reclining Big Tow Pose (Supta Padangusthasana), Hero Pose (Virasana)
Steps to do Natrajasana
Stand in the tree pose or the tadasana. Inhale and shift your weight to the right leg, now slowly lift your left heel towards your buttock. In the process you may need to put additional pressure on the right leg to ensure your legs are properly balanced.
Now take your left hand behind the raised leg and try to grasp the right ankle, if you cannot, it is ok, keep practising. In case you are able to grasp your ankle, slowly try to pull your left leg further up and simultaneously extend your right hand in front of you. While stretching the hand in the front, join the first finger and thumb in mudra, or simply turn the palm up.
Stay in this pose 20-30 seconds and slowly come back to your starting position. Now, repeat this with the other leg.
It is quite helpful to use the wall support while doing the pose first few times.
You can also use a partner while doing the pose to ensure the required balance.
In case your hands do not reach to the raised leg behind, you can use a strap or rope to tie your raised foot and hold it with the hand.
Once comfortable, you can use both hands to catch the foot that is in the air. This is more advanced version and need to be done carefully.
- Stretch the thighs, groin and the abdomen.
- Stretches the shoulders, chest legs, and ankles.
- Strengthens legs and ankles.
- Improves balance.
- Don’t do it in case you suffer from low blood pressure or shoulder injury.
- Stop doing the pose if you feel dizzy.
- Cramping muscles are a common complaint the beginners have.
[highlight]It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.[/highlight]