Natarajasana steps and sequence for your daily yoga practice
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
What is Natarajasana and its significance?
This pose name can be broken down as Natya- Dance, Raja – King, and Asana is Posture.
The Natarajasana is dedicated to lord shiva and in India, there's a classical form of dance called Bharatanatyam in which lord nataraja or shiva is worshipped before the start of the session. The natarajasana posture looks like a step of classical dance.
Siva is also known as lord of mystical stillness, death, and destruction. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that shiva would dance in his abode called the Himalayas the northern part of India.
Lord Shiva has created over a hundred dances, some calm and gentle, others fierce and terrible. The most terrible is popularly called shiva tandava, the cosmic dance in which shiva, full of fury at his father-in-law Daksha for being the reason for the death of shivas beloved spouse sati.
The idol of Lord Nataraj is common in Indian households especially in places where bharathanatyam is practiced and this idol is usually made of bronze.
The asana practice requires different abilities to balance, focus, and at the same time be flexible. This posture demands strong balance, a flexible spine to bear the back bending, and a good range of motion in shoulders which can be mastered with time and regular practice.
How to do Natarajasana:
Like all the standing posture we must start doing this by standing in Tadasana which is also called Mountain Pose.
1. First the focus must be on the feet and slowly lift your right leg by bending at the knee and the foot is off the floor. Stretch the left arm out in front keeping it parallel to the floor.
2. Hold the right ankle firmly with the right hand, slowly bend the right knee and draw the leg up and back.
3. The right leg is again pulled with the right hand so that they form a bow shape behind the back. The right thigh is parallel to the floor and the shin is vertical.
4. Bring the left arm straight in front in line with the shoulder and the fingers must be pointing forward.
5. Pull the knee cap and keep the left leg stiff as a poker.
6. Balance here firmly for about 15 to 20 seconds and breathing deeper and evenly.
7. Release the grip on the right foot, lower both arms and stand again in tadasana.
8. Repeat the sequence from 1 to 7 on the other side lifting the left leg up and balancing on the right leg. Hold the posture for an equal length of time.
5 Awesome Benefits of Natarajasana:
1. This pose while shifting the weight and holding on one leg makes it strong and toned.
2. It brings emotional stability and improves the concentration level.
3. The shoulders are stretched and the lungs open up while attempting to bring the other leg in bow shape.
4. This pose strengthens the glute muscles.
5. The core strength is improved hence this can be recommended to dancers, people who are active in sports.
Modification and props:
Though this is thought of as a fundamental yoga posture in many yoga schools like Bikram yoga, this may be difficult for beginners who lack strength and flexibility. It is advised first to do the sun salutation and other standing asanas to develop strength and flexibility.
Initially, a yoga strap can be used which can be tied around ankles and used as a prop.
Advanced pupils may hold the foot with both hands, rest it on the head, and balance.
Contraindication of this Pose:
• The pose requires immense concentration, hence a beginner can practice against the wall to avoid falling.
• People who have intense back pain must avoid this posture or perform only after recovery of pain.
• Those who have undergone surgeries in knee or ankles or any part of the body engaged in performing this posture must avoid and can attempt only after consulting a trained yoga teacher.
• Avoid this posture if you are suffering from severe arthritis.
I have given 5 postures as preparation for getting proficient in Natarajasana.
This posture requires strength in leg muscles and core along with flexibility in shoulders, hence practicing the following preparatory poses will help.
Also one must not ignore that concentration too is vital.
• Vrkshasana: This is a simple posture that requires balancing on one leg while the other leg foot is rested on balancing leg inner thighs.
• Tadasana: This posture improves focus level which is of prime importance for practicing Nataraj asana.
• Virabhadrasana 3: This asana tones the leg muscles and also improves the core strength.
• Anjeneyasana: This helps to increase flexibility in the quadriceps. The quadriceps must be flexible to make a bow shape while performing dancing king pose.
• Dhanurasana: Dhanur in Sanskrit is called bow and asana is posture. This pose brings flexibility in shoulders.
The regular practice and patience are the two major ingredients to do this posture. Do your practice and all is coming.