Natarajasana or the ‘lord of the dance’ is an ancient posture which is indicative of a place of perfect poise and balance.
It is a graceful and elegant posture which helps us to connect to those qualities within us.While at a deeper level, this posture connects us to the energy of Shiva. Shiva, in ancient Hindu mythology, relates to the qualities of letting go – of completion and fulfilment.
With autumn nearby, this posture is perfect to help us ‘tune in’ to the rhythm of the earth as it begins it’s autumnal cycle, ready for the quietness of winter before once again bursting to life with the warmth of spring.
“In the midst of movement we find stillness and peace – the Dru point.”
Physically this posture helps to strengthen the legs and stretch the quads and iliopsoas muscle. The pectoral and shoulder muscles are stretched as the chest opens. Balance is also improved. Mentally, this posture helps with the qualities of concentration and clarity.
As this is a balancing posture, you may feel more confident with a chair, or wall to keep you stable. Also if you have knee problems, please go gently.
This posture takes your body into a very strong stretch, especially around the quads and iliopsoas, therefore it is very important to prepare for this posture by doing some extended runner positions (as in the sun sequence). Also please do some general body movements, such as activations or Energy Block Release 1 to ensure the body is well prepared.
How to do this posture?
Stand in the mountain posture.
Breathe deeply and engage your core muscles. Place your left palm on the left thigh. Bend the right elbow, so the back of the right hand comes toward the right shoulder, at the same time raise the left thigh, bending at the knee.
Keep your left hand in contact with the leg and slide the left hand down the leg to the ankle and take hold of the left foot with the left hand. Slowly raise the left leg out behind you and reach forward with the right arm.
Be aware not to extend the left leg so far back that it becomes uncomfortable and do not twist the pelvis – imagine headlights on the hip bones – and both of them still facing to the front.
To come out of the posture bring the knees closer together and slide your left hand up the left leg and the knee comes forward, simultaneously drawing in the right arm. Lower the left foot to the floor as you lower your arms. Repeat on the other side.
This posture represents the dance of nature itself. The whole power of Natarajasana comes from the very centre of your being. It begins and ends from a place of stillness. If you find yourself stuck in a particular emotion or situation, you can practice this posture facing the rising or setting sun or moon. It will assist the letting go process. This posture works really well when performed outside.