How to do Natarajasana / Lord of the Dance Pose: Benefits
Yoga provides you a healthy and well toned body and also a good posture. By practicing yoga daily you can keep yourself energetic and in good condition throughout the day. Yoga asanas consists of various types and may be classified into basic asanas, intermediate asanas and advanced asanas. Natarajasana or dancers pose is an intermediate asana. The name Natarajasana is derived from Sanskrit word, in which “Nata’ means ‘dancer’ and ‘raja’’ means ‘king’.’Asana’ means ‘pose’. Natarajasana is a pose that is inspired by the Hindu God Lord Shiva. Shiva is also known by the name Nataraj and is respected as the lord of dance. The Natarajasana is to be done gracefully, as a dance, for getting the maximum benefit out of it.
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Steps to do Lord of the Dance Pose:
- Stand on the ground in Tadasana pose or tree pose. Now you have to take in a deep breath and shift your weight to the left foot, so that the maximum weight of your body is supported by your left leg. Bend your right knee and lift your right heel towards your buttock. Try to keep your left leg straight. Put additional pressure on your on your left leg, thigh, knees and the hip so that your body is well balanced.
- Next you have to move your right hand behind your raised leg and try to grasp the right ankle with your right hand. As you do this, lift your hip and the pubic area so that you can avoid additional strain on your body.
- After grasping the ankle with your right hand, try to pull your right leg further up. Stretch and extend your left hand in front of you. You can also spread your fingers if you wish so.
- Remain in this position for 20 to 30 seconds and then you can slowly come back to your original position.
- Once you get back to the starting position, you can repeat the same steps with your other leg.
- Repeat this asana 5 times daily.
If you are beginner doing this pose, you must remember to keep your left ankle flexible, which means that you must draw the top of the foot towards the shin. This is because you can avoid cramps in the thigh muscles by keeping your left ankle flexible. As you know, beginners are very prone to cramping of muscles.
Natarajasana Caution or Contraindications:
This asana does not have many contraindications. But you have to keep in mind certain points when you do this asana. In the beginning you may find it difficult to balance your body in this posture. So you can take the help of your friend to maintain proper balance of the body. Practice Natarajasana under an experienced yoga teacher till you learn to do it properly. If you are suffering from high blood pressure or low blood pressure, you are not to do this asana as it can make changes in the blood pressure levels. If you feel dizzy when you practice this asana, stop it immediately. People who suffer from headaches frequently should also avoid practicing Natarajasana. This pose is good for your increasing your concentration. So it is of great benefit for students as need good concentration. This is also a good pose for improving the posture of your body and helps to center mind and body. If you have any other medical problems, you must consult your doctor or a qualified yoga guru before you attempt this asana. They will provide you a solution for the problem you are facing.
Benefits of Natarajasana:
- Practicing Natarajasana regularly helps you to balance your body properly.
- You can make your body more flexible and increase your enduring power by doing Natarajasana daily.
- It improves you posture and the balancing of the body.
- This asana is an excellent way to tone up your abdominal muscles, and keeps your abdomen in good condition without any bulge.
- You can improve the circulation of blood in your body by doing this asana regularly. It is also good for improving the functioning of digestive system your body.
- If you are suffering from stress, Natarajasana is an excellent pose to get your relief from all symptoms of stress and make you feel relaxed. Depression is also cured and prevented with regular practice of this asana.
- Natarajasana provides a good stretch to your body parts like the shoulders, chest, spine, arms and the legs.
- Practicing this pose provides a good stretch to your thighs, groins and the abdomen.
- This asana is an excellent way to make your legs and ankles stronger. It also strengthens the chest and the wrists.
- If you are on a weight loss regime, practice Natarajasana regularly. This will help you reduce weight and keep your body flexible and in good shape.
So, try doing this at home regularly. It does not include too many twists and backbends, so, it is easy to do.
A variation of this asana includes catching the raised foot with both of your hands. One hand catches the inner end of the foot while the other catches the outer end on the foot. This posture helps in improving your posture further.
There is also another variation of Natarajasana. Here you can support your body with the help of the wall when you practice this initially. After practicing it in this way for a few days, you can start practicing it on your own, without any support. This is of great benefit for the beginners.
Performing Ardha Uttangasana or Right Angle Pose after performing Natarajasana helps you to relax your spine. Make sure that you practice this under the guidance of a well trained yoga teacher, so that you do it in the correct way.