How To Do The Natarajasana And What Are Its Benefits May 24, 2016

Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance Pose is an asana. Sanskrit: नटराजासन; Nata- Dance, Raja- King, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – nut-ah-raj-AHS-anna

Nataraja is one of the many names of Lord Shiva. It is his dancing avatar, through which his love for music, dance, and art is depicted. If this asana is done properly, it resembles one of the dancing poses of Lord Shiva. Take a look at everything this asana has to offer.

Everything You Need To Know About The Natarajasana

1. What You Should Know Before You Do This Asana
2. How To Do The Natarajasana
3. Precautions And Contraindications
4. Beginner’s Tip
5. Advanced Pose Alteration
6. Benefits Of The Natarajasana
7. The Science Behind The Natarajasana
8. Preparatory Poses
9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do This Asana

This asana must be practiced on an empty stomach. You must make it a point to have your meals four to six hours before the practice so that the food is digested and the energy is ready to be expended. Also, make sure your bowels are empty before you practice.

Yoga must be practiced at dawn or dusk for best results.

Level: Intermediate
Style: Vinyasa
Duration: 15 to 30 seconds
Repetition: Once on each foot
Stretches: Shoulders, Thighs, Abdomen, Thorax, Groin
Strengthens: Legs, Ankles

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How To Do Natarajasana

1. To begin with, stand in the Tadasana.

2. Breathe in, and lift your left foot, such that the heel is placed towards the left buttock and your knees are bent. Your entire body weight must be placed on your right foot.

3. Then, push the ball of the right thigh bone into the hip joint, and pull the kneecap up so that your standing leg is strong and straight.

4. Keep your torso upright. Grasp the left foot from the outside with the left hand. You must make sure your lower back is not compressed. So, make sure your pubis is lifted towards your navel. And as you do that, press your tailbone to the floor.

5. Begin to lift your left foot up, away from the floor and back, away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Your right arm must be stretched forward, such that it is parallel to the floor.

6. Hold this pose for about 15 to 30 seconds. Release, and repeat on the other side.

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Precautions And Contraindications

These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

1. Avoid this asana at all costs if you have low blood pressure.

2. You could ask your instructor to help you gain balance when you begin practicing this asana. It is best that you consult a doctor before you do this asana.

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Beginner’s Tip

As a beginner, you might have a tendency to cramp the back of your thigh. You must ensure that the ankle of the raised foot is flexed. For this, you must move the top of your foot closer to the shin.

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Advanced Pose Alteration

To deepen the pose, you could catch the inner part of your left foot with your right hand swept behind your back. Grab the outer edge of your left foot with your right hand. This is a more challenging stance, and will increase your ability to balance better. This variation will raise your chest and give a deeper stretch to your shoulders.

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Benefits Of The Natarajasana

These are some amazing benefits of Natarajasana pose.

1. Practicing this asana gives strength to your chest, ankles, hips, and legs.

2. This asana increases your metabolism and helps in weight loss.

3. It gives your groin, abdominal organs, and thighs a good stretch.

4. Your posture is improved, and balance is increased.

5. It helps better your digestion.

6. You tend to focus more and are also relieved of stress. This asana calms your mind.

7. Your body becomes flexible.

8. Your hip flexors are opened up.

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The Science Behind The Natarajasana

This asana is a beautiful combination of structure and movement, and it symbolizes the dance of the graceful Nataraja. It helps to make you strong, and opens up your mind and body, giving them so much grace and power. It is a deep backbend. As you bend and your body balances on one leg, you are constantly challenged. When you overcome the challenge, you attain a sense of peace and calm. This asana opens up the heart. It asks of us to be stable but at ease, dedicated, yet non-attached, engaged, yet at peace. When we are open to and accept both movement and structure, this asana helps draw a clear communication between our being and the teacher in the heart.

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Preparatory Poses

Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Dhanurasana
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Gomukhasana
Hanumanasana
Supta Virasana
Supta Padangusthasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Ustrasana
Uttanasana
Virabhadrasana III
Virabhadrasana I
Virasana
Vrksasana

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Follow-Up Poses

This asana is one of the last asanas in the backbend series. But to give your spine comfort and relief, you could do the Ardha Uttanasana after you have practiced this one.

This asana is beautiful posture dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is said to be the master of time, the source of Yoga, and the cosmic rhythm of life.

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