DAVIN JONES IS THE MAN ON THE MAT
NATARAJASANA (DANCER POSE)
Natarajasana, also known as The Lord of the Dancer Pose, is great for opening up the body and finding focus and balance
This posture provides a strong opening to the anterior chain of the body – hips, spine, chest and shoulders. Along with opening up space to these areas, dancer pose requires the practitioner to be fully focused.
Attempting this asana without sufficient focus on the movement of the spine; stretching out the posterior chain, hips and shoulders, can lead to unnecessary strain in one of these areas of the body. When sequencing this posture, I’ll be diligent in preparing the spine for extension; the hips for flexion and extension, and the shoulders for flexion and external rotation.
Common mistakes quite often seen:
- Practitioners not having a fixed point of focus.
- Taking the little-toe side (outer-edge) of the elevated foot, brings shoulder into internal rotation, limiting much needed space in the chest.
- Postures to use prior to dancer pose include: Anjaneyasana, humble warrior, prone dancer variation, Dhanurasana, Locust pose, Setu-Bandhasana.
- Stay strong and engaged through the gluteus maximus muscle in the extended hip.
- Practice active range of motion (ROM) through the spine, hips and shoulders.
- Press down through the mound of the big toe in the standing foot to help keep balance and poise.
- Play a game of pull and push. In the bind, kick the foot into the hand, and with equal effort pull back against the foot.
- Retract the shoulder blade of the arm that has the foot, protract the shoulder of the reaching arm.
I’ve always aimed to be patient with dancer pose. If you’re not present while practicing, you simply won’t find balance. This pose comes with its elements of frustration, which is why focus is of the utmost importance to gain mastery over Natarajasana.
Having led workshops, retreats and teacher training courses worldwide, Davin Jones continues to share his love and teaching of yoga to guide practitioners of all levels. His hope is to see practitioners receive the same benefits from yoga that he has experienced from the practice. He is the ambassador for the clothing brand, Warrior Addict, pictured here wearing the ‘Anti-gravity shorts’ and ‘The Inversion Tank’. Visit: davjonesyoga.com or find him on Instagram @davjonesyoga
Photographer: Salma Othman @salma.ohm.yoga