MAN ON THE MAT with Ravi Dixit
NATARAJASANA (DANCER POSE)
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is known by various names, including Nataraja. Natarajasana in Sanskrit translates to: Nata = dancer, Raja = King/Lord and asana = posture. This pose from Lord Shiva, Lord of the Dance is a symbol of life, happiness and dance.
Please note: The posture in this photo is a very advanced variation of Dancer pose, normally the leg reaching up is not fully stretched out but is performed with a bent knee and the hand is placed either on the foot or ankle
- Strengthens the legs, feet, ankles, core, back and arms.
- Opens the front of the body, the chest, shoulders, abdomen and hips.
- Increases flexibility in the spine.
- Improves focus, balance, concentration and body awareness.
- Can help build confidence and empowerment.
- For balance and stability, hold on to the back of a chair or on to the wall.
- If you have difficulty bringing your leg up or reaching it, use a strap wrapped around the foot and hold the strap over your shoulder to lift the leg up
- Be patient with yourself. You may lose your balance and fall over, and this is totally fine. Try to enjoy and have fun with the process. This pose is all about joy.
- Drishti (focused gaze): to help keep your balance, focus your eyes on a single point in front of you.
- Avoid this pose if you have an ankle, back or hip injury.
- Leaning forward before lifting the leg: Don’t just hold the leg and fold forward. Follow the double action, pull and push your leg simultaneously, with the help of your hand. When your leg is going up higher, your body will naturally lean forward.
- Not warming up: This is a powerful pose including a backbend, so prepare your body by warming up and practice other, easier backbends before trying this posture.
- Rushing into the pose: To keep your balance, you need a strong foundation of the standing leg, so take some time to focus on grounding your foot onto the floor and spread your toes.
- Misalignment: The hips should be square facing forward, and knees aligned with the hips. Keep the standing leg strong, activate the leg muscles and make sure the knee is soft; not locked or hyperextended.
Ravi Dixit is an Indian yoga teacher living in London, passionate about making traditional yoga understandable for everyone.
You can also practice with Ravi Dixit live and in-person at the OM Yoga Show
Follow Ravi Dixit on Instagram: @raviyoga_goa