Natarajasana: Feel the Dance!

noelle connolly yoga

Work toward one of the most celebrated backbends in yoga: Natarajasana (nat = dance, raja = lord or king), also called Dancer's Pose, Lord of the Dance Pose, Dancing Shiva Pose, and King Dancer’s Pose.

Given its many names, it must be pretty significant, right?

Well, yeah. It is.

Nataraja is Shiva as the Lord of Dance and symbolizes the cosmic dance of creation, preservation, and dissolution. Heavy stuff, I know. Cultivating this dynamic pose allows you to experience stillness within movement, and feel the dance contained within stillness.

By opening up the front body and simultaneously strengthening the standing leg and engaging the lower abdominals, this standing backbend:

  • Builds focus and confidence
  • Opens up the shoulders and chest
  • Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
  • Strengthens the legs and ankles
  • Enhances balance

To experience the benefits, check out these online yoga videos all specifically choreographed with shoulder and heart openers to prep for this kingly pose.

  • Natarajasana: King Dancer's Pose Flow with Joan Hyman Joan will break it down, teaching component parts like opening the shoulder girdle and the hip flexors, along with teaching how to engage the pelvic floor. This is an energizing online yoga practice, including handstand variations and twists that leave you feeling grounded and open at the same time! Begin on two blocks opening the thoracic spine with breath awareness. Enjoy the flow and find your dance within! (62 mins.)
  • Dancing Shiva Flow with Ashley Turner Strengthen by softening in this online yoga class. Travel through a dynamic standing/balancing sequence and dive into the myth of Natarajasana. Learn how to dance through "the rings of fire" in life in this dynamic, Level 3 online yoga video. (92 mins.)
  • Hip and Shoulder Opening to Natarajasana: SmartFLOW with Annie Carpenter This steady and focused alignment-based yoga video features postures to open the shoulders and front hips in preparation for the dance. (88 mins.)

Like anything else, Natarajasana takes practice, especially for the less bendy of yogis.

Enjoy the journey, don’t freak out over falling, and trust that with practice all is coming, including strength and poise.

Natarajasana by Joe Longo Photography via www.noelleconnolly.com 

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