Natarajasana (Dancer Pose)

The word ‘nata’, refers to a dancer, while ‘raja’, means king and ‘asana’ means position or posture. Dancer's stance or lord of the dance pose is the English term for this yogasana. Stand straight, both arms resting by your sides. Inhale and bend your right leg backward holding the right ankle with the right hand. The left arm thrusting straight out in front. Move the right leg upwards as much as possible.

 

Stay still for 20-30 seconds with normal breathing. Return to the starting position. Natarajasana requires stability and focus. It improves inner peace and awareness while strengthening the legs, hips, ankles, and chest. Practising it regularly increases flexibility and accelerates metabolism leading to much-needed weight loss. For more information on Natarajasana and its benefits refer to the main article.

Introduction

Over the past 3 decades, yoga has become a very popular form of exercise as it helps calm the mind, body and soul. Different forms of yoga emphasize different kinds of positions (or asanas). Each of these asanas is geared to improve the functioning of different parts of the mind and body. This write-up seeks to explain how the Natarajasana yoga pose helps the body.

What is Natarajasana?

The term Natarajasana can be broken down into “nat”, “raj” and “asana” which mean “dance”, “king”, and “posture'' respectively. This Lord of the Dance Pose seeks to honour the Hindu god Shiva who is recognized as the King of the Dance. It is a graceful yogic posture that helps improve the body’s posture and balance.

 

Natarajasana is performed standing on one leg owing to which it requires the practitioner to be strong and have good balancing skills. The spinal muscles are stretched each time Natrajasana is performed and are bent backwards. This backbend interspersed with intense stretching makes this a challenging pose that isn’t easy to hold.

Types of Natarajasana

Given that this pose is hard to maintain, there exist a number of variations with which it can be practised. Some of these have been explored below.

  • Natarajasana with a Chair

Here, the yogi must place a chair in front of himself such that its back faces him. Then he must place his hands on the top most part of the chair such that he has support. Next, he must lift his alternate foot and grab his toe with his hand to complete the pose.

  • Natarajasana with a Yoga Strap

The yogi performs Natrajasana by holding a strap in front of his body and bringing it to the floor. He then steps on it with his right foot and crosses the strap such that it forms a loop around his foot. The strap is then pulled backwards such that the foot is lifted, and the strap is held with both hands. The elevated foot now goes behind his head. In case the practitioner isn’t confident of his ability to balance he may stand behind a chair and lean on its back to prevent his from collapsing forward.

  • Natarajasana B

Here, the practitioner must go beyond the ordinary Natrajasana pose and should hold his right foot behind his head and draw his left arm backwards. His elbows should point upward, and his right foot should be held with both hands. He must pull his right foot further such that it rests on his head which is gazing upward.

Benefits of Natarajasana

The benefits associated with the practice of Navasana are significant. Some of these have been examined below.

  • Stress Buster

In order to perform Natrajasana you must be able to balance and concentrate which means that this yoga pose helps exercise the brain and calms the mind.

  • Improves Posture –

By practising this yoga pose you can alleviate the hunch in your back. This is because Natrajasana helps stretch the shoulders.

  • Helps Relieve Pain

Natrajasana makes use of certain stretches that help open the hips. These stretches help rectify hip misalignments and give relief to pain stemming from the buttock region.

  • Helps Tone the Arms

Arm muscles are stretched each time Natrajasana is performed. These stretches help improve blood circulation to the arms and tighten arm muscles as they help shred the excess fat that lies on the arms.

  • Improves Spine Flexibility

This yoga pose thoroughly exercises the spine and lengthens the middle and upper spine.

  • Improves Breathing Capacity

Owing to the fact this posture requires you to bring your body forward and reach upward, it helps open the chest and shoulders. As a result, the lungs’ volume expands, and this increases your breathing capacity.

  • Enhances Balance

Since this pose is performed standing on one leg, all your body weight rests on this leg. The brain is required to concentrate on balancing this weight such that Natrajasana can be carried out successfully. By practising Natrajasana on a regular basis you can improve your body’s ability to balance.

 

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How to Practice Natarajasana?

Listed below are the steps required to successfully perform Natrajasana.

  • Step 1. Stand in the Tadasana (or mountain pose) with your gaze fixed straight ahead.
  • Step 2. Shift your weight onto your left leg and bend your right knee with your right foot flexing backwards.
  • Step 3. Hold your right big toe with your right thumb, index and middle fingers.
  • Step 4. Ensure that your left leg is straight and on the floor.
  • Step 5. Move your right shoulder such that your elbow points upward and pull your right foot towards your head.
  • Step 6. At the same time, lift your left arm forward such that it is aligned with your shoulder.
  • Step 7. Extend your spine and your left arm such that you lean forward and reach upward.
  • Step 8. Bring the tip of your left index finger to your left thumb such that your hands form the jnana mudra pose.
  • Step 9. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and breathe in deeply while your eyes remain fixed on your left hand.
  • Step 10. Lower your left arm to your side and bring your right foot down to the ground.
  • Step 11. Relax your body in the Tadasana pose for a few seconds.
  • Step 12. Repeat this entire cycle with your other side.

Beginner’s Tip for Natarajasana

Beginners can always practice some basic postures that help improve balance while they stand on one leg and bend backwards. These poses help the body become more flexible such that it is prepared for Natrajasana. These postures include the following.

 

  • Handstand pose or adho mukha vrksasana

  • Bow pose or Dhanurasana

  • One-legged king pigeon pose or eka pada rajakapotasana

How Often Should I Do Natarajasana?

Natarajasana can be practised 2 to 6 times a day. However, practitioners should not attempt to overdo this position. They should aim to hold this pose for 20 seconds and as they gain more experience, they can aim to hold it for a minute.

Precautions to Take to Perform Natarajasana

Before attempting to practice Natarajasana, it is important to factor in the considerations provided below.

 

  • You must not attempt this pose if you have injured your legs, hips, shoulders, or groin.

  • If you have been diagnosed with arthritis you must not attempt to perform Natrajasana.

  • If you suffer from extreme back or have a slipped disc you should avoid this pose.

  • People who aren’t unsteady on their feet and have poor balance should only practice modified versions of this asana and should not attempt to do it on their own.

  • Avoid practising Natrajasana if you have low blood pressure.

  • If you have carpal tunnel syndrome you should abstain from practising Natrajasana.

  • When you attempt to do Natrajasana make sure that when you lift your foot and pull it backward you do not twist your corresponding hip.

Conclusion

Natarajasana is a fairly complex yoga pose. Practitioners must practice it on a regular basis in order to be able to perfect it. Each yoga pose including Natarajasana is designed to improve your body in some capacity. People practice yoga such that they can follow a healthy lifestyle. However, the body can still suffer from an illness and injury. In order to be protected if such situations arise it is important to purchase a viable health insurance plan. Visit Bajaj Markets to learn what makes a good health insurance policy stand out. 

 

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FAQs on Natarajasana

What is the English name for the Natarajasana yoga pose?

The English name for Natarajasana is “Lord of the Dance Pose”. 

List two benefits associated with the practice of Natrajasana.

Two benefits associated with Natrajasana are mentioned below.
1. Improves Posture –
By practising this yoga pose you can alleviate the hunch in your back. This is because Natrajasana helps stretch the shoulders.


2. Improves Spine Flexibility –
This yoga pose thoroughly exercises the spine and lengthens the middle and upper spine."

Can I practise Natrajasana if I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

No, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome you must abstain from practising Natrajasana.

Can I use a prop for Natrajasana if I find it hard to balance?

Yes, you can use a prop for Natrajasana if you find it hard to balance. Popular props for this pose include yoga straps and the back of a chair. 

Which Hindu god is associated with Natrajasana?

The Hindu god Shiva is associated with Natrajasana as he is recognised as the “King of the Dance”. 

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