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Yoga Pose – Natarajasana

In my previous article on Tadasana, I’ve explained few common instructions applicable to all the asanas.

Nataraja is associated with the final dissolution of the world. Nataraja is one of the other names of Lord Shiva, and he dances the death dance terminating this mortal world. Termination is not the end of everything; rather it is the beginning of transformation into a new creation.  As for this asana, the dissolution is about the negative tendencies of the human being, which one achieves by practicing the asana regularly.

This asana, symbolically, goes through the motions of birth, life and death. This is known as the dynamic pose amongst the yogasanas. Literature related to the asana creates a sense of awe in the minds of the reader. But it also hints at one to become fearless and courageous. From the point of view of movements it is elegant and graceful like the pose of a Bharatanatyam dancer. Natarajasana is also known as Lord of the Dance Pose or King Dancer Pose.

Method/technique of Natarajasana

  1. Stand in Tadasana with a relaxed mind; do not rush to begin the asana. Take a couple of comfortable breaths. You need to have a perfect understanding that you are about to begin the steps of one of the most difficult asanas as for the balancing aspect is concerned.
  2. Inhale and transfer your weight to your right leg.
  3. Begin to bend the knee and as you do it, raise your left heel towards the left buttock. Press the top of your right thigh bone back, into the hip joint as far as it can go comfortably. Keep the leg straight and firm.
  4. Your hands come into action now and different variations are possible. In all cases the torso is expected to remain upright. Sweep the right hand behind the back and take hold of the inner left foot. Next, sweep the left hand back and hold the exterior of the left foot. You have the challenge to balance your entire body now.
  5. Remain in the position for about 30 seconds or less at the initial trials. Slowly release the hold on the foot, place the left foot back on the floor, and repeat the action for the same duration on the other side.
  6. Some variations of this asana are in vogue, for beginners and advanced students. Advanced students perform the complete pose.

Physical/Therapeutic benefits

  • While doing this asana, you feel as if you are a student learning circus. It teaches the art of balancing.
  • Contributes to the fitness of the legs and builds overall stamina.
  • Keeps the heart healthy. Opens shoulders and the chest
  • Strengthens the area of spine and promotes its health.

Spiritual Benefits

  1. Stillness within the motion—this is the sterling achievement by practicing the asana regularly.
  2. Makes one achieve better focus of the mind.
  3. It teaches an individual how to remain ‘calm within the storm’ of day to day life.
  4. “Tatvamasi” (That Thou Art) is the wise revelation of Vedas. Helps the process to reveal one’s own true nature.

Precautions

  1. Not advisable for those with low blood pressure.
  2. Help yourself against the wall for support in the initial stages of the practice.
  3. The chances of toppling over are real. Take the help of your friend/guide as you perform this asana, until you attain confidence and perfection.

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