In Sanskrit â€˜nata’ means dancer and â€˜raja’ means king. Hence in English it is called as the â€˜King of the Dance Pose.’ Nataraja is another name for Shiva, the Lord of the Dance, whose cosmic dance is the creation and destruction of the world.
How to practice?
- Stand in tad-asana with the feet together and the arms by your sides.
- Inhale and bend the right leg backward taking the left foot with your left hand while simultaneously extending the right arm straight out in front.
- Continue raising the right arm upward until it is about 45 degrees from the floor while lifting the left leg as high as possible with the left arm.
- Hold the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils.Keep your gaze fixed slightly above the horizon.
- Stay in this posture for about one minute then return by reversing the steps.
Benefits of Nataraja Asana
- It builds coordination, concentration and balance.
- The arch formed by the back and stretched leg gently aligns the vertebrae of the spine restoring suppleness and easing strain caused by poor posture or long periods of sitting.
- It tones the muscles of the hips and legs as well as stimulates the chest muscles.
Durations/Repetitions of Nataraja Asana
- Hold the asana according to your comfort level and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with this posture.
- Repeat it three times on each side, alternately from right to left. Do the asana facing towards the sun.
NOTE- Perform the Nataraja asana gracefully as if dancing, yet firmly with focused attention.