Nataraja Asana-the King of the Dance Pose

In Sanskrit ‘nata’ means dancer and ‘raja’ means king. Hence in English it is called as the ‘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.