Asana of the Week: Natarajasana
Name: Natarajasana/Lord of the Dance Pose/Dancing Shiva Pose/King Dancer Pose
Stretches: Legs, stomach, throat
Body benefits: Strengthens legs and ankles, improves balance
Mind benefits: Improves concentration, calms and centres the mind
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Natarajasana is a visually striking, heart-opening asana. It translates literally as nata – dancer, raja – king and asana which means posture. It symbolises the ancient dance of Shiva, the Dancer King and can be altered to suit any level of practise. This pose is great for improving balance, strengthening legs and stretching abdominal muscles, as well as improving backbend flexibility.
The structured, elegant pose encourages you to be stable, calm and relaxed whilst remaining composed and present. It’s this combination which makes Natarajasana a brilliant, mentally-healing asana, allowing you to re-group and deal with day-to-day stresses. An important tip for beginners is to keep the lifted ankle flexible, this will prevent cramps in the thigh muscles and help your stretch.