Natarajasan is an ode to Shiva. This translates as the ‘God of dance’. I find this asan graceful and progressive.
Starting from Tadasan (the basic upright mountain pose), bring your right arm to the shoulder level, palm facing the floor.
● Next flex/fold the left knee so that the left heel touches your buttocks.
● Hold the left big toe with the index and middle finger and thumb of the left hand, left palm to face the wall on your left and the left arm bent at the elbow (elbow joint facing the floor at this stage). Begin to draw your left foot up towards your back. At the same time rotate your arm and shift/rotate your grip on the toe so that your palm now faces the wall on your left.
● Draw the leg higher by pulling on your foot with your arm. Balance the raising and pulling action. Your left elbow joint to face the ceiling. The knee and elbow are both bent to form a bow behind you in the back bend. Keep raising the leg till the left thigh is parallel to the floor and the left shin parallel to the right leg that is upright and holding up your pose. (Do not allow any slack in the right knee.)
● Hold for a few breathing cycles.
● Release, relax both arms and return to Tadasan. Repeat on the other side substituting left for right.
Easy: You may hold the leg at the foot behind the toes or at the ankle/calf and keep the knee of the raised leg straight while drawing the leg up.
Advanced: This stage requires you to hold the foot with both hands and bring it closer to the back of your head (the right arm will join the left arm in the same position and both hands will draw the leg higher.
Natarajasan gives you balance and poise. It’s good for your leg muscles and chest. This pose gives a nice upward movement to the shoulder as well as an expansion to the chest. This is a good stretch for Hip Flexors and Quadriceps.
Anshu Vyas Seetharaman is a yoga and fitness trainer at Sri Aurobindo Society, Bengaluru.