I remember when I first saw this asana. I loved it but it was not easy, so we will be practising an abbreviated version of natarajasana that is still fun, but a little more manageable for beginners.
This asana is a named after Nataraja (king of dance), who is a depiction of the god Shiva; the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for the god Brahma to start the process of creation.
Natarajasana is a balance asana that strengthens the legs. It also is a full body stretch which engages the shoulders, chest and abdomen, strengthens the thigh and calf muscles, knees and ankles, hips and spine, and develops concentration and grace.
Stretches the shoulders and chest
Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
Strengthens the legs and ankles
Follow the steps below to become a yogi:
Start by standing tall. Inhale, shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left heel toward your left buttock as you bend the knee. Stand firm and strong on the right leg.
Reach back with your left hand and grasp the outside of your left foot or ankle. To avoid compression in your lower back, actively lift your pelvis toward your navel, and at the same time, press your tail bone toward the floor. Stretch your right arm forward in front of your torso and parallel to the floor. If you are a beginner to this asana, hold here until you feel more confident (see photo one).
Begin to lift your left foot up away from the floor and back, away from your torso by pressing the foot into the hand and the hand into the foot. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Keep your chest upright (see photo two).
Hold this asana for 30 seconds to one minute, release and repeat on the opposite leg.
Enjoy your festive month but please remember to be careful. Wear your motorcycle helmet, stay sober when driving and be aware of your surroundings. This will help to ensure you are here next month to enjoy another yoga asana in the pursuit of a healthier and happier life!