Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance or Dancing Shiva Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Natarajasana, Lord of the Dance Pose, Dancing Shiva Pose, King of the Dance Pose
Sanskrit
नटराजासन/ Naṭarājāsana
Pronunciation
na-­ta-­rA-­jA-­sa-­na
Meaning
nata: “dancer”
raja: “king”
asana: “pose”

Introduction

Natarajasana is an advanced balance pose that brings grace, peace of mind, and clarity. The pose is additionally a deep backbend that requires great strength in the entire front line of the body. The front line of the body extends from the quadriceps, through the hips, abdominals, chest, and even the front of the throat.

In Hindu Mythology, Nataraja is a name given to Lord Shiva, for he used to perform a cosmic dance to rejuvenate his emotions, thus restoring balance in the universe.

The cross-sectional observation done among three different populations showed that individuals practicing yoga regularly enjoyed many benefits such as low serum stress hormone concentrations along with Zung Self-rating Depression Scale, ZSDS ratings demonstrating greater stability.

Yoga is a great way to improve your mental and physical health. Yoga practitioners had lower levels of cortisol, higher Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Ham-A scores which measure anxiety relief methods used in therapy programs; they also rated their periodontal condition as better than other groups studied thus far.

Muscle Focus

Dancer Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Back muscles
  • Shoulders (Deltoid)
  • Chest (Pectoralis)
  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteus
  • Psoas (Hip flexors)
  • Quadriceps

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • Helps to improve focus.
  • Helps strengthen leg muscles.
  • Helps to prevent leg-related injuries.

Benefits of Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance or Dancing Shiva Pose

1. Stretches Important Muscles

It stretches our hamstring, quads, hip flexors, and groin muscles. It also tones the abdominal muscles and spine.

2. Improves Balance and Focus

The pose is all about maintaining balance, so it helps improve our balance and focus.

3. Tones the Body

As we hold the pose, it tones the arms, wrists, back muscles, and buttocks.  It also massages the abdominal organs and improves digestion.

4. Reduces Stress

Any yoga practice can help reduce stress levels, but this particular pose is especially beneficial in releasing tension from the neck and shoulders. It’s a great way to end your day!

5. Heart Health

This asana has been found to be very beneficial for heart health as well. It helps increase circulation and prevents calcium from depositing in the brain and shoulders.

6. Opens Your Chest and Shoulders

The chest is stretched as you bend your torso backward in Natarajasana. Along with this benefit comes flexibility in the shoulders too.

7. Strengthens Your Legs

Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance or Dancing Shiva Pose strengthens your calves, and ankles, preventing injuries.

8. Provides Excellent Flexibility

This asana provides excellent flexibility to the human body.

Contraindications

People with heart conditions or low blood pressure should consult a medical professional before practicing this pose. Anyone with recent or recurring injuries to any part of the back, knee, ankle, instability in the hip joint, should exercise caution when practicing this pose. Move slowly into this balance by practicing mindful awareness of breath and body.

Variations

  • Dancer Pose with wall support (Natarajasana with wall support)

Preparatory Pose

  • Tree Pose(Vriksasana)
  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  • Half Bow Pose (Ardha Dhanurasana)

Beginner’s Tips

  • If you find it difficult to balance, place your raised leg against a wall for support. This will also help stretch the hamstring muscles of the standing leg.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and down throughout the pose. Do not let them creep up towards your ears.
  • Make sure that you do not compress your lower back by lifting your pubis towards your navel.

How to do Dancer Pose

  • Start by assuming Tadasana.
  • Inhale and bend your left knee. Grasp the outer edge of your foot with your hand, palm facing towards you. Right leg completely rooted to the floor.
  • Bend from the waist, raising the leg up. Keeping it parallel to the floor. Exhale and gently pull on your foot so that you experience a back bending.
  • Lift your chest and look up, keep lengthening your spine.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Exhale, release the foot, and return to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.

Mental Benefits of Dancer Pose

  • Helps calm your mind.
  • Can help deal with anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • It also improves focus and concentration levels.

Bottom Line

Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance or Dancing Shiva Pose is a pose that has many benefits for our physical and mental health. It helps improve balance and focus, tones the body, reduces stress, strengthens the legs, and opens the chest and shoulders. The pose also rejuvenates our emotions and restores balance in the universe. So go ahead and try it out! You won’t regret it!

1 sources
  1. https://www.jispcd.org/article.asp?issn=2231-0762;year=2016;volume=6;issue=1;spage=7;epage=14;aulast=Katuri
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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