Dancers Pose aka Lord of the Dance Pose - Standing Balance Pose/Back BendNot-ah-raj-AHS-uh-nuh
Nata (नट) = Dancer, Actor, Mime
Raja (राज)= King
Asana (आसन, Āsana) = Pose, Posture, Seat
(devanagari script- wikipedia.org)
This posture simultaneously evokes grounding and expansion as it combines standing balance with a back-bend.
The pose was given its name Nataraja as one of the Hindu God Shiva’s incarnations as the lord of the dance. This incredible shape presents itself in classical Indian Dance and is depicted in many statues and artistic renderings. The posture is not found in earlier yogic texts, but makes its way into the yoga set of movements during the times of Krishnamacharya in the 20th century. Krishnamachaya’s brother-in-law and one of his earliest students B.K.S. Iyengar features this posture in his text “Light on Yoga” (p420-422). Iyengar states,”This difficult balancing asana develops poise and a graceful carriage as it tones and strengthens the leg muscles. The shoulder-blades get full movement and the chest expands fully. All vertebral joints benefit from the exercise of this pose.”
There are many variations of dancers that range from easier preparations to incredible contortions. Variations will be shown in photos. The breakdown listed will be for the more intermediate dancers variation as seen in the photo above.
How to do natarajasana pose - basic version
Iyengar, B.K.S. (1966) Light on Yoga, Yoga Dipiki. (3rd Edition) NY, United States of America. Schocken Books Inc.
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Prasarita (प्रसारित) = Spread out
Pada (पाद) = Foot
Uttan (उत्तान) = Extended
Asana (आसन) = Pose, Posture, Seat
This posture is a standing wide leg forward fold that has several variations. As like many of the standing postures you will not find this pose in ancient texts or images, rather this posture appears in the 1900’s in the teachings of Krishnamacharya. This pose is predominantly displayed in the primary series of Ashtanga Yoga by Pathabbi Jois with four specific variations labeled A, B, C,& D. B.K.S. Iyengar also uses this posture in his work, “Light on Yoga”. Seated and supine variations known as upavista konasana and supta konasana use the same shape with differences in gravitational direction and weight bearing.
How to do utkata konasana A
Preparatory posesReclining Angle Pose (Supta Konasana)
Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana)
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
5 pointed Star Pose
Utkatasana. www.ashtangayoga.info, Retrieved 6 August 2020.
Kona www.wisdomlib.org Retrieved 4 August 2020
Swenson, D. (1999) Ashtanga Yoga, the Practice Manual. (6th Edition) (Woodruff, C, Ed.). Houston, TX, United States of America. Ashtanga Yoga Productions.
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