Natarajasana

Natarajasana ( Nata= Dancer; Raja=Lord) ; Lord of the Dancer’s Pose

“This is a pose that illustrates the two opposing forces that I always consider in yoga, the opposing forces of extension outward and grounding inward and downward. It’s the union of the dark and light, strength and flexibility.” -Mandy Ingber

A. Getting into the pose

1. Warm up:

Surya Namaskara A (mofidied)
IN Hands up, gaze up

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.19.58 AM
EX uttanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.20.37 AM
IN Half way look up

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.21.02 AM
EX chaturanga

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.21.36 AM
IN urdhva mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.21.49 AM
EX adho mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.22.35 AM

leg lifts

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.22.52 AM
IN camatkarasana. hold for 5 breaths.

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.23.15 AM
EX chaturanga

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.23.36 AM
IN urdhva mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.23.52 AM
EX adho mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.24.11 AM
IN step foot forward
EX uttanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.20.37 AM
IN utkatasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.24.27 AM
EX samasthiti. Repeat for the other leg.

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.24.43 AM

Right-Left as one, repeat for 5 times

2. Asana flow
IN palms up, gaze up, suck belly in

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.10.47 AM
EX uttanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.12.42 AM
IN half way look up

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.12.57 AM
EX Chaturanga

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.13.49 AM
IN urdhva mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.13.08 AM
EX adho mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.14.39 AM
ground your left heel down at 90 degree angle, step right foot forward IN hands up, gaze at your palms, virabhadrasana A, warrior 1.

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.13.27 AM

EX garudasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 6.44.30 AM

IN virabhadrasana A

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 9.58.20 AM

 

EX chaturanga

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.13.49 AM

IN urdhva mukha svanasana, bhujangasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.14.25 AM

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.39.54 AM

EX adho mukha svanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.14.39 AM

IN both feet forward

EX uttanasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.14.54 AM

IN arms up

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.15.06 AM

EX samasthiti. 

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 5.15.20 AM

Repeat for the other leg. Left-right as one, repeat for 5 times.

3. Using block

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.33.17 AM
low lunge, one knee on the ground, hold blocks by the hips, roll shoulders back.-> (for deeper stretch in the back, move blocks further away towards the knee, and  its length as a base)->EX chaturanga->IN urdhva mukha svanasana->bhujangasana-> EX adho mukha svanasana-> step one foot forward-> low lunge on the other side of the leg, knee on the ground-> repeat for the other leg. Left-right as one, repeat 5 times.

4. Preparatory pose

Urdhva Dhanurasana.

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.51.13 AM

Lie on your back, bend your elbows, and place palms next to ear. Fingers pointing towards the shoulder, As you inhale, lift hips to the ceiling. This activates inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone and gaze steady to the floor, stay for 5 breaths. and as you exhale, lower yourself to the ground.

5. Natarajasana (with strap)

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.48.43 AM Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 4.49.01 AM
– make a lasso for your foot
-squaring the hips to the front of the mat, keep your right heel off the ground and balanced
-the closer your lasso is to your grip , the deeper the backbend would be
– weave right elbow in towards the front of the mat, and up towards the ceiling
-take left arms up, reach back, take hold of the strap
-power up your right (back) leg, by pushing it into the strap
-you might lean forward while doing this, do not give in, lest it turn into warrior III with a backbend.
– squeeze elbow a little bit more to hold the pose
– slowly loosen the strap and release
– It is very easy to sling shot into your neighbors’ mat. For balancing, gaze steady at a few steps on the ground ahead of you.

Variation: Mermaid’s Pose

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 3.13.20 AM

Variation: Dandayama dhanurasana

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 6.48.17 AM

 

6. Counterpose
Baddha Konasana A&B
Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 10.06.55 AM
EX feet together, place feet close to groin, hands on feet
IN lengthen the spine, straighten the back
EX fold forward, keep spine straight, chin to the floor, hold for 5 breaths.
gaze steady at nose tip
IN half way look up
EX round your spine, forehead to toes. hold for 5. gaze steady at nose tip.
IN look up
EX samasthiti
 
7. Closing
Savasana
-awareness is brought to attention from the crown of the head, toward the bridge of the nose, down to sternum, to the 3 layers and 5 sheaths of the body.
-keep head straight and still; eyeballs sink deep into eye sockets; relax jaw, cheek and mouth; both legs must be equidistant from mid line.
-Slowly bring awareness back into the surroundings. Open eyes and prop yourself to the right side and then, to sitting.
 
_______________________________________________________________
B. Muscles Activated
-spine (spinal extensors)
-upper limbs (psoas minor, abdominal muscles, serratus anterior, upper trapezius, rotator cuff coracobrachialis, pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, biceps brachii, supinator and flexors of hand and fingers)
-lower limbs (hamstring, adductor magnus, gluteus maximus, medius, minimus, vastii, quadriceps, articularis genu, superior and inferior gemellus, piriformis, obturator internus)
C. Benefits
-Develops focus
-Strengthens upper and lower limbs, hip muscles and ankles
-Stretches shoulder, groin, inner thigh, abdomen
-Improves balance
-Expands the chest, creating emotional balance and elevates mood
-Promotes good kidneys, spine and lungs health
D. Precaution and Contraindication
-People with shoulder injuries and low blood pressure should not attempt this pose.
-Use wall as a support when required