Pose of the Week: Natarajasana

dancers.jpg

Pose of the week: Natarajasana, also known as Dancer Pose, challenges your balance, focus, flexibility and strength.

Getting into the pose: From Mountain Pose(standing straight), inhale your left arm up and bend your right knee so that both knees are touching and right heel meets right buttocks. Right arm is alongside the body with palm facing forward. Keeping palm facing forward, hook your hand around the inside of the right foot and begin to kick back into your hand as your reach forward through the left finger tips and hinge forward at the waist. Balance comes from simultaneously kicking back and up into the right hand and reaching forward through the left fingertip until the front arm reaches parallel with the ground.

Alignment cues: Standing leg is straight, strong and engaged and hips remain square(avoid the tendency to open the right hip up to achieve more height). As you kick back into the hand, allow your right shoulder to open up. Kick back and up to work the backbend and open up the shoulder. Right foot is active and flexed. To come out of the pose, slowly reverse the same steps taken to get into it.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the shoulders and chest

  • Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen

  • Strengthens the legs and ankles

  • Improves balance