In Sanskrit, Dancer's Pose is called Natarajasana. In English, its translation is "Lord of the Dance" … no, not Michael Flatley, but rather, the original bad ass Hindu God, Shiva — aka "The Great Destroyer."
This pose has incredible physical benefits, yes, but beyond that, I love the metaphors found within its myth of origin that teach us about our own inner personal landscape and spiritual awakening.
Sure, yoga is a great workout that leaves us feeling amazing, but the real benefits of yoga happen when we step off the mat and into our lives. This ancient practice gives us the opportunity to explore our inner workings, clear our bodies of congested energy and tap into something bigger than the day-to-day grind of our human experience.
When we step onto the mat, we begin to open the gateway to making truly profound discoveries about ourselves, and releasing patterns and behaviors that keep us from living our full potential.
Before you enter this pose, be sure the muscles are warm and the mind is clear. From Tadasana, step your right foot back. Bend at the knee and pick up the inside of right foot with your right hand, aligning your with the big toe.
Lift the left arm up, and slowly tilt your chest forward while kicking out the right leg behind you with your gaze straight ahead and soft. As with any pose, always be sure to complete both sides to keep your body balanced.
So why is Dancer's Pose (Natarajasana) going to rock your world? Here's how you'll benefit on physical, energetic and spiritual levels:
The Physical Benefits
In Dancer's Pose, you stretch your shoulders and chest, while stretching out your thighs, groin and abdomen. While simultaneously strengthening your legs and ankles, you'll improve your balance and concentration.
The Energetic Benefits
You'll also open your Sacral, Solar plexus, and Heart Chakras in this powerful posture, by finding balance in the realm of sensuality, personal power, and love and compassion.
The Spiritual Benefits
The myth of this asana represents dancing through our samsara — the cycles, patterns, and habits we get stuck in. Additionally, the cobra that dangles from Shiva's neck in this posture represents the toxic nature of our ignorance or,avidya — the misunderstanding ourselves as anything but divine beings.
When we can break free from our old patterns, embrace change and tap into our divinity, we can finally be free of suffering!
Photo courtesy of the author