Nata in Sanskrit means ‘Dance’ and ‘Raja’ is ‘King’. So, Natarajasana is another name for Lord Shiva and his dance symbolizing Cosmic Energy. It is a way for one to connect with the Cosmic Energy. This posture is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Master of time, cosmic rhythm of life and the source of Yoga. Lord Shiva is also known as the ‘God of Dance’.
To find the balance in extremities is what Yoga is all about. One of the ways to move a step closer to balancing your mind is by practicing ‘Natarajasana’ or the ‘Dancing Shiva Pose’. An extremely powerful pose, a few of it’s benefits listed below:
1. It gives a good stretch to the groin, thighs and the abdomen
2. This asana increases your metabolism and helps in weight loss
3. Improves balance, concentration and posture
4. Strengthens the legs and the ankles
5. Opens up the shoulders and the chest, which improves lung capacity, increasing the breath volume
6. Increased concentration helps to make the mind more calm
Ultimate bliss lies in this balance between intensity and relaxation for any spiritual seeker, says Sadhguru. The problem with the general people is that this intensity is confused with tension and the relaxation with laxity. To attain this balance is a fine art which can be experienced through daily, genuine and consistent yogic practice.
There is nothing more beautiful for a person to find their true calling in life…their Dharma. It will be a scary place in the beginning and we need to let go of the comfort zone. It is like standing at the edge of the cliff, ready to jump into the unknown. If each one of us believe deep inside and follow the truth, then we need not fear. As long as we follow what is deep rooted in our heart, then everything will be looked after by the universe. Following this path of truth, you will wake up one day to realise that these are not dreams anymore, but it would have turned into reality. Finding your Dharma or your true calling is not an easy process. It is a slow, creative and difficult process which will take time and energy.
I would like to inspire those of you standing at the edge of the cliff, to take that leap of faith and follow your true calling. The colours of life are more beautiful and brighter than you can imagine. Take the plunge and trust the process!
Steps for Natarajasana
1. Stand in the tree pose or tadasana.
2. As you inhale, shift your weight to the left foot and lift your right heel towards your buttock.
3. Put additional pressure on the straight left leg, thigh, hip and knee to ensure your legs are properly balanced.
4. Now reach your right hand behind the raised leg and grasp the right ankle.
5. Lift your hip accordingly to avoid additional strain.
6. With the help of your right hand, pull your right leg further up and extend your left hand in front of you.
7. Stay in this pose 20-30 seconds and slowly come back to your starting position.
8. If you are convenient with the pose, then must repeat this with another leg.
The Science behind Natarajasana
This asana is a beautiful combination of structure and movement, and it symbolizes the dance of the graceful Nataraja. It helps to make you strong, and opens up your mind and body, giving them so much grace and power. It is a deep backbend. As you bend and your body balances on one leg, you are constantly challenged. When you overcome the challenge, you attain a sense of peace and calm. This asana opens up the heart. It asks us to be stable but at ease, dedicated, yet non-attached, engaged, yet at peace. When we are open to and accept both movement and structure, this asana helps draw a clear communication between our being and the teacher in the heart.