November 8, 2021
Spotlight on Dancer’s Pose
What is Dancer’s Pose?
Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana) is a standing posture that helps to build strength, balance and flexibility. It stretches the legs, opens the shoulders and creates extension in the spine.
How to do Dancer’s Pose:
Step 1 – To practice this posture safely, make sure your body is warmed up properly. Suggested preparation includes backbends, core strengthening exercises and deep shoulder stretches.
Step 2 – Begin standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Shift your weight into your left leg and lift your right leg, bend the knee and draw your right heel toward your right buttock. Find balance and stability by driving the sole of your left floor into the ground as you balance on one leg.
Step 3 – Reach back with your right hand and grip the outside of your right foot or ankle. Extend your left arm ahead of you about shoulder’s height. Continue to rotate your right hip bone forward and gently magnetise your knee toward the midline so the knee doesn’t fan outward.
Step 4 – Press the top of your right foot into your right hand. Allow your right thigh and knee to extend behind you parallel to the floor. Direct the sole of your right foot towards the sky. Reach your left arm forward or upward.
Step 5 – Maintain the pose for 15-30 seconds, allowing a natural progression into your fullest expression of this deep backbend and challenging one leg balance. Carefully release your right foot, place your right foot back onto the floor. Pause in Mountain pose and then repeat on the second side.
Strengthens ankles, calves and quads
Assists with standing balance
Stretches the legs and spine
Opens the chest & shoulders
Some suggested preparatory poses are:
Abdominal crunches or sit ups
Modifications for Beginners:
-If you’re feeling off balance, try this pose standing near a wall for support.
-You may start with a standing one leg quad stretch and build from there over time. If you cannot reach back and grip the foot, use a strap looped over your ankle.
-An alternative to or additional preparation for this pose is bow pose on your belly. Bow pose taps into similar sensations in the body and provides more support from the earth.
Below are some recommended practices that incorporate this amazing pose: