Yoga Poses: Natarajasana

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Natarajasana ‘Lord Shiva’s pose’ is a standing balancing pose that opens the chest, the lungs, and the heart, stimulating the anahata (4th, heart) chakra.

Standing tall, centered, and in alignment, breathe deeply and find peace and focus. Find a spot in front of you to keep your gaze on as you move into the pose.

When you’re ready, use your inhale to lean forward, lifting the back leg and grasping it with the hand on the same side of the body as the lifted leg. Stretch the other hand straight in front of you, hand with fingers straight or in chin/jnana mudra.

Breathe deeply as you hold the pose. Exhale as you lower your leg and repeat on the other side of the body.

Use each inhale as an opportunity to lift the raised leg and open your chest and shoulders just a little bit more, rooting down steadily through your standing leg.

In the full expression of Natarajasana, you will be able to grasp your foot with your hand and arm raised above and behind the head. Until then, the posture is referred to as ‘Saral Natarajasana’ – ‘saral’ means ‘preparatory’ – as we work on strengthening and opening our bodies.

Benefits
This pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, back, hips, and legs while improving balance, coordination, and concentration.

Contraindications
Do not practice this pose if you have heart issues, high blood pressure, back problems, or digestive/intestinal issues.

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