NATARAJĀSANA (SHIVA DANCE POSE)

“Inhaling, I draw in all that I need to support my highest intention; exhaling, I let go of anything that no longer serves me.”

Natarajāsana is inspired by the Hindu god Shiva, the lord of dance and transformation. One translation for Shiva is “wellbeing”. As we reflect and integrate the lessons of the year that has passed, we can draw upon the resources that we have to move forward with joy and abundance in all aspects of our lives.

Step by Step:

1. Stand in Tadāsana (mountain pose) with feet together or feet slightly apart. Ground down through the 4 corners of both feet and feel them rooting into the earth.

2.  Exhale: Shift your centre of gravity over your right foot and bend your left knee. Take hold of the outside of your left foot or ankle. Activate the front of your right thigh. To avoid overextension in your lumbar spine activate your core by slightly lifting your pubic bone towards your navel.

3. Inhale: Raise your right arm up and shine your heart forward while pressing your left foot into your hand. Work towards raising your left thigh parallel to the floor.

Where do you feel effort? Where do you feel ease? Where can you soften to increase your feeling of flow and balance in this posture?

Breathe deeply.
Hold the posture for 20-30 seconds or according to your capacity.

Repeat on the other side.

Modification:

1. You can increase grounding and balance by practicing with one hand on a wall for support.

2. You can increase opening of the shoulder by taking hold of the foot or ankle from the inside.

Benefits:

    •    Opens the heart and increases sense of wellbeing

    •    Improves balance and concentration

    •    Strengthens muscles of postural stability

    •    Stretches hip flexors, biceps, abdominals and pecs

Precautions:

    •    If you have a challenge with balance, you can use a wall for support

    •    Do not try if you have untreated high blood pressure

    •    Caution if you have/have had a rotator cuff injury

Reflection: Out with the old, in with the new!

This season invites us to refocus our energy and let go of clutter and patterns that no longer serve our highest intention and wellbeing. We step into the new with lightness and an open heart.

In what ways am I cultivating joy in my life this month? Is there anything that I need to let go of to make more space for that to happen?

—Contributed by Julia Forest