Whether it’s a lovely sunny day for you to practice or not, Natarajasana is a beautiful, majestic standing balance and a deep backbend that strengthens the legs and the core whilst stretching your thighs, hip flexors, chest, shoulders and arms. Natarajasana also helps you to improve your sense of balance.
If you suffer from ankle or knee pain in this pose we would advise to leave it until any injuries / soreness has dissapated and the joints are stronger. If you suffer from a sore lower back in this pose, again hold off from practicing Natarajasana until your spine health and core support improves.
Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upwards Bow Pose (aka the Crab) (above)
Ustrasana – Camel Pose
Uttanasana – Forward Fold (above)
Virabhadrasana III – Warrior 3 (above)
Vrksasana – Tree Pose
Step by Step Guide
Once completing the preparatory poses you’re ready to practice Natarajasana. Stand in Tadasana and bring weight into your right leg, lift your left foot and bring the heel towards your very own bumcheek as your left knee bends. Your standing leg wants to be really strong throughout this pose, so bring the arches back to your foot by activating through the top muscles of the foot. Then engage the quadricep muscles on the front of your right thigh towards your hip so you feel the leg become more strong. Your standing leg is straight but check that your knee isn’t locked back in its joint.
Keep your torso as upright as possible as you bring your left hand back towards your left ankle. Engage your lower abdominal muscles and lift your pelvic floor to create support for your lower back here, you can attempt to lift your pubic bone towards your navel to bring on this sensation.
Start to actively press your left ankle into your hand so much that you feel the foot lifts upwards and away from the body behind. Let the left thigh extend behind you, bringing it parallel to the floor below. Keep the left foot flexed, as in the toes point towards the shin. If you feel comfortable here, you can lift your right arm with your ear and rach to the sky with your fingertips.
Hold this pose for 6 rounds of breath. If you increase the pressure of your foot lifting up and away into your hand, you can increase the stretch to the front of your shoulder and torso. To come out of this pose carefully let go of the foot and land it down next to the right foot. Then repeat on the other side.