Dancer

natarajasana

Level: Intermediate

[am4show have=’p1;p2;p4;’ guest_error=’Premo’ user_error=’Upgrade’ ]

Instructions

1. From Mountain pose, bend the right knee, bringing all your weight into the left foot. Turn the right hand palm out with the thumb pointing to the back wall. Stare at a point on the floor for balance.

2. Slowly inhale the right foot up and hold onto the foot or ankle with the right hand.

3. Inhale the left hand up towards the ceiling.

4. As you exhale, kick the right foot into the arm, allowing the leg and foot to lift up towards the ceiling. As the leg lifts up, hinge at the hips and with a straight back lower the arm and torso down towards the floor. Keep the right hip down, parallel to the floor.

5. Keep staring at a point on the floor for balance, breathe deeply and hold for 2-4 breaths.

6. To release, inhale reaching the left arm back up towards the ceiling and exhale release the arms and the right leg down.

7. Repeat on other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Dancer pose improves balance, focus and concentration and tonifies the kidneys which stimulates the urogenital system. Dancer deeply stretches the hip, leg and shoulder.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the legs, hips, back or shoulders.

Cautions: Unmedicated high blood pressure.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Do this pose in stages, stopping at #2 or #3 if you cannot balance well or go all the way into the posture.

Variations: Hold on to the raised leg with both hands on the foot.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Mountain, Standing Hand to Toe.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Warrior III, Standing Splits, Balancing Half Moon, Standing Forward Fold. [/am4show]

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