Natarajasana, Lord of the dance

Natarajasana, Lord Shiva/Lord of the dance pose is a graceful shoulder, hip and heart-opening pose that builds on toning and strengthening the leg muscles. The name derives from the Sanskrit words nata, dancer and raja, king. The combined word Nataraja is one of the many names of the Hindu God Shiva in his form as the cosmic dancer.

Symbolising the heart of the creation and destruction of the universe in parallel, in Natarajasana, Shiva, the “destroyer” or “transformer” and sagacious Yogi dances on one leg upon an evil demon. The demon is an emblematic representation of ignorance and by performing this dance on top of ignorance, Shiva rises above all his destructive qualifies to gain emancipation.

This asana signifies the amalgamation of the individual and universal soul. The dance of life can bear rhythmic crescendos and diminuendos; it can be upbeat and fluid in contemporary movement or still in timeless classical beauty. Beneath the metaphor the aspiration remains the same, one of unlimited growth through stillness.

Most of us appreciate that in our quest for equilibrium in both asana practice and indeed life, we must do on one side the same as we do on the other: honour the left and right, feminine and masculine, sun and moon, good and bad. Naturally we will all have a stronger side, however it is our weaker side and indeed the asanas which we don’t favour as much in our practice, that we need the most and perhaps should pay special homage to. For this reason you are invited to begin performing Natarajasana on your not so favourable side. Be encouraged to rise then fall again and again, as it is only in the face of destruction and danger that we uncover the deepest depth of our being and new life. By pushing ourselves to the face of adversity and back, we identify our true self and surpass the realm of what our physical self perceives as possible.

Explore your qualities of graceful, heart-opening dynamic movement and journey through our Yogi Surprise sequence which celebrates life and honours our Natarajasana, Lord of the dance within.

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