Natarajasana – May Pose of the Month

MetaYoga411.com – Here is a pose that develops concentration and balance.  It will stimulate a full range of motion in the shoulders. The chest expands fully and it tones and lengthens the leg and hip muscles.

  1. In Tadasana, take a few moments to establish your center. Find a point to gaze at either at eye level or on the floor. Shift your weight onto one leg.
  2. Inhale and bend the knee of the other leg, bringing it backwards and grab hold of the ankle or foot with the hand of the same side. Take a moment to balance and then move the knees so they are in alignment with the hip joints. Hold here and breathe into the stretch from the abdominal muscles into the quadriceps.
  3. Inhale and extend the arm of opposite side-body directly up from the shoulder, towards the sky. Feel the energy move all the way through the fingertips. Hold here for several breaths. You may want to remain in this phase of the posture and work up to the final pose.
  4. To move further, simultaneously lengthen the arm and torso up and forward while the opposite leg lengthens back and up. In the final posture the thigh becomes parallel to the floor and the torso at an angle to the floor.
  5. As you hold the pose, breathe into the stretch on the inhalation and relax on the exhalation, creating an equal and opposite stretch forward through the arm and backward through the leg. Allow your gaze to rest slightly above the horizon.
  6. Slowly bring the torso back to center. Release the bent knee and stand in Tadasana.

Benefits:

  • Releases tension in the angle and foot, helping to prevent injury
  • Develops a sense of balance and focus
  • Opens the chest and lungs, creating more space for the breath
  • Strengthens spine and entire leg
  • Stretches thighs, shoulders

Modifications/Cautionary Notes:

  • For support bring the side-body of the standing leg to a wall. Allow the body to be supported by the wall as you come forward into the pose.
  • If the quadricep and/or shoulder are tight bring a strap around the front of the foot, holding it with the hand.
  • If coming forward is too difficult only come part way forward into the pose.

Nabila at Arches National Park in Utah.

~JuliRathke, Meta Yoga Studios

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