We all need balance in our lives. So what better way to master it than to practice Dancer's pose (Sanskrit name: Natarajasana)? When you are fully concentrated on a pose and its proper alignment, you will find that all other concerns in the world seem to dissolve, because you're in that focused state of mind. This is an opportunity to cultivate an ability to shift out of the multi-tasking mentality the world seems to demand and move into this essential, centralized energy and space. I hope you all find this space inside you and enjoy it as well.
Benefits of Dancer's Pose
This spine strengthener has many great benefits. It tones and lengthens the entire leg and hip muscles. Dancer's pose opens the chest and ribcage for your lungs to create more space for your breath. It also stretches shoulders and biceps; and most importantly, this pose improves balance and concentration.
Dancer's Pose Step-By-Step
- Starting from Tadasana (Mountain pose), release your right elbow to your right hip. The elbow crease faces outward and the palm faces up.
- Bend the right knee and grab the inside of the right foot with all five fingers of your right hand.
- Find balance by bringing your knees to touch and find your drishti, your point of focus.
- With every inhale, lengthen through the spine and all the way through your left fingertips. And with every exhale, slowly begin to kick your right foot into your right hand. Naturally, your torso will lower down and your left hand reaches out in front of you. Remember, to keep your hips leveled. So even kicking, even stretching.
- Hold this pose for at least five breaths, then repeat on the other side.
When doing Dancer's pose, round through the four corners of your standing foot (the ball mound of your big toe, pinky toe and both the left and right side of your heel). Make sure your standing leg is straight but not locked; so engage those quadriceps.
You also want to rotate the shoulders back and away from the ears to help keep the chest lifted. If you lose your balance and fall out, get right back into it. Over time you might be able to see your big toe right above your head and maybe grab the back foot with both hands! Slow your breath down and stay focused. Don't forget to lift the corners of your mouth!