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Happy September 10, 2023 – Natarajasana (King Dancer Pose)
King Dancer or Natarajasana (NAH-tah-ra-JAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Aparigraha, since this is a very challenging balance and back bend. You will also likely fall over a few times, so enjoy a few laughs working on this Asana! In fact, I often work just the beginner version of this pose, and do not often come into the full version. this is a popular advanced Asana for Instagram, and I enjoy watching other Yogis journey with this pose! PS Check out the mythology behind this pose!
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Aparigraha Day today, I recommend a passive Yin or Restorative class, or a balance-focused series.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!
Today’s Positive Practice suggestion
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try King Dancer Pose for Aparigraha Day! This is a challenging pose for all levels Yogis. Make sure to incorporate Aparigraha, and just practice without expectations, and see how you can progress with this journey pose. Remember – practice not perfection! We will talk about the variations of this pose as you progress today! Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose.
If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Aparigraha Day – make a gratitude list!
Natarajasana – King Dancer Pose
Feet and Legs – Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees. We will perform with the right leg first – so shift all weight into your left leg. When you are ready, slowly bend your right leg back. Grab the INSIDE of your right foot with your right hand, to begin opening your chest.
Hips – Make sure your hips stay pointing forward, not opening to the side.
Torso – Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. Make sure you keep your torso in line with the rest of your body, do not jut your ribs forward.
Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze ahead at a single unmoving point to help with balance.
Arms – Grab the INSIDE of your right foot with your right hand, to begin opening your chest. Raise your left arm straight up, to come into the beginner pose above.
To move into the pose, exhale and lean forward slightly, raising your right leg and lowering your left arm to stay balanced. You may come as far forward as you are comfortable, but try to only lean as far forward with your arm as needed to offset lifting your leg. Eventually, you may grab your foot with both hands behind your head, but this expression of the pose requires master balance and flexibility.
To come out of either variation of this pose, first slowly lower down to the starting position, then release and slowly lower your foot back down to the ground on an exhale. Make sure to repeat this Asana on both sides, and notice any differences in balance and flexibility between sides without judgement!
PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!
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Please comment to share your experience! Where are you on your journey with this challenging pose? Always remember, be kind!