” Dance as if no one else is watching with the Lord of the Dance”

      Lord of the Dance Pose

Natarajasana (Sanskrit)
nata- dancer

raja- king

asana- pose

Classification:

Asymmetrical standing backward-bending pose

Benefits:

•  Stretches the shoulders and chest

•  Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen 

•  Strengthens the legs and ankles 

•   Improves balance 

Contraindications and Cautions
:

•  Low blood pressure

Getting to the pose:

Connect with your  (¥) Ujjayi Breath:

Lift your tongue to the roof of your mouth (closed) Inhale and Exhale through your nose and connect with your  (¥) Ujjayi Breath. You should be able to hear an inner whisper speech(like the sound of the ocean) or furthermore, Dark Vader ( Starwars movie character) whispered speech.

1.  Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Inhale, bring your left arm up to the sky, exhale and roll your right hand open with palm facing forward. Inhale and bend your right knee, then bring your right foot from behind and carefully grab the inside of your right foot (have your thumbs pointing to Heaven).

2. Exhale and set your #Drishti, establish your balance, once you feel your base or foundation set, Inhale bring upward your ^scapular area and elevate the ^shoulder blades then Exhale.

3.  Inhale and feel how your heart center is high, then Exhale and stretch forward (maintain with elegance your chest upward, a little higher than the hips) 

4.  Inhale and recall what reason or •intention motivates you to get into that pose and after reaching your left shoulder forward and right leg back gracefully, exhale extend and straighten your back leg with Warrior will.

5. Stay in the pose from 20-30 seconds, carefully release and repeat on the opposite side.

Stay alert…Stay alive “

Transition mindfully from any yoga pose. 

Keep your guard up, until you are safely grounded.

Beginner’s Tip
:

Many beginners, when lifting the leg, tend to cramp in the back of the thigh. Be sure to keep the ankle of the raised foot flexed; that is, draw the top of the foot toward the shin.

Modifications and Props

Balance can be difficult in the modified version. Try bracing the free hand against a wall to help you stay stable.

Deepen The Pose
:

You can move even further into this pose by grasping the raised foot with the off-side hand. Complete the pose as described above in the Full Pose section. Then inhale and swing the free hand first up toward the ceiling, then bend the elbow and reach for the inside of the raised foot.

Partnering or Buddy System (military):

Have your partner help you with balance. As you perform the pose (any of the described variations), have your partner stand behind you. Let him use his best judgment on how to keep you from toppling over, such as bracing your hips with his hands, or helping you to grasp the raised foot.

Emotional Focus of this asana:

Baron Baptiste ( Founder of  The Baptiste Power Yoga Institute) established that the Mental Surrender combined with calm perseverance and determination on this pose, help us become more flexible and receptive to change.

Through surrender we suddenly tap a supportive inner force and life-giving energy that sustains us and propels us forward and upward”– Journey Into Power (ed.2003)

I encourage the students (during Savasana or closing segment) to self evaluate with their eyes close, having the intention to help them self-scan physically their flexibility progress and take note regards how can they mindfully transfer their skill to their emotions, in order to make easier not  judging themselves and others.

To acknowledge gratefulness for their blessings instead of focusing towards unfulfilled items from our daily bucket list.

To appreciate that brief moment of darkness without reactivity by searching for that little light, we all have and sometimes dim unconsciously. 

To nurture that light and let it grow like a little Sun within, as a reward for accomplishing our practice. 

Finally,  my reward is to see a glow in their faces as outcome.

Anatomical Focus of this asana:

Base or Standing Leg:

you must keep knee in neutral and balance on single leg.

There is *concentric contraction on quadriceps, hamstrings; intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of foot and lower leg.

There is *eccentric contraction in order to allow lateral shift, therefore the gluteus medius, and minimus, piriformis, obturator internus, superior and inferior gemelus, tensor fascie latae.

Engage hamstrings and gluteus maximus to allow anterior tilt of pelvis without falling forward.

Lifted Leg:

There is *concentric contraction while entering to the pose by creating hip extension and knee flexion engaging the hamstrings.

Keep the muscular joint action in the ~abductor magnus to create hip extension, internal rotation and abduction when engaging the abductor magnus. Activation of <Gluteus maximus is necessary to deepen the hip extension. 

As well as activation of the *Vastus muscles  is required to extend the knee and increase hip extension against resistance of the hand grasping food.


Author
Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior;  RYT-200 hrs; Criminal Justice, BA; Holistic Practicioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda.

Courtesy of Semperlee Yoga Corp.

References:

Yoga Anatomy/ Leslie Karminoff , Amy Mathews (2nd ed.)2012.

Journey Into Power/ Baron Baptiste ( Fireside ed. )2003.

Smithonian Human, The Definitive Visual Guide/Robert Winston, Dr. Don E Wilson

Glossary

There are two types of isotonic contractions.         

* concentric contraction occurs when the muscle shortens.

* eccentric contraction occurs when the muscle lengthens.

* Vastus muscles  are the three separate skeletal muscles located in the thigh. The three muscles; vastus intermedius, lateralis and medialis are located in the middle, on the outside and inside of the thigh, respectively. 

^ Scapular area situated between the clavicle and sternum,  being sternum the base of the costal cartilage in our thoracic area.  

^ Shoulder blades situated over the upper back ribs

Drishti: gaze

(¥) Ujjayi breath:

uj- flow out

jayi- victory, triumph

Intention is purpose, what you want to achieve

~abductor magnus  is a large triangular muscle, situated on the medial side of the thigh.

<Gluteus Maximus  is the main extensor muscle of the hip. It is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles and makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of each side of the hips.

  © 2016 Semperlee Yoga Corp. All Rights Reserved.


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