Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pose of the Month: Natarajasana (Dancer's Pose)

I love natarajasana because it feels so regal. Being rooted through the standing leg and feeling extension through the thigh, groin, abs, and arms is beautiful. I am reminded of the ballerina wind-up music boxes I coveted as a child. Enjoy this graceful pose and if you're pregnant savor the wonderful opening of your shoulders and chest.

Find your center. Stand firm in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
Inhale, shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left heel toward your left buttock as you bend the knee. Press the head of your right thigh bone back, deep into the hip joint, and engage your knee cap to keep the standing leg straight, strong, and rooted.

Reach back with your left hand and grasp the outside of your left foot or ankle. To avoid compression in your lower back, actively pull the pubis forward toward your navel, and at the same time, press your tailbone toward the floor.

Begin to lift your left foot up, away from the floor, and back, away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor.

Stretches the shoulders and chest
Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
Strengthens the legs and ankles
Improves balance

To help with balance place the extended hand against a wall