Trying to listen to alignment cues in a yoga class and understanding the right positioning can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re a complete beginner and simply trying to just keep up!

That’s why every month I will break down a pose, show you how to get into it safely, highlight its benefits and offer one or two top tips. 

This month, we are focussing on Lord of the Dance Pose (Dancer), also referred to as Natarajasana in Sanskrit.

Establishing the Foundation of the Pose

  1. To begin, you can stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and establish a firm foundation. Also known as a drishti, find an unmoving point to focus on with your eyes and soften your gaze.
  2. Place your hands on your waist, just above your hips, for now and start to transfer your weight onto your left foot.
  3. Keeping the left foot firm and grounded, begin to bend the right knee, lifting your right heel towards your right buttock.
  4. Keeping the torso upright, reach back with the right hand to hold the outside of the right foot or ankle. *Beginners tip – keep the right foot flexed and hold onto the ankle.
  5. Keep the left standing leg firm and strong by lifting the kneecap and pressing the head of the left thigh bone back and deep into the hip joint.
  6. Lengthen the tailbone towards the floor as you tilt the pelvis upwards slightly and keep both hip bones facing forward.

Moving into the Pose

  1. Begin to lift your right foot up and back to bring the thigh parallel to the floor while at the same time, lowering the torso forwards stretching the left arm forwards also, parallel to the floor.
  2. Pressing the right foot into the hand, make sure to avoid letting the right knee splay out to the side.

Maintaining the Pose

  1. Ensure to stay strong in the left standing foot, keeping the leg engaged, the thigh firm.
  2. Continue to offer resistance to the right hand by pressing the right foot into it.
  3. Roll the right shoulder back to open across the front of the chest.
  4. Stay here for a couple of breaths.

Completing the Pose

  1. Straighten up the torso and bring the knees back in line
  2. Release the grasp of the right foot and place it back on the floor, lowering the left arm
  3. Repeat on the other side

Benefits of the Pose

  1. Improves sense of balance
  2. Strengthens the legs and ankles
  3. Stretches the thighs, groins, abdomen, shoulders and chest
  4. Calms the mind

This can be a challenging pose if you are a little off balance.

A nice modification is to place the free hand against a wall to help avoid toppling over! If you are feeling really balanced, it can be nice to close your eyes and bring in a gyan mudra with your free hand.