Natarajasana

Natarajasana

INSTRUCTIONS: (note this image shows an advanced version of this pose. These instructions are for the easier version which involved holding the foot with the hand, rather than the elbow. )

1. Begin by standing with feet 3-4 feet apart with your feet parallel to each other and your knees unbent.

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On an inhalation, shift your weight onto your right foot, and raise your left heel towards your left buttock as you bend your knee. Press the top of your right thigh-bone back deep into the hip joint, and make sure your standing leg is strong and straight.

2. Keeping your torso relatively upright, reach back with your left hand and grasp the outside of your foot (or ankle). You must avoid compression in your lower back, so actively lift your pubis towards your navel whilst pressing your tailbone towards the floor.

3. Next begin to lift your left foot upwards away from the floor and backwards away from your torso. Then extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor, while stretching your right arm upwards and forwards, to aid your balance.

4. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, increasing the duration as your ability increases. Release your grasp on your foot, returning the foot to the floor, then repeat for the same duration on the other side.

BENEFITS:

This pose stretches the ankles, legs, thighs, groin and abdomen, whilst strengthening the legs and ankles. Mastery of this pose improves posture and balance, while improving digestion and helping to relieve stress and fatigue.

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