Dancer Pose

Dancer Pose

In Natarajasana (Dancer Pose), Nata = Dancer and Raja = Lord or King. Dancer Pose is also attributed to Lord Shiva who is called Lord of the Dance. This vigorous and beautiful pose is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also the fountain and source of Yoga. This yoga pose is considered as an advance level yoga pose, and requires repeated practice to get it perfect and right. The focus is mainly on the twisting of the middle back in order to grab the foot and the strength of the legs and arms to go beyond the natural stretch.

Dancer Pose is considered a base pose as dancer pose variations can be derived from this pose.Dancer Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Tadasana with the big toes together and heels slightly apart. Arms are alongside the body.
Step 2
Bring the weight into the left foot and bend the right knee in back of you reaching the right heel to the right buttock.
Step 3
Bend the right elbow and hug the elbow to the right side of the body. Forearm extends out and the palm faces towards the sky.
Step 4
Reach the right hand back to grab hold of the inner right ankle or shin. The fingers wrap around the top of the foot and the thumb comes to the inner arch. Keep the knees together and both knees point forward. *Modification: Loop a strap around the right foot if you lack flexibility or to give you more room to play with the pose.
Step 5
Extend the left arm up to the sky, reach through the fingertips and the palm faces the midline of the body. Make sure you are not crunching that left shoulder up to the left ear. Shoulder blades draw down the back.
Step 6
Bring your gaze to a non-moving point on the horizon.
Step 7
Engage the belly by gently lifting the navel in and up towards the spine.
Step 8
Once you find your balance here begin to press the right foot or shin into the right hand and press the right hand into the shin or foot to create some tension. Simultaneously lean your torso gently forward and reach your fingertips towards the sky.
Step 9
Broaden through the collar bones and open up the chest even more.
Step 10
Keep pressing the right foot or shin up and back but make sure the knee does not splay out to the side.
Step 11
Steps 11&12 are for the Advanced Expression of the Pose: If you would like to go deeper, bring the right elbow to point up towards the sky. Drop the right shoulder and hug the right bicep to the right ear. The right forearm should be perpendicular to the head.
Step 12
Then gently bend the left elbow and grab a hold of the right foot. Elbows should be parallel to one another and pressing into the midline of the body. Draw the shoulder blades down the back. Keep shining the heart out and up. Hips stay even and squared. Knees keep pressing towards the midline of the body. You may be able to drop the head back gently and touch the foot to the head.
Step 13
To release King Dancer Pose, slowly let go of the right foot, come to an upright position and gently place the right foot back on the earth. Repeat on the opposite side.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Improves balance Improves postural awareness

Can boost energy and fight fatigue

Can help build confidence and empowerment

Improve body awareness

Improves posture and counteracts the effects of sitting and computer work

Strengthens your core and back muscles

Stretches your chest and shoulders

Standing Leg: strengthens the front of your hips (hip flexors), your thighs (while also stretching the back of your thighs/hamstrings), shins, and ankles

Lifted Leg: Strengthens your gluteals and back of thigh (hamstrings). Stretches the front of your hip (hip flexors), front on your thigh (quadriceps), and ankle

Contraindications

Avoid or modify if you have a hip replacement or hip pain in the pose

Avoid or modify if you have hip pain, hip arthritis, or a hip replacement

Avoid or modify if you have a hamstring or groin tear or injury.

Avoid or modify if you have acute back pain or injuries, including surgeries, arthritis, disc bulging or herniation, or SI (sacroiliac) pain

Avoid or modify if you have a hernia

Avoid or modify if you have shoulder injuries or pain in the pose

Be cautious to prevent falls if you have poor balance.

Consider pose variations using a chair or the wall for stability.

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

Try using a Strap to hook around your lifted foot. You can either hold it with your right hand or lengthen the strap to the point where you could get both hands holding the strap. This position with your arms and hands will prep you for the advanced and full version of the pose.

Modifications & Variations
  • King Dancer Pose B Prep Thighs Hands Aerial
  • Dancer Pose With Chair
  • King Dancer Pose B Foot Aerial
  • Standing Twist Opposite Hand to Knee Pose
  • Dancer Pose Hand Wheel
  • King Dancer Pose B
  • One Legged Revolved Mountain Pose
  • Manta Ray Pose Aerial
  • Dancer Pose II
  • Standing Bow Pose
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Flamingo Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Mountain Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Mountain Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Dancer Pose II

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.