March pose of the month:
Natarajasana - Lord of the dance pose
I chose Natarajasana - lord of the dance pose as it is a graceful and heart opening pose. I feel both grounded and uplifted in this pose.
As we move into March, it is a good time to find your inner cosmic dancer. It is the dance of life with its ups and downs, day and night, change of the seasons. Natarajasana focuses on our energy center the heart chakra. The heart chakra is much like the transition we will soon be going through from winter to spring. It is the bridge between the spiritual and the physical.
Natarajasana, is a challenging pose, as it requires stillness within movement and dancing within stillness. This heart opening pose asks us to be stable but at ease, fully engaged but at peace. Transitions no matter if they are seasonal or transitions we are going through in our life can be challenging and bringing us out of our balance. However if we can be at ease it is much easier to master these challenges.
In the Indian myth - Nataraja, lord Shiva is portrayed as the cosmic dancer, creating and destroying at the same time. Literally if we transform this to our lives we also sometimes must destroy to create new. This stands for things that no longer serve us. It also teaches us to be fully present in the moment in the here and now.
Instructions for Natarajasana
Stand in tree pose or tadasana.
As you inhale, shift your weight to the left foot and lift your right heal towards your buttocks. You can also modify this pose and wrap a strap under the top of your right foot.
Reach back with your right hand, grasp your foot or the strap, and raise the left hand up toward the ceiling. The clue here is really to kick your right foot up as much as you can.
Practicing this pose stretches your shoulders, quads and hip flexors and improves your balance.
Happy practicing! Namaste :)
Writer of this article is yoga instructor Natalie Pollinger.