“Fundamentally, the basis of yoga is just this, to initiate a process of self creation where the nature of your body, your emotions, your mind and your energy is consciously created by you. This is what Adiyogi did. He crafted his life in this entity.” - Sadhguru

Lord Shiva is said to be the first yogi - Adi Yogi. He is said to rule over all aspects of yoga relative to mind, body and consciousness. Natarajasana is a tribute to Adiyogi, the master of yoga.

Natarajasana or the Dancing Shiva Pose is modern yoga exercise. It draws on Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance form. Natarajasana helps to develop body balance and to strengthen the nervous system. It makes our legs and spine flexible. 

Read on to know the benefits of Natrajasana, the right way to do this asana and the precautions one should take while practising Natarjasana.

  1. How to do Natarajasana (Dancing Shiva Pose)
  2. Natarajasana (Dancing Shiva Pose) benefits
  3. Who should not do Natrajasana (Dancing Shiva Pose)
Doctors for Natarajasana

It is important to prepare your mind and body before you attempt this asana. Make sure you perform Pranayama to centre the mind and warm up your body do performing poses like Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Here's how to do Tadasana: Stand with your feet together. Interlock your fingers. Raise your arms overhead. Stretch your whole body as you come up on your toes. Hold for a few seconds.

Once you feel ready, here's how to do Natarajasana or Dancing Shiva Pose:

  • Stand with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Gaze at a fixed point in front of you. Breathe normally.
  • Now, bend your left knee and grab the big toe of your left foot with the left hand. Your hips should be facing forward and your right leg should be straight throughout this asana.
  • Turn the left arm over, so the elbow now faces the ceiling. This will help you to raise your knee higher.
  • Hold your right arm out - it should be slightly above your shoulder level and stretched forward.
  • Turn your right palm up and join its thumb and first finger in jnana mudra. Look at your right hand.
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other right leg.

Natarajasana can be difficult for beginners. They can start with the "saral" or easy option described below. And work their way up to this variation. More advanced practitioners can grab the big toe of the raised leg with both hands. 

Modifications of Natarajasana (Dancing Shiva Pose)

Natarajasana requires great balance and focus. If you are a beginner, you can modify the pose till you are comfortable with the above step. Here's how to do it:

  • Start with Tadasana.
  • When you feel ready, lower your heels back on to the floor.
  • Take your left leg back. Hold the ankle of this leg with your left hand.
  • Raise your right arm - slightly above your shoulder-level. Look at your right hand or on a fixed point on the wall, whichever helps you to maintain your balance.
  • Hold for as long as possible, up to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other leg.
  • Do up to three repetitions on each leg.


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A challenging pose, Natarjasana or Dancing Shiva Pose improves balance as well as concentration. The following are the benefits of this pose:

  • Improves body balance.
  • It balances our nervous system.
  • Regular practice of Natarajasana strengthens the legs and ankles.
  • It gives a good stretch to our thighs, groin, abdomen, shoulders, chest and legs.
  • Natarajasana improves our focus.

You may also be interested in: Yoga for legs

Natarajasana has many benefits as it strengthens some of the biggest muscles in the body: in the hips, legs, back and shoulder. However, this pose is not advised for people who have:

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