When you're new to yoga, balancing poses offer an excellent challenge. On your first attempt you may end up falling over, but once you learn to focus your drishti (your gaze), you'll be able to balance on one leg for a long, long time – or at least five breaths. The Dancer pose stretches your shoulders and chest, increases flexibility in your hips and spine, and is also an amazing hamstring stretch for your standing leg.
|Sanskrit Name: Natarajasana|
English Translation: Lord of the Dance Pose
Also Called: Dancer Pose
Want to know how to get into this pose and stay balanced? Then
- Begin in Mountain pose. Inhale as you shift weight into your left foot, and bend your right knee. Reach for your right foot with your right hand. If you can, bring your palm to the inside arch of your right foot. I like to slip my thumb between my big toe and my second toe, so that my right hand can hold onto the bone underneath my big toe.
- Reach your left arm out in front of you and stare at one spot in front of you to help you stay balanced. When you're ready, begin to press your right foot away from you and lean your torso slightly forward. If it's easy, raise your right foot as high as you can. This will stretch out your right hip flexor. Try to keep your chest open and your left leg straight.
- Stay here for five breaths and then slowly release your leg back to the ground. Stand in Mountain pose for one breath and then do Dancer on the other side.