Anatomy of a Pose: Dancer

By Leilani Galvan – November 1, 2015
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

Dancer Pose // Natarajasana

1. Stand in Samasthiti with your feet together and big toes touching, palms pressing together in front of the heart. Root down through all four corners of each foot, and refrain from gripping the mat with your toes. Take several breaths here to root your feet.

2. Inhale your arms overhead for Mountain Pose. Hands should be shoulder width distance apart, palms facing the center line. Feel expansive across your chest and shoulders.

3. Bring your weight into your left heel. Exhale and lower your right elbow to your right hip, palm face up like you’re hold a platter. At the same time, raise your right heel toward your glute by bending the knee.

4. Capture the inner arch (the big toe side of your raised foot with your right hand. Allow the shoulder head of the right arm to roll open, lengthening and preparing the pectoral muscle before going into the posture.

5. Inhale and zip your knees together, grow tall and long through the left side and reach for the ceiling.

6. As you exhale, gently press your lifted foot into your hand and allow that action to pull and hinge the body forward. Pull on your foot as you kick into your hand, with equal force. Stay very grounded through the heel of the supporting foot and bring your attention back to your heel if you feel wobbly. 

7. Rather than locking out the supporting knee, give it a micro bend and think instead of wrapping the muscles of the leg around the bone. Continuously wrap the outer right hip down and forward to square the hips, while allowing the right shoulder to roll open even more. Gaze is over the finger tips of the left hand. Take several deep breaths with even length inhales and exhales.

8. Inhale to rise out of the posture, and exhale release to Samasthiti.

9. Repeat on the other side.


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