Nataraja (nata=dancer; raja=lord, king) is a name of Siva, Lord of the Dance. Siva is not only the god of mystical stillness, death and destruction, but also Lord of the Dance. In His Himalayan abode on Mount Kailasa and in His southern home, the temple of Chidambaram, Siva dances. The God created over a hundred dances, some calm and gentle, others fierce and terrible. The most famous of the terrible ones is the Tandava, the cosmic dance of destruction, in which Siva, full of fury at his father-in-law Daksa for killing his beloved spouse Sati, surrounded by his attendants (ganas), beats out a wild rhythm, destroys Daksa and threatens the world. Siva, as Lord of the Dance, has inspired some of the finest Indian sculptures and South Indian bronzes.
This vigorous and beautiful pose is dedicated to Siva, Lord of the Dance, who is also the fountain and source of Yoga.
This asana stretches the upper body and developes balance. This difficult balancing asana develops poise and a graceful carriage. It tones and strengthens the leg muscles. The shoulder-blades get full movement and the chest expands fully. All the vertebral joints benefit from the exercise in this pose.
Note: Please perform the yoga under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.
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Parsva means side or flank. Uttana (ut=intense, and tan=to extend, stretch, lengthen) means an intense stretch. The same implies a pose in which the side of the chest is stretched intensely.
This asana relieves stiffness in the legs and hip muscles and makes the hip joints and spine elastic. While the head is resting on the knees, the abdominal organs are contracted and toned. The wrists move freely and any stiffness there disappears. The posture also corrects round and drooping shoulders. In the correct pose, the shoulders are drawn well back and this makes deep breathing easier.
This standing forward bend is excellent for opening both the hip and shoulder joints. It provides a strong stretch for the back of the legs and gently contracts the abdominal organs. Regular practice of Parsvottanasana stimulates and tones the kidneys, an effect you can feel once you are comfortable in the final pose. The asana also helps to remove stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and elbows.
Other benefits of the asana includes cools the brain and soothes the nerves. Relieves arthritis of the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists. Improves digestion. Tones the liver and spleen. Reduces menstrual pain.
Note: Please perform the yoga under the guide of a certified yoga teacher
especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform
on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.
More than how deep you go in the postures, the essence of yoga lies in the breath. If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Get to know your breathing intimately. Better even than your best friend, know that your breath will always be there for you as you move through life. Good breathing is reassuring, soothing, and healing. It will bring your postures alive. Reconnecting with your natural breath will bring feelings of cleansing, lightness, and clarity. Holding the breath dulls awareness, creates tension, and impedes the feeling of flowing freedom that yoga brings to the bodymind. Conscious breathing within each posture keeps the mind alert and lets your practice be exploratory rather than routine. Conscious breathing with each posture will draw your mind to the present moment. Distractions are minimized once the mind is reined in and it becomes easier to find the essence of yoga - mastery of the mind and reconnection with yourself.
As your breathing becomes more conscious, you'll find it a useful tool to measure your proficiency in a posture. Once your breath stays steady, your asana practice moves closer to perfection. Let your breath be round and smooth during your asana practice. Should the breath cease to flow naturally and become jagged, jerky or forced, take it as a sign to ease off on the intensity of your practice. Incorporate Warming Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama) into your posture work. A warmiing breath is one that stokes the internal fire and warms the system. The steady, pleasant sound of warming breath provides a point of focus for the mind and prevents it from dancing away.
If using Warming Breath becomes difficult, or if you feel it creates stress in the system, return to steady natural breathing. Should you notice that your breath freezes and you forget to breathe out, use circular breathing - a flowing sort of breathing where the breath is not held and there is no long pause between the inhalation and exhalation, or between the exhalation and inhalation. Remember not to hold your breath in. Holding your breath is part of the natural startle reflex, and something that happens often as students find themselves in a new and strange yoga position.
Breathing through the mouth is rarely done during yoga practice. Breathing through the nose filters and warms the air before it enters the lungs. Let your breathing become intuitive but, in general, inhale when opening or unfolding the body, when you come up out of a pose, when raising the arms, or while twisting the upper back, or expanding the chest such as when bending backward. Most people find that exhalation comes naturally when moving downward, lowering the arms or legs, bending forward or sideways, or twisting the lower back.
Yoga asanas are postures that rebalance the body. They bring strength to the weak areas of the body; they bring softness to the tight spots. They give you a workout, with the added bonus of a work-in. Not only do they create space in the physical body, they offer a sense of psychic spaciousness. By freeing up the outer body - the physical body, the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and visceral organs - asanas build and control the prana, or vital force, of the body's subtle energies - energies that are finer and more subtle than those of the gross physical body that we can see. Asanas are considered to purify and heal the body as well as those subtle energies. Hatha yoga is great do-it-yourself preventive medicine.
The first thing people say to me when they discover I teach yoga is, "I'm not flexible enough for yoga." I often tell them, "That's why the rest of us do it!" Don't let a stiff body be an excuse never to start yoga. You should just start practicing from wherever you are right now. Don't judge your practice by how far you can or can't stretch. Never feel inadequate because you can't hold a pose for long, or because it doesn't perfectly mirror the pose in a picture. Practice spreading your awareness through your whole body. More than poise in your posture, seek grace in your breathing. Just start the journey. You never know where it might take you.
I use the term "edge" to describe the point at which the strong challenge comes into a pose and where you feel you have reached a new frontier. It's the point between comfort and discomfort, when you feel you have reached your limit. You will find that this point varies from day to day. You may notice your physical edge is different from your mental edge. Be flexible and adjust your practice to honor both. Move slowly as you approach your edge. As you hover there, your body will eventually release and open and present you with a new edge. Wait for your inner cue. Don't rush like a bull at a gate - that would be disrespectful. Be patient, and wait for your body to let you in.
Stay mentally present while you practice. Let your mind become absorbed in your work and in the subtle sensations of your body. Allow your practice to become a sort of conversation with your body. Be reflective, be respectful, be responsive.
I have been practising yoga since year 2002 and start teaching since year 2004. I’m a qualified yoga teacher who is holding a Yoga Instructors Certificate Course (YICC) with Grade A conducted by Indian Yoga Institute of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (s VYASA) at Vivekananda Yoga Centre.
I'm a freelance yoga teacher who teach at various places. For more information and detail about me, please visit my website.
I have a dream too! My dream is to have my own yoga studio centre. May all our dreams come true!..:-)