Natarajasana (Pose Dedicated to Nataraja, Lord of the Dance), registers as 58* on BKS Iyengar’s 60* scale of difficulty in Light on Yoga.
Nataraja is an aspect of Shiva known as the Lord of the Dance. If you’ve ever seen any Hindu sculptures, you’ve likely seen the image of Nataraja – dancing surrounded in a ring of fire, one leg lifted in the air, the other foot resting over a demon (the demon of ignorance). Nataraja is understood as the cosmic dancer – who dances the world into its creation and into its destruction.
The yoga pose Natarajasana embodies the dance. Balancing on one foot, you may wobble. Wobbling is an invitation to the dance – the dance between you and your world – the dance of steadiness, connectivity, and openness. In Natarajasana, when you move towards bringing your foot closer to your head, your steadiness may falter. You must gently dance through the muscles of your standing leg and foot to maintain your balance as you ease further into the pose.
There is no pose quite like Natarajasana to remind me that the practice is all a lila, a cosmic playground, a divine dance, where we open ourselves to a dialogue between the self and the highest Self – until, ultimately, we speak the same language and waltz hand-in-hand in the center of our hearts.