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Weekly Wisdom - The Magic of Dancer Pose

The cosmic couple of Hinduism, Shiva and his wife Parvati, were the ultimate yogis and spent most of their time practising together. Shiva once challenged Parvati to a dance contest. Parvati had to imitate all Shiva's poses and she could perform them all as perfectly and gracefully as he could. So, in order to tease her, he took the difficult posture known as urdhva-thandava (urdhva loosely meaning upward; thandava is the divine dance). In this pose Shiva lifted his right leg straight above his head. Parvati was unable to imitate this posture so she responded with an equally beautiful feminine pose.

The wildness in Shiva was always tamed by Parvati’s exquisite beauty and charm - The Puranas.

"To identify the dancer (nataraja) in the dance, you must get so immersed in the dance that you also become the dance – you are not a spectator, you are it – then you know the dancer by experience; you are touched by him" – Sadhguru

Nataraja is the dance of Shiva – the Sanskrit translation is King of Dancers. When you make the shape of the pose, you embody the fearlessness of Shiva. You become so immersed in what you are doing that you become the pose itself. You should imagine yourself as the supreme dancer. You want to feel the dancer in every part of your body, your skin, your nerves and your muscles. The final posture becomes the most upright, elegant and graceful pose that you perform. Only through the intensity of the pose can you experience the magic of Nataraja-asana.

The above complete version of dancer pose may be beyond what most of our bodies are now capable of. But don't limit yourself to what you believe is all you can manage. Aim high. You may be surprised at what your body can do.

Thank you to teacher trainer Kelly Hudson for her input on this post. Zahir Akram will be teaching various modules of our yoga teacher training programme beginning in November 2016. For more information visit this link or contact Zahir on 07577 422132.

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