Patrick and Yoga Garden teacher Kumiko Minagawa take a look at one of the most recognizable asana, Natarajasana. Dance over to the studio for a class if you're ever in Yokohama! http://www.yogagarden.jp (music from Boozoo Bajou and Lemon Jelly)
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This is Patrick from Yoga Garden and on the screen is Kimiko, one of our teachers. Today we are exploring Dancer Pose. Dancer Pose is named after Nataraja, the dancing incarnation of the Hindu god, Shiva. In classical depiction, his right hand is holding drum of creation, while the upper hand left hand is holding fires of destruction. This is a drum pose the balance is both grace, power and concentration, all in amazing dance. It's a pretty intensive pose, so we should warm up first. We are doing it in the context of the class, you need about three quarters of going through. We are just doing this course by itself, we make sure we do a few rounds of sun salutations at first. Placing your hands on the wall, let's check the shape of our pose. The ideal shape for dancer pose is a circle, a line at the back and a line of back and the line of the leg making a smooth contour, which isn't for cosmetic reasons. The smooth circle shape means that neither your hip abductors nor your lower back is going too hard dominating the glutes. Often times, people are more flexible to the side than to the back. As they try to make the pose deeper, they end up with the shape like this. The pelvis tilted to the side, the knee coming up at line, the circle is lost and the pose loses some of its meaning. Here is that problem for different angle. You can see that torquing the pelvis starting the knee on where there is a whole set of line; spine as twisted in. Everything is at place. As Kimiko comes, it's matter of alignment because it gains the grace and beauty of god. Here is another over side of the dancer pose. The knee and the hip are in good alignment but the overall shape of the course is flat, kind of quarry. What we need to do like can we go showing just a curve of the spine, let me show this how exactly do you do that. Let's step back and take another look. There is the flat dog version, you can see the chest is pointing at 45 degrees. The great thing is you can make it point to chest chest forward while they are not forward. So the solution to this problem is not thinking about your spine; you are thinking about opening the chest, letting the shoulders come back. Well, this actually can be forced; you have to use the deep inner muscles of the core. A great way to find this elusive circular shape that we are talking about is by using a strap, picking the ankle joining the elbows forward and coming up into dancer with this shaft. Once here you can choose how intense to make it by taking your hands down towards the butt to keep the pose. This is a great way to practice but don't overdo it. It's easy to strain the back using this the pose like this. When you are ready to come down, put the hands and slowly open the elbows and the shoulders and let the cloth come down slowly. Often this pose is shown with the front arm putting rigidly forward, but I prefer to turn the palm up and then the elbow. This opens the shoulder and bring a sense of lightness to the pose. In the end, both styles are okay, it truly is just decoration, the main auction of this pose is happening on the hips, the chest, and the spine. If you are feeling any sourness this or stiffness in the lumbar especially after dancer pose, a great way to release it is by resting the buttocks against the well letting the body hang down, elongating the spine, letting the head kind of melt toward the end. You don’t need any power for this pose, just breathe and relax. If you practiced the initial version consistently and correctly, eventually you will be ready to take on the final incarnation of the dancer. Driving the toes from the outside and key here is to rotate the shoulder and the elbow while lifting the hips. A man look like Kimiko, as using our arms and lift the leg but 90% of the power is coming from this back that we talked about before. Just like the first version, you want to check of the same mistakes. Here Kimiko is blowing the pelvis up and chest is pointing down 45 degrees at

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