One of my favorite yoga poses is Natarajasana. Sometimes referred to as Standing Dancer, Standing Bow, King Dancer or Lord of the Dance, Nataraja in sanskrit refers to Lord Shiva, the God of the Ego Death and the Destroyer. This is a master pose that in essence is about the dance of transformation.
I am not the bendiest yogi in the room by far, but this pose does it for me in every way. Like all asanas, it is an opportunity to increase flexibility, strength and endurance. Yoga is a Fascial Massage, allowing all those tiny bands that wrap around and support our muscles, tendons, bones and organs to stretch, open and release. But as those beads of sweat start to form, while grateful for all of the above, its not my immediate experience of this pose.
Natarajasana IS the affirmation of the human experience of change. Of letting go and moving forward. Of ego deaths and our ability to adapt. It sings the voice of truth - that life is about transformation. As humans it salutes our constant dance with how we struggle with this process or how we embrace it.
This morning was just that. As my trusty warrior teacher, Layna Dakin led us in, and as I reached back to extend my hip and hip flexor open, I began to feel the release of that emotion and negativity. I felt that dance of letting go. As I pulled my foot back in space, that sweetness sets in as the veils lift to reveal all the shades of light and dark. As my chest expands open I can access the courage it takes to look at myself and that compassionate self-acceptance that comes along with each increasing beat of the heart. Only then can I truly be empathic to all my mirrors. And finally as I inhale my arm forward I am ready to receive the future and all it holds for me. The container of shiva, inviting the structure in space and time, provides me with the strength and grit it takes to be in the present moment. The cherry on top is that Natarajasana, for me, is the marriage of shiva to shakti. The release of that kundalini energy of divine creation starts to flow. That juice of shakti energy that keeps me interested, inspired, and feeling alive.
Now I feel that exhale of gratitude for this dance of life. This dance that I get to take off my mat and march on.