Dancers Pose: Natarajasana

Name: Dancers Pose

Sanskrit: Natarajasana

Pronunciation: NAH-tah-rahj-AHS-ah-na

Alternative Names: Lord of the dance pose, King Dancer Pose, and Dancing Shiva Yoga Pose

Pose Level: Natarajasana is a pose for intermediate level

Anatomy Involved:

Dancer Pose is a deep backbend that requires patience, focus, and persistence. It targets the legs and core muscles and helps improve body balance.


  • Dancer Pose enhances body balance, awareness, concentration, postural cognition, and kinesthesia.
  • It augments energy, reduces fatigue, and elevates confidence.
  • Natarajasana helps strengthen the feet, ankles, legs, core, back, and arms.
  • It also broadens the front body, including the chest, stomach, hips, and shoulders.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Stand in Mountain posture and face the mat. Notice your pelvis and trunk symmetry. Alternatively, you can stand facing the top of the mat, feet together;
  • Then, draw one leg in towards the chest using both arms;
  • Now, begin to press into the mat with the one grounded foot;
  • Contract the standing leg quadriceps and tighten the glutes toward the midline;
  • Your gaze should be forward;
  • Then, grab the ankle of the raised leg with the left arm only, and attempt to bring the bent leg toward the back;
  • At this time the bent leg should be in line with the standing leg;
  • Lean forward slightly, bring the bent leg back with the left arm. Simultaneously, bring the right arm across the body and grab the “lifted foot”.
  • Reaching underneath with the left arm, once again grab the outside of the lifted food. Then turn your torso back to center;
  • The right arm now goes up and then back to the foot of the bent leg to also grab a hold;
  • Pull upward and straighten the standing leg;
  • This is the final pose.

Pose Modifications:

For example, could the yogi use a supportive pillow, blanket. Is there another variation of the maneuver?

  • For maximum opening in your chest, grab your bowed leg with both hands. To alter shoulder stretch slightly, try holding the foot from the inside.
  • To enhance your body, balance your position near a wall to hold with one hand.
  • You may also try a strap to bring your lower leg upward.

Related Article: Improve & Complete Your Yoga Routine: The Essential Yoga Props


If you have following conditions avoid Natarajasana:

  • Ankle or back injury
  • Dizziness
  • Balance issues
  • Make sure to protect your bent knee by not locking or flexing it.

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:

Standing Forward Bend (body folds forward), Downward-Facing Dog Pose (body inversion), and Child’s Pose (body kneels) are transition postures to dancer pose.

Poses Commonly Used Before Hand:

In preparation for the dancer pose, practice balancing postures and stretches like Tree Pose, Cow Face Pose, Low Lunge, Humble Warrior, Hero Pose, One-Legged King Pigeon Pose, and Camel pose.