I don’t know exactly what it is about dancer pose, natarajasana, that just makes me feel good. It’s not that I can do any of the fancier variations of the pose where where the foot would practically touch the head or anything. For my body it’s a decent stretch but nothing that would make me groan with pleasure.
But the way my legs engage, my shoulder pulls back and my heart comes forward feels expansive. The balance gathers up my roving thoughts and focuses them on the present moment. And while I am in this pose I think of joy and sunlight and playfulness.
For me yoga is not about how I look in a pose. It is about how I feel in a pose, the sensations in my body as well as the emotions in my mind.
Try this pose with your free hand on a wall in front of you for more stability and an opportunity for more expansion. Ground your standing leg, lifting your kneecap up. Then take hold of the foot of your bent leg. Press your foot into your hand and hinge forward a little at your hips. Fill your whole body with your breath and feel the expansion through your chest, the stretch in your shoulder, the small motions in your standing food as it works to hold you up. Find some play. It’s not about how long you can hold the pose or how much you life your leg. It’s about being present for that split second of lightness and grace and joy.
Is there a yoga pose that just makes you feel good? I would love to hear what it is!