Dancer Pose: Nataraja
This pose can be one of the most graceful and ballet-like of all the yoga balances. It requires focus and poise, and can improve strength and balance.
To begin, stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Focus on your alignment, body in a plum line, toes spread wide. Push the floor away with the soles of your feet.
Carefully take the right foot (or ankle) behind you, into the right hand. Stay here for a few breaths, stretching the quadricep (thigh) muscle.
If this stretch on the leg feels ok, take the right foot (still resting in the hand) back, and the left hand forwards, as though you are taking a picking an apple from a high tree branch.
Balance the left and right sides of your body perfectly, keeping your standing leg strong, but not locked; and your hips square (rather than twisting your torso). Spread your collerbones wide, and lift your heart.
Breath, and focus, using a drishti (gaze-point) to help your balance. After five to ten breaths, come out carefully, and take the other side.
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