Yoga Lesson Planning Clinic
How To Teach Dancer Pose

Step 1
Teach the Sanskrit

Teach your students the sanksrit by breaking it down into bite sized morsels.

nataranjasana
nat-ar-ANJ-as-nah

nata = dancer
raja = king
asana = posture

Your student’s may like to know that “nataranjasana” is one of the names given to the Hindu God Shiva in his form as the cosmic dancer.

Ask your students to learn the Sanskrit by getting them to repeat it as a mantra for 5 minutes.  Another way to remember nataranjasana is to ask your students to imagine NATERring to a girl called ANJela while in Dancer Pose.

Step 2
Teach the benefits

Teach your students the benefits…

  • Develops concentration & balance
  • Tones & lengthens leg/hip muscles
  • Stimulates a full range of motion in the shoulders
  • Releases foot tension
  • Opens chest
  • Creates space for the breath
  • Strengthens spine & leg
  • Stretches thighs & shoulders

Step 3
Teach the precautions

  • Low blood pressure

Step 4
Teach the preparatory posture

One Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is a great pose to prepare for Lord Of The Dancer Pose.

Step 5
Teach the posture


come Into Mountain Pose

 Find a point to gaze at (eye level or on floor)

Shift weight onto right leg.

Inhale. Bring left leg backward.

Take hold of ankle or foot with hand of same side.

Inhale. Extend the arm of opposite side up from shoulder. 

Feel energy move through fingertips.

Hold for several breaths.

Lengthen arm/torso up and forward while the opposite leg lengthens back and up.

 Breathe into the stretch on inhalation

Relax on exhalation.

Bring torso back to centre.

Release

Stand in Mountain.


Step 6
Teach the modifications

  • If quads or shoulders are tight bring a strap around foot and hold with hand
  • If coming forward is difficult only come part way forward into the pose

Steps 7
Teach the variations

If a student isn’t able to do this posture (or if you have advanced students), give them a variation.

Both Hands
Use both hands to catch the foot that has been extended into the air.  One hand catches the inner end of foot while the other hand clasps the outer end.

Partner
This posture is perfect for partner yoga.

Wall
Use a wall to support you.

Steps 8
Teach the counter

To release the strain on the spine after the lord of the dance pose perform “Half Forwardbend” (ardha uttanasana).

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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

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