Open your heart both on and off the mat.
by Miri McDonald, TSF volunteer
Invigorate your giving spirit with this heart opening asana – Natarajasana (dancer pose).
What are the benefits?
This pose stretches the chest, shoulders, and opens the heart. It also strengthens the legs and ankles and improves balance. The hip flexor, groins and abdomen are also strengthened.
How do I get into the pose?
– Start in Tadasana (mountain pose).
– Inhale, shift your weight onto your right foot, lift your left heel toward the left side of your bum while bending the left knee. Keep the right standing leg strong and the knee slightly bent.
– Exhale, reach back with your left hand and grasp the outside of your left foot or ankle. Avoid compressing the lower back by tucking the tailbone under towards the floor.
– Inhale, push your left foot into your hand and lift it up and away from the floor and away from your body.
– At the same time, stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor.
– Inhale and exhale in the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. If you lose your balance, just get back up and try again.
– To come out of the pose, mindfully let go of your left foot and place it back onto the floor. Repeat on the other side.