Natarajasana (King Dancer)
Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.
Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:
Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.
Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.
Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.
Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.
Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.
Hello, yogis! This month we go over one of my favorite balancing poses, King Dancer. With amazing benefits with balance, a deep heart opener and nice stretch on the front of the hip. Building flexibility and also strength. Some great prep postures to get the body warmed up would include melted heart, bridge, tiger, tiger crunches, bow, cow face, forearm plank, dolphin, reclined hero, pigeon and wheel. Get the shoulder and the hips nice and warm and bendy and build some core stability to get you ready.
Now, to start, lets talk about misconceptions, many times when we go into dancer, we hinge at the hip and come into standing bow pose instead to allow us to get the leg up higher. There is nothing wrong with this and you still get loads of benefit but you arent getting the backbend you need to achieve king dancer. So to prevent this, we will use the wall as our main prop. You will also need a strap (or tie). Walk your hands up the wall and move your feet back and forth till you find a nice spot, this will depend on your shoulder mobility. You want your chest and your elbows to make contact with the wall and feel a bit of a stretch.
Once you find this spot, make a loop in your strap and place it around the foot of the side you’d like to start on. Bring the strap over your shoulder and replace your feet where that sweet spot was.
Now keeping your elbows and heart on the wall, begin to pull up the strap and shift the foot back, redistributing the weight.
Pull the foot up, bending the knee until you feel a nice backbend stretch. Don’t forget to breathe!
Cool yourself off with a child’s pose and some simple twist to get your heart rate back down and close your heart off so it isn’t too open.
Go forth and play yogis!
-Namaste, Michi P.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (They/Them)
This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.