Parivrtta Utthita Hasta Padangustasana!
Dancing Shiva Pose is both challenging and empowering. It helps to build strength, poise and flexibility. It requires focus and practice. Once you start to feel comfortable in a posture like Dancing Shiva Pose, you can start to experience the energetic effects of a string twist, stretch and balance.
Dancing Shiva Pose is a great translation for this posture as it can represent the experience of the pose, instead of the anatomical movements. (The actual sanskrit words can translate to Rotated Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose.) Shiva is the god of destruction and transformation. Shiva is known for his ability to remain in a state of bliss even amidst change and chaos. Dancing Shiva pose can teach us to remain blissfully still amongst challenge.
This article will help you to refine the practice of this posture at home. Of course, coming to class to learn this can really help too!
If you have ankle, lower back or hip injuries, practice this pose with caution or just skip practicing for now.
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog (above)
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana – Rotating Side Angle Pose (above)
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana – Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose (above)
Parsvottanasana – Intense Side Stretch (above)
Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee Forward Fold (above)
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana – Revolved Half Moon Pose (above)
Step by Step Guide
Start in Tadasana and breathe deeply. On your inhale lift your right leg and hug it in towards your chest. You can wrap a belt around the ball of your foot and hold on to both ends or wrap both index and middle finger of the right hand around the big toe, closing the loop with the thumb and exhale to extend your right leg out in front. Here we find ourselves in Utthita Hasta Padangustasana. Hold here for a few breaths.
When you feel comfortable standing tall and balancing here, switch hands so that the left hand is either holding on to both ends of the belt, or the left hand wraps around the outside of the right foot. The right hand can rest on the right hip. The right leg stays extended here, or you can bend it at the knee to soften the stretch.
Take a long inhale, and as you exhale turn your chest to the right. Twist to the right with your torso as much as is comfortable and stay here. If you’re feeling balanced, extend your right arm back.
Staying in this twist for up to 6 rounds of breath, think about your alignment. The standing leg should be strong but not locked back at the knee joint. Push your left foot to the floor to find some more upwards movement throughout your structure. The right leg can be bent or extended, again it’s active but not locked back in the knee joint. Draw in at the navel, lift your chest and relax your shoulders.
To come out of Dancing Shiva Pose, on your exhale bring your chest back to the centre and slowly release your right leg down to come back to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.
We like to practice Dancing Shiva Pose in our Hot Classes at Yogafurie so why not book in and come see us for a practice!