What is Nataraja Yoga?
nata = dance
raja = royal
Raja Yoga or the “Royal Path of yoga” is comprised of 8 limbs (practices) as outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: ethical behaviors, personal disciplines, postures, breath control, sensory withdrawal, & 3 phases of meditation. Nataraja yoga is a teaching method that addresses these 8 limbs of yoga in each class, choreographing postures & mudras, chanting & song, movement and stillness into a royal dance that harmonizes the physio-emotional body, the intellect, and the spirit.
Nataraja Yoga Classes
Nataraja Yoga Classes are not like the typical vinyasa or power yoga classes that link postures through the traditional Sun Salutations sequence, nor do they incorporate classical dance movements of the Western world. Nataraja Yoga classes link postures together with unique sequences of traditional asana and flowing movements of the spine in the way dance movements are linked together for a dance composition. Each sequence is, in itself, without a definitive beginning or end, that evolves one posture into another as a representation of the evolution from the gross to the subtle (physical to the spiritual) bodies. This approach to sequencing helps to release one’s attachment to the expectation of postures that are repeated in vinyasa classes, helping to break attachment to outcome, the first step to moksha, or liberation from the illusions of the ego.
The Fruits of Nataraja Yoga
- Greater body awareness is achieved through transitions that emphasize alignment in postures. Each transition requires mindful shifts in balance and thoughtful positioning of alignment.
- A greater depth of concentration develops as subtle variations in asana & the performance of mudras in asana demand focused attention to even the small details of practice.