Yoga for YOU: Dancer Pose

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THIS MONTH’S POSE, Natarajasana (“I am love”) or Dancer Pose, is a way for your body to develop balance while opening your heart. A breakthrough moment on my mat was when I began to see the world through the eyes of love or fear rather than through the eyes of right or wrong. The mind wants things to be good or bad, right or wrong, but in the spiritual realm there is only love or the absence of love.

Dancer Pose gives us an opportunity to love throughout the process of transformation and the development of balance. Love yourself even when you are falling, and, in turn, learn to love others when they are struggling with their own imbalance. February is associated with love, and I would offer that this month we commit to expressing, listening and seeing each other from a place of unconditional love.

Starting in Mountain Pose, extend your left hand to the ceiling. Reach your right hand to the right with a hitchhiker thumb. Shift your weight into your left foot. Pick your right foot up behind you. Stretch your right hand back to the instep or your right foot with the thumb pointing up. If that’s not accessible, grab the outside of your foot with your thumb pointing down. Press your foot into your right hand as you reach forward and up through your left hand. Keep your left leg straight. Continue to press your sternum forward and your foot up. Breathe.

Focus your eyes on a still point in front of you. This is your Drishti. Drishti is an external focus point for your gaze that welcomes internal awareness. Focus your eyes on this one point. Take 10 slow, deep breaths. If you stumble out of the pose, get back in and start counting from your last breath. Release the pose. Center yourself in Mountain Pose for a few breaths. Observe your body, thoughts, and breath. Discover Dancer Pose on the other side.

Release into Mountain Pose with your palms pressed together over your heart. Take five breaths, repeating the mantra “I am love.”

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Michelle Ploog has been a nationally recognized yoga teacher for over 13 years. She’s certified in Baptiste Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Fluid Power Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga. She began practicing as a teenager and has since evolved into co-developing and facilitating Yoga Teacher Trainings in multiple locations. Her expertise in fitness as an ACE certified personal trainer, years as a sports-specific yoga teacher/ fitness trainer for the FL Everglades, and experience in wellness coaching influence her dynamic approach to yoga. She spends her time between Minneapolis and Naples throughout the year, and calling her partner Dan and their furbabies Dallas and Kitty her home.

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