Shiva Natarajasana

The Dance of Shiva, Shiva Natarajasana or Shiva Nata is a beautiful practice, which can often feel a bit overwhelming at first.

To get the most out of giving it a go, I strongly recommend trying several classes over the course of a week.  You will find that you are making daily small (and sometimes large) progressions in understanding the movements of the arms and will quickly begin to flow with more challenging and complicated variations of the movements.

As well as increased confidence and co-ordination of the arms and a testing brain work out, you will benefit from a fantastic shoulder work out too, opening your upper spine, chest and shoulders.

In my online classes I will endeavour to help you progress through a supported self practice. I may suggest to you that the best development is to leave the class at a certain point and either work on what you had done to that point as your self practice, or alternatively just sleep on it, let it sink into your subconscious and try again in another class soon.


You will hopefully discover that it is that testing point where we struggle to work things out that the real learning is happening.  It would be wonderful if you can celebrate and struggle through those moments in class with us.  However to get you started I have broken down the initial arm positions for the Vertical and Horizontal spirals below.

Vertical Spiral

I like to start with the vertical spiral as this feels an easier set of movements for my arms.

Some basic rules / principals that may help you are to keep the palms of the hands facing outwards (as much as possible) throughout.  Follow the thumbs for the forward spiral movements.  Follow the little fingers for the backwards spirals.

Horizontal Spiral

For the Horizontal arm spirals, I tend to draw on the visualisation that I am like an Egyptian painting, with the hands always pointing sideways and the palms always facing up.  Another visualisation I like to use is that I am a waiter in the circus carrying a plate on each hand, and I must not drop the plate!

Other helpful rules could be to try and keep the elbows at the height of the shoulders, as well as the shoulders relaxed. 


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©2018 by Jesse Saunders.