Standing Vinyasa Flow
Standing Vinyasa Flow. Flow between standing postures in this intermediate yoga flow. Nini draws upon Shiva Natajara and the cycle of the universe (birth, destruction, and creation) throughout the practice.
Shiva Nataraja, also known as Lord Nataraja or simply Nataraja, is a significant and iconic representation of the Hindu god Shiva. This form of Shiva is known as the “Lord of the Dance” or “King of Dance.” The image of Shiva Nataraja is characterized by a graceful and dynamic dance posture and is rich in symbolism.
Key features and symbolism of Shiva Nataraja include:
1. Dance Pose: Shiva is depicted in a lively dance posture, often with one leg lifted and the other firmly planted on a dwarf demon named Apasmara or Muyalaka. This represents Shiva’s triumph over ignorance and illusion, symbolized by the dwarf.
2. Multiple Arms: Shiva Nataraja is typically depicted with four arms, which represent the multifaceted nature of the divine. Each hand holds various objects:
- The upper right hand holds the drum (damaru), symbolizing the creation of the universe.
- The upper left hand holds a flame or fire (representing destruction and transformation).
- The lower right hand is held in a gesture called “abhaya mudra,” symbolizing protection and fearlessness.
- The lower left hand points downward to the lifted foot, indicating salvation or liberation.
3. Circle of Fire: The circular or oval halo around Shiva Nataraja is often depicted with flames, signifying the cosmos and the perpetual cycle of creation and destruction.
4. Snake: A snake encircles Shiva’s neck, representing his mastery over the forces of darkness and his control over the kundalini energy within all beings.
5. River Ganges: Shiva’s matted hair holds the flowing Ganges River, symbolizing the purifying and life-giving aspects of the river and the balance between creation and destruction.
6. Tribhanga Pose: Shiva’s body is often depicted with a graceful S-shaped curve, known as the “tribhanga” pose, which adds to the aesthetic beauty and fluidity of the sculpture.
Shiva Nataraja’s dance is seen as a representation of the cosmic dance of creation, preservation, and destruction that is an essential aspect of Hindu philosophy and cosmology. It is a powerful symbol of the interplay of opposites, the cyclical nature of existence, and the ultimate transcendence of duality. This form of Shiva is especially significant in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism and is celebrated during the festival of Maha Shivaratri. The Nataraja sculpture is widely revered and has become an iconic representation of Hindu art and philosophy.