Because the positions of the dance of shiva are clearly defined, it's easy for your brain (and your consciousness) to hold on to these patterns and store them. What can make the positions even more memorably is feeling your shoulders, elbows and hands while you do them.
In most dance of shiva positions you can focus on reaching your shoulder blades away from your spine, reaching your elbows away from your shoulders (so that you upper arms feel "long") and making your fingers feel long also.
So that your arms have a solid base, you can also focus on making your neck long (pull your head back and up) and expand your ribcage, (front, sides and back.)
You can work towards making your whole body feel long or open while doing shivanata positions and movements. But prior to that you can focus on learning the positions.
The starting posture for learning the first four dance of shiva positions is
The first part of moving into nearly all positions is spreading the shoulder blades. From there, allow the movement to ripple out through the elbows and then the hands.
Since positions are the same for both hands, also focus on making both sides feel the same.
Use one arm, say your right, as the reference position and adjust your left arm to match your right. (or vice versa.)
When adjusting your body, making it symetrical, you may find it easier if you focus on one element at a time. So for example, start by making your shoulders feel the same. Then adjust your elbows, then your arms.
This can be an iterative process. Work towards symmetry gradually. Do the best that you can.
For all positions, start in neutral, arms by your sides.
Repeat that position 5 times and then move on to the next position.
In the first four positions both hands are horizontal
Hands are horizontal with fingers pointing either outwards or inwards.
For position 1-1 the elbows are bent with hands at about eye height.
Make your elbows feel strong and make your fingers feel long.
Position 2-2 can feel like you are elbowing someone to the side of you. As with Dance of Shiva positin 1-1, make your elbows feeel strong. Squeeze them at the front and back.
In position 3-3 the elbows are slightly bent. Roll the top of your shoulders fowards and roll your forearms inwards at the elbow joint. Flatten your palms and straighten your fingers as much as possible.
Position 4-4 can also feel like you are elbowing someone to the side of you. Hands at forehead height, you may find it feels more comfortably to lift your shoulders slightly. Make your neck feel long and your fingers long also.
In the next four dance of shiva positions both palms face vertical outwards. Finger point either forwards or backwards.
In position a-a thrust your arms straight ahead. Hands are at shoulder height and can be shoulder width or closer. For ease of viewing my hands are shoulder width in the picture. You may want o vary this depending on feel.
Although you can't see it, the elbows point out in this position. (Compare with position c-c below.)
In position b-b the elbows point forwards as much as possible. The fingers point back towards the sternum. It can help if you move your shoulders forwards in this position.
In dance of shiva position c-c the hands again are forwards but the elbows point downwards, and even slightly inwards. To make this position easier to differentiate from position a-a I've positioned my arms slightly lower. Note that it can be quite challenging to get the palms to face outwards in this position. Do the best that you can.
In position d-d, the arms are back.
Try lifting your shoulders a little and then focus on moving them back. Move your shoulder blades towards each other.
The seated get up is a way of getting into the one legged squat from a seated position. Even if you aren't interested in one leg squats this video does include tips on stabilizing the knees (at about the 5 minute mark.) Usual muscle activations for knee stability might include the quads, the hamstrings or any of the glutes. This looks at another set of muscles all together. If you like the video or find it helpful, please do share it! Thanks!
Some tips for learning how to do deep squats (without weight). The first tip is on how to stay balanced while squatting.
How do you learn the body weight safely? How do you work towards this pose even if you aren't sure if you are capable of doing it.
Basic yoga poses: standing, sitting, arm balances, binds, twists, inversions, back bending, front bends.
Scapular stabilization becomes a little bit harder when working agains the weight of the body. It can be easier to learn if you gradually increase the amount of body weight the scapular stabilizer muscles are working againsts..
Some hip flexor strengthening exercises.
These yoga poses can be used as arm strengthening exercises.
Turn yoga poses into leg strengthening exercises using floor pressing actions, leverage and friction.
One way of finding and fixing hip problems is to do standing hip strengthening exercises while balancing on one leg.
Knee anatomy for yoga teachers looks at the bones and muscles that comprise the back of the knee in simple terms.
Working towards a kneeling quadriceps stretch you first need to be able to kneel. If you have difficulty kneeling, you may find it helps to activate your quadriceps.
When doing quadriceps stretching it may help to activate and then relax your quadriceps in these standing, lunging, pigeon and supine yoga pose variations.
Some exercises and yoga poses for working towards a lying quadriceps stretch one leg at a time.
What are the benefits of the Dance of Shiva? Arm strength and balance, learning to learn and improving creativity.
This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.
The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.
To improve the resiliency of your knees it can help to exercise them in a variety of positions. The following yoga poses can be used as knee strengthening exercises. The trick is to activate your knees while doing them.
Learn to consciously control your quads and hip flexors with Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors. This downloadable video course teaches you how to feel and activate your quadriceps (the vastus muscles) as well as the rectus femoris, tensor fascae latae and sartorius muscles.
For any calf stretch you have to bend your ankle forwards to stretch the soleus and/or gastrocnemius. How you bend the ankle forwards can make the stretch more or less effective.
Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.