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Dance Day: Remembering Lord of Dance Nataraja in Jaipur
"There are many different ways of celebrating Dance Day. We yoga-enthusiasts in Jaipur at Jawahar Circle Park are having the session on 'Dance Posture Yogasanas' early in the morning at five o' clock to celebrate the day and dedicating it to Nataraja - the Lord of Dance in Hinduism," said my yoga-admiring neighbour while going out of the house this morning to attend the session.

He was in a great hurry. He only mentioned that there will be six-postures and begged to leave to reach in time the park close by our locality. However, he promised to meet me at 6.30 AM and share what transpired in the one-hour session.

International Dance Day (IDD) - established in 1982 and promoted by the International Dance Council, World Dance Alliance and CID at UNESCO - is being celebrated in many countries today on April 29.

Meanwhile, I took to internet search and found some relevant information on Nritya Yoga and Nataraja. According to Amrita Choudhury, who has been teaching for the past 30 years and founded an organization Nritya Yoga, the combination of dance, movement and Yoga is the source of life - an expression of life and simply a way of life.

Nritya Yoga combines techniques and philosophy of various forms of yoga traditions, sacred dance traditions such as Mudras, movements and meditation techniques to afford a rare opportunity to truly explore the roots of the ancient philosophies and practices of yoga, and bring this wisdom to a more modern day practice which is soulfully uplifting, writes Amrita at her website while stressing that Nritya Yoga postures include the movements of eyes, neck, torso, heart center, hip, feet, body postures, mudras and chakra center techniques.

When my neighbour came back, he said that they remembered first 'Nataraja' or God Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance or Tandava to destrot the universe followed by its reconstruction by the God Brahma. Thereafter, he demonstrated the Nataraja Yoga posture, main-stay Nritya Yoga posture - which I found difficult. However, he also demonstrated four other variations of Nritya Yoga which I found simple.

As he performed the Nritya Yoga postures, I drew the stick-figure sketches of those. Celebrate the day by uniting dance and yogasanas for a union of body, mind and spirit.

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