Natta Adavu – First Step

September 5th, 2007 by Anjali

“Natta” means to stretch and so the Adavu involves some stretching compared to the Tatta Adavu we explored earlier. And compared to Tatta Adavu, the Natta adavu involves heel contacts of the feet. Thus word “Nattu” in Tamil is also referred to “Perching of heels”. So get ready for some stretching and synchronization of hands and legs! 🙂

The bols (sollukattu) for this Adavu is “tai yum tat ta tai hi ya ha”. You would see that the basic leg postures used in this Adavu is ArdhamandalAlidha , Anjitham, Agartalasancharam and Swastikam. Ardhamandal was used in Tatta Adavu and we will see the Alidha in the explanation for this Adavu below.

Here we go with the first step for Natta Adavu:

1. Keep both your hands stretched out in Tripataka mudra facing the floor and be seated in Ardhamandal position.

Nattu Adavu - 1

2. Stretch your right leg in Alidha position (See Below). The right leg is stretched in such manner that only the heel is resting on the floor and the toes are facing upwards. Also when one feet is flat and the other one on the heel, the we say it is Anjitham. When one foot is pressed down on the toes with heels lifted, it is called Agartalasancharam.


Simultaneously turn the right arm in Tripataka mudra to face up – say “tai yum”. Note that the left arm remains in Tripataka mudra facing down.


3. Bring your right leg back to Ardhamandal position with a tap and turn the right arm in Tripataka mudra downwards as in 1 above (say “tat ta”).

4. Now, repeat the steps above on the left side. Stretch your left leg in Alidha position (left leg stretched in such manner that the heel rests on the floor) and turn the left arm upwards so that Tripataka gesture face the ceiling (say “tai hi”).

5. Bring your left leg back to Ardhamandal position with a tap and left arm in Tripataka mudra downwards as in 1 above (say “ya ha”).

This completes a full set of “tai yum tat ta tai hi ya ha” and hence makes one count for the first Natta Adavu step.

Thanks for reading and I shall post the second step for Natta Adavu soon.

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Leave A Comment

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rama Mohan Sep 6, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Good Blog All the best

    Your blog link has been placed in my Indian bloggers list
    Check it in Dancers category

    Thank you

  • 2 Mari-Liis Sep 8, 2007 at 12:59 am

    Keep going! Your blog is very useful.

  • 3 Rianna Oct 1, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Anjali,
    Thankyou so much for the lessons.
    I live in toronto and follow your lessons regularly.
    Can u pls. post other steps of the Natta Adavus.


  • 4 Anjali Oct 2, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Thanks Rianna. Glad to Know that this site is helping you. Yes I will post the other steps soon followed by a Video ….. so Stay tuned.

  • 5 anu Oct 2, 2007 at 10:06 am

    dear anjali,
    My daughter sneha is studying classical dance.Barely 3 classes are over and she has been taught Nattadavu-8.She is not able to pick up.
    I have no bharatnatyam background.what is crossing the legs in this step.
    please help.

  • 6 Anjali Oct 2, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Anu, Donot worry ….Its been just 3 classes….she will pick it up with practice. I have recently posted Natta Adavu- third step. (
    This has a photo on crossed legs. check it out. In the eight step the right leg is taken behind left like the photo. Thereafter the left leg is moved to the side and tapped. If you still have any doubts do let me know. I shall mail you directly with the explanation.

  • 7 anu Oct 4, 2007 at 10:21 am

    dear anjali,
    thanks for ur response.i could not find the natta-adavu third step.would it be possible for you to show a video-play of nattadavu-8 as u have done for ayyattam.
    i would be very grateful to you.

  • 8 Anjali Oct 4, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Hi anu, yes i am in the process of editing videos for Tatta Adavu which will be posted by this weekend. Natta Adavu video will be done next week. Try clicking on the link below. This is the third step.

  • 9 Meghna G Oct 18, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Anjali.

    Great job. Would appreciate should you show Natta Adavu in the video. Video presentation is very helpful espicially after watching your brilliant video performance for Tatta Adavu. It is of a great help for the begginers.

    Best wishes today & always.


  • 10 Anjali Oct 18, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks a lot Meghana for your good wishes. The Natta Adavu Video is in process … so stay tuned.. …..and keep writing

  • 11 radhini Oct 23, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    I just watched your videos, Must say the effort is commendable. However, I have a few doubts, will be obliged if u can clarify the same:
    1. thattu adavu has 8 steps. U have mentioned only 6 here.
    2. Which pani are u following bcos the thattu adavus are different. We have learnt 4th thattu adavu as tahiya thaiya thaiya thai all on same leg. Similarly upto the 6th step, only 7th step uses both legs, but your 6th step has 7 counts. Am confused! Please clarify

  • 12 Anjali Oct 23, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks a lot Radhini for your kind words. Regarding the differences of steps ….Yes i have answered this question to some at the Tatta Adavu sixth step post. I guess we must forget about the differences and concentrate on the purpose of every Adavu. I also appreciate your concern for Anu.

  • 13 anuradha Aug 26, 2008 at 2:11 am

    hi anjali,

    u know my daughter’s name is also anjali, she is 6 years old, she is also learning bharatnatyam. u r doing a great job for people like us who do not know anything about dance. Now even I feel like learning dance. Great job. keep it up. Because, so many may be doing this bhartnatyam, but u r giving more awarness to the people. Thanks. all the best

  • 14 Anjali Aug 27, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks you Anuradha. I am glad to know this is helping you and Anjali. My good wishes are with you and your daughter.

  • 15 mahesh Oct 9, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    i just started learning bharatanatyam . and how do u do the namaskara to the guru, bhoomi ans to nataraja. wat are the basic counts .

  • 16 Sruthi Rhena Jun 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Hi anjali, my name is sruthi and i just started and i don’t think i am doing it correctly, i seem to not be able to keep my feet togehter when i’m doing araimandi and not look like a duck, i always pretend i know what i’m doing but i know i don’t, any suggestions?

  • 17 Anjali Jun 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    @sruthi, being a beginner it will take some time for you to get comfortable with araimandi. You may want to straighten your feet as much as you can and out turn your knees. Araimandi is all about how much you knees can open up.

  • 18 Smita Sep 1, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I like your web site . I want information Mudra and our health.
    how it is useful in our day to day life.

  • 19 priyaraj Feb 1, 2011 at 3:41 am

    thank you madam with your help now i am learning bharatanatyam in online though your site i am so thank ful to you thanks

  • 20 vivehthasrinivas.k Jul 13, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Hai Anjali, I really appreciate your efforts!! I m a married woman and i m in my thirties…. I learned Bharatnatyam when i was young. Due to family reasons i couldn’t stick to one guru…..i went to more gurus and each time i had to start from the beginning as their styles were different. I was unable to learn beyond “Alaripu”. And now that i m married, my dream and my passion (dance) had become a dream that wil never come true. But still i m craving inside to complete my dance…i want to learn again. Is it possible? I m little bit fat ! so I want to know that a woman in her thirties can learn dance once again? i don’t know! but after seeing your site i was very happy! i m glad that u have given an opportunity for people like me to fulfill their childhood dreams! god bless u!

  • 21 Shilpa Kuber Sep 18, 2011 at 2:40 am

    This is so simplified and made easy to learn. I paid a whopping amount to a home tutor and still have to follow up with him for every class. I have posted an enquiry to you, just waiting for your reply. I would be glad to learn from you. As I indicated earlier , my intention is to be able to teach kids within 1 year.

  • 22 Shilpa Kuber Sep 18, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Hi Anjali,

    Also, kindly let me know about the certifications. I would like to pursue them as part of my learning. Though my learning will never end, I would like to get the certificate to be eligible to teach kids of my school (its a school for destitutes).
    Awaiting your reply..

  • 23 Shilpa Kuber Sep 18, 2011 at 4:00 am

    I have a doubt in Natta Adavu.. after the alida position,the leg returns to ardhamandala position as per my understanding. Do different teachers have different takes on this? say some of them say after alida position, you should come back to standing position, is this also right? I’m confused with this, since my instructor asked me to get back to standing position after alida , this is kind of difficult–ardhamandala & standing alternatively. Whatever little I learnt in my childhood, always insisted on ardhamandala till the dance was over. Kindly suggest..

  • 24 Anjali Sep 18, 2011 at 6:05 am

    @shilpa, After Alidha, it is back to Aramandi and Tap. Coming back to standing position instead, is not how I learnt.

  • 25 Anjali Sep 18, 2011 at 6:15 am

    @Shilpa, Gaining a certificate does not permit you to teach. Unless you have had an initial training for few yrs and have gained fair amount of Anga shuddi, You might not be able to give justice. As far as sharing your interests as a part of voluntary service that you are doing is fine. You donot have to aim for certifications then. Just keep learning and the joy you derive out of that service should be enough to keep you motivated.

  • 26 Akksitha gunaseelan Oct 8, 2011 at 6:26 am

    very good my teacher says it like this ” thiem thath a thuem tham ” for nattu adava

  • 27 Nivethitha Dec 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Super anjali, u doing a very great job, because of ur video and theories i remaining and recollecting the bharathanatyam which i learned . I didnt come to thillana stage, due to the studies i want to stop at the varnam stage. i learned bharathanatyam for three years only. now i m living US and i m practicing the bharathanatyam in my leisure times and my doubts are clearing throw your online site.

    thanks once again

  • 28 Nadhiya Jan 31, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Hi Anjali,

    Thousands and thousands of thanks to you for this wonderful lessons. I am a house wife. Live in Chennai. From my childhood i am very crazy about dance particularly Bharathanatyam. But i dint get any situation to learn it properly. During my 5th grade I joined bharathanatyam and learnt it for just a year then i was forced to discontinue due to my dad’s transfer 🙁 Then again a year before i joined but again due to my marriage i discontinued it with in 5 months 🙁 But now i am soooo glad to see your wonderful website and making a great use of it. Hearty congrats.
    Pls continue this till the end 🙂 God bless. Thank you

  • 29 Venkatakrishnan Feb 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I have no relation to dance, but the explanation given in your site is really mindboggling and would surely enthuse interest in people to learn this art. A great service by you to spread this classical art.

  • 30 Anjali Feb 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    @venkatakrishnan, Thank you.

  • 31 sridevi Jul 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    hello mam, i am working in gov. sector. My daughter yashu is studying 1st class. unfortunately, i just seen your BHARATANATYAM videos, i really happy and i want to start learning BHARATANATYAM to my daughter. thank you very much for your great job.

  • 32 ananya k r Aug 28, 2012 at 12:35 am

    i was really interested to learn bharatnatyam and thanks a ton for encouraging me all the more.
    i would like to request you to post videos and solayakettu on the first variation of natta adavu.


  • 33 sandya Oct 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    hai anjali…..

    im very interested to learn bharatanatyam due to below midle class family i didnt learn bt nw im learning because of u that is ur site so i compltd till tatta adavu plse post natta adavu soon………………plse nd thank u vry……………………….much for providing this keep it up…….

  • 34 sandya Oct 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Oct 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    hai anjali…..

    Im very interested to learn bharatanatyam from childhood due to below midle class family i didnt learn bt nw im learning because of u that is ur site so i learned compltd till tatta adavu plse post natta adavu videos soon………………plse nd thank u vry……………………….much for providing this keep it up……meku ela thanks chepukovalo arthem kavatam ledu .thank u ssssssooooooooooooo much………..

  • 35 Sekhar Apr 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm


    Thank you so much for the demonstrations about the basics of bharatanayatm. It has been my drean to dance, but due to many reasons (education, and then Job etc.) I could not learn the dance. NOw I decided to learn and one day dance on the stage. I started my lessons ( I love in Gemany, so I have a german dance teacher). I try to practice at home by looking at your youtue videos. They are of very helpful to me. I can do the natta adavu now 🙂 Thanks again. Am looking forward to more from you.

    Good night! (Gute Nacht in German!)

  • 36 Sekhar Apr 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm


    I meant to say in my last Post, “i live in Germany and not “love”. Sorry!

  • 37 shiji Oct 4, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I have a doubts about nattadavu. I recently started learning bharatanadyam and started learning nattadavu. Teacher didnt start the hand gestures along with leg movement. Why is it so? Do we learn the leg movements first followed by hand ?

  • 38 Sumitirra Sep 19, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Can u post a video of Natta adavu, as u have done for tatta adavu