“Angalakshana & Angashudhi”



Anagalakshana means the way of moving the body parts. There are 5 different types of Angalakshana.

Before we get into this let’s understand how the entire body is defined and categorized.

The entire body is divided into three like Anga, Pratyanga and Upanga. The pratyanga and upanagas should move along with the Angas. :
1.Anga : : “This includes Shiras (Head), Hastas(two palms), Vakshas (chest), Parshwa (the two sides), Kati (two sides of the waist) and the Padas (legs)”
The Sloka
Anganyatra shirohastou
Vaksha parshwa kateetatou
Paadaviti shaduktaani
Greevamapyaparae jaguhu

2.Pratyanga : : “This includes Skanda (Shoulders), Bahu (Arms), Prshtam (back), Udaram (stomach),Uru ( thighs) and Janks (shanks)”

The Sloka
Pratyangaani twathaskandou
Baho prushtam tadhodaram
Ooroo janghae shadityahuraparae
Manibhandakou Janoonikooraparamiti
Trayamapyathikam jaguhu

3. Upanga : “This includes the Drishti (Eyes), Bhru (Eye brows), Puta (Eye lids), Tara (Eye balls), Kapola (Cheeks), Nasi (Nose), Hanu (Jaws), Adhara (Lower lip), Dasana (Teeth), Jithva (Tongue), Chubukam (Chin) and Vadanam (Face)”

The Sloka
Dhrishti bhrooputatarascha
Kapolou nasikakanuhu
Adharodashanaa jihwa
Chubukam vadanam tatha
Upangaani dwadashita
Anyanyan gani santicha
Paarshnee gulbauta thangulya
Karayoha paadayostale

Now let us see the various types of Angalakshanas

Each of these are again sub divided and well defined. Here we go into the details

  1. Shirobheda : Shiro means head and thus it self defines the term as “ bhedas or movements of the head”.
  • Samam         : Head held straight
  • Udhvahitam  : Head lifted up
  • Adhomukam : Head held down
  • Alolitam       : Rotate
  • Dhutam        : Shaking side to side as if to say NO
  • Kampitam    : Nodding up and down as if to say YES
  • Paravrittam  : Looking away to the side as if to ingnore
  • Utkshiptam  : Turn to the side and lift up as if to command or request
  • Parivahitam : Shaking the head swiftly left to right

Besides these nine types of shirobheda which are very commonly known, there are a few other shirobhedas which are known to be included in the Natyasastra. They are Akampitam (moving head slowly up and down), Vidhutam (nodding fastly), Parilolitam (head moving to all sides showing the power of intoxication, possession by an evil spirit, drowsiness etc) ……

2. Dhrishtibheda : ‘Drishti’ means eyes and thus the term explains itself as ‘bhedas or movements of eyes’

• Samam – look straight
• Alolitam – circular movement
• Sachi – look to either sides without turning the head
• Pralokitam – look to both sides turning the head
• Nimeelithe – look down
• Ullokitam – look up
• Anuvrittam – look up and down
• Avalokitam – look deep down

3. Greevabheda : ‘Greeva’ means neck and hence the term means ‘bhedas or movements of neck’

• Sundareescha – moving the neck to either sides (Also known as ‘atami’)
• Thirascheeva – moving the neck to form 8
• Parivarthitha – move the neck in a semi circle
• Prakampita – move the neck forward and backward like a rooster

4. Paadabheda : As the word says it is the ‘bhedas or movements of the paada or legs’. They are basically four types and each of which has again various styles which are detailed below:

• Mandala – Standing position (10 types)
• Utplavana – Jumping (5 types)
• Bhramari – Circular movement (7 types)
• Paadachari – Walking (8 types)

Various ‘Mandala’ styles are the following:

• Sthanaka – Samam with ‘ardhachandra’ hasta on your waist
• Aayata – Araimandi position
• Aalitha – In Ayatam keep right foot 3 feet facing the side & shikara hasta on your left hand and katakhamukha on right
• Prenkhana – Left leg in Ayatam and right stretched to side on heels with khoorma hasta
• Preritha – Both legs a little far apart in ayatham with shikhara hasta on the left held at the chest and pataka on the right stretched up
• Pratyalitha – Opposite of Aalitha
• Swasthika – keep right leg (on the toes) across the left (flat)
• Motitha – Sit in muzhumandi, jump and place one knee down (hands in natyarambha posture)
• Samasuchi – Sit with toes and knees
• Paarswasuchi – Sit on toes and touch the ground with one knees to the side

Various ‘Utplavana’ styles are the following:

• Alaga – Hold shikhara hasta on the waist and jump
• Kartari – Hop on the toes with kartareemukha on the left behind the left leg and shikhara hasta on the right held upside down at the waist
• Ashvotplavana – Hop forward on one leg and bring the other leg together holding tripataka hasta on both hands
• Motita – Hop on toes with tripataka on both hands
• Krupalaga – Jump in such a way that the heels touch your back

Various ‘Bhramari’ styles are the following:

• Utplutabhramari – Jump and turn around from and back to Sthanaka Mandala
• Chakrabhramari – While dragging the legs on the floor turn around with tripataka on both hands
• Garudabhramari – From Paarswasuchi stretch one leg and turn around
• Ekapaadbhramari – Turn around while standing on one leg
• Kunchitabhramari – Jump and turn around while holding the legs up
• Aakaashabhramari – Jump , turn the legs apart and turn around
• Angabhramari – keep the feet 12 inch apart and turn around

Various ‘Paadaachari’ styles are the following:

• Chalanaachaari – Casual walking
• Chankramanachaari – Walking with the legs swaying to the sides
• Saranachaari – Walk with one feet dragged and bringing the other together without lifting the heels
• Veginichaari – Walk fast with alapadma and tripataka hasta alternately
• Kuttanachaari – Walk while tapping the feet hard on the floor
• Lunthithachaari – Stand in swastika mandala and perform kuttanachaari in the right leg
• Lolithachaari – Do kuttanachaari in one leg and walk slowly with the other one
• Vishwamachaari – Walk while the legs are twisted together


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