Monday, October 4, 2010

Deconstructing Scorpion Pose

Seeing as I busted out my Peacock last week..though its obviously not mastered yet...Yoga is a practice! I thought I would start to refocus back on my scorpion pose, which has been another difficult pose to get. Every once in awhile I can hold it for just 1 second. I believe fear is a factor in this as well and just finding that sweet spot aka the center of gravity while in it. Usually once I get it I am either excited or scared and lose it. So here is the weird thing about my scorpion practice...I can't do forearm stand, which many people do first then arch the back and go into scorpion.

Directions for getting into scorpion as I was taught by the Atmananda Yoga sequence:
1. sit on heels, and bring the forearms on the floor against your knees, grab opposite elbows then release and interlace fingers. Tuck the pinky inside the cradle you make with your interlaced fingers.
2. elbows still touching knees, forearms on the mat and interlaced fingers creating a cradle in which you will place your head for sirsasana -headstand.
3 Start too go into headstand. Place your head down between your interlaced fingers. Sometimes it helps the keep the thumbs up as if they're a place to put your pony tail, or imaginary pony tail (I don't know why but this helps!)
4. Tuck the toes under and lift the hips. You're likely already aligned with your hips above your shoulders, if not, walk them in a bit. Then bring your knees in as you slowly lift the legs up. Breathe!
5. Press into your hands and forearms. Start to put more weight into the inner forearms. And start to pull the shoulders back and chest forward -think bhujangasana (baby cobra) or sphinx pose.
6. Start bending the knees and arching your back, keep pressing into your forearms
7. When your back is arched as much as you can as you can balance and begin to bring your gaze forward. Breathe, pull the shoulders back more and press into the forearams
8. Lift your head up and place your hands down FLAT while pressing into the wrists and inner forearms. YAY SCORPION!

OK so I know that step 8 is scary and kind of unstable. Actually at Atmananda they tell you to place one hand down at a time which I cannot accomplish without face planting. I just don't have that balance and maybe that's my problem but I've been practicing it this way for about 8 months and sometimes it sort of works.

And here are some lovely facts about the pose. It is called Vrischika-asana in sanskrit.
Benefits: Strengthens the muscles in the hands, forearms and shoulders. More focus on palms and wrists. You have to use your abs and bandhas here so it will strengthen your abs and should benefit any problems within the abdomen and also strengthen and stimulates the reproductive organs. It also is great for spine flexibility. You are getting maximum stretch to your shoulders, neck, back and chest. Fully expanding the lungs. Being inverted will also increase blood flow to the brain and circulation throughout the limbs.

Some pics I found of the pose:

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