ask a yogi: shoulder-pressing pose
posted: May 3, 2010
Sam and Carrie are wondering, how do you put your legs so far up your arms and push yourself off the ground? We want to learn this move!!
C & S
a yogi answers
Hi Sam and Carrie,
This arm balance, Bhujapidasana, (Shoulder-Pressing Pose) requires more flexibility than strength. If you practice Plank Pose, Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) and Navasana (Boat Pose) regularly, you probably have enough strength in your arms and abdomen for most arm balances including Bhujapidasana. To prepare for Bhujapidasana, start by opening up your hips. This takes time, especially for men who tend to be tighter in that area. Work on Happy Baby Pose and lunges that open your hips and stretch out your hip flexors, e.g., low lunges where your back knee is on the floor, Virabhadrasana 1 & 2 (Warrior 1 & 2), Parsvakonansana (Extended Side Angle Pose).
To get in the pose, stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet as wide as your mat. Bend your knees, bend forward and start to tuck one shoulder behind one knee and then the other. You can hold the back of your ankles with your hands and start to work your legs towards straight. This is a preparatory stretch to the posture. Practice this one for a while. Once that doesn’t seem so crazy, with your knees bent, place your hands behind your feet, fingers pointing towards your feet. If you cannot get your palms flat onto the floor in a comfortable manner, go back to the preparatory poses until you are able to do so. Once you are able to get your palms flat on the floor behind your feet with your fingers pointing forwards, try to get your knees as high up onto your arms as possible as you slowly lift your feet off the ground. Squeeze your upper arms with your legs while you slowly bring your feet in front of you to the point where your ankles are crossed. Claw the earth with your fingers, pull your belly in, straighten your arms and activate your toes. Breathe and don’t forget to smile!
Good luck Sam and Carrie, but this pose is much easier to teach in person, so ask your yoga teacher or if you want please come to one of my classes and I will give you a quick demonstration.
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