Happy Friday yogis! In this week’s fun pose friday, we’ll break down how to get into Scorpion pose, known in Sanskrit as Vrischikasana. This advanced pose offers the benefits of both an inversion and backbend all in one.

If you are new to Scorpion, try it against a wall. You should have a strong forearm balance (Pincha Mayurasana) or handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) in your practice when attempting Scorpion for the first time.

To get into the posture from Pincha Mayurasana, face the wall and place your forearms flat on the ground, with hands about a foot away from the wall. Lift hips up into dolphin and then gently lift one leg and then the other up into forearm balance.

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Find your balance, and when you’re feeling solid, arch your back and bend your knees. When your feet find the wall, begin walking them down as close to your head as you can comfortably take them.

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(above: using the wall and a block can be your best friend in this pose)

Hold for several breaths. To exit the pose, on an exhale, lower one leg and then the other back to the ground with control.

Once you’re feeling solid in your scorpion, you can increase the difficulty of the pose by trying it in the middle of the room. For more of a challenge you can also enter into scorpion from handstand and follow the same steps listed above.

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Check out these fun variations/entries to this super challenging pose:

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(above: oh hey Krista Block and bff Piper)

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(above: Lika’s got some nice scorpion prep here with her babe)

Benefits of Scorpion pose include:

•  Strengthens muscles in the back, shoulders and abdomen

•  Stretches the chest, hip flexors and shoulders

•  Can help improve balance, coordination and strength

Scorpion is not recommended for anyone with a back injury, high blood pressure, wrist injury (if doing scorpion from handstand) or for women who are pregnant.

Yoga Journal offers some helpful tips from Kathryn Budig to work towards Scorpion pose from both forearm balance and handstand.

Have fun playing yogis!