TGIF yogis! So this week at the studio was all about Grasshopper pose (also known as Dragonfly or Revolved Flying Pigeon). It came up in every class I took in many forms: full grasshopper, baby grasshopper, and everything in between. The same day I taught this pose in my Tues/Thurs early AM classes, I took another class revolving around this pose a few hours later. It must be in the air (or all our teachers have been taking each other’s classes)
We’ve actually briefly visited this pose before in a fun pose friday post over a year ago. Check out the ah-mazing Krista Block demoing: http://extendyoga/2013/fun-pose-friday-grasshopper/.
Why write about the same pose twice? Well, because why not? and mainly because last year I couldn’t do it. Surprise! This year, I can! It’s pretty impressive how much our practice can evolve and how much we can learn in a year’s time… same goes for off our mats, right?
Last time we didn’t real break this pose down, so here we go…
- step 1: Ground down in your right foot, cross your left foot just above the right knee- FLEX the left foot and sit back (think Utkatasana). Bring the weight onto your right heal, bring the hands into prayer at the center of your chest. Stay here for 5 breaths.
- step 2: Slowly twist to the right, reaching your left elbow to the sole/center of your left foot. Push the elbow (or upper arm if you can- eventually the arm pit!) into the foot as you press the palms together to deepen the twist. Start to sit lower and bend the right knee even more. Only move onto step 3 if and only if you can get the sole of the foot above the elbow. If you can’t get deep enough into the twist and work the foot up the arm, you won’t have anything to balance on.
- step 3: Here comes the fun part! Keep sinking deeper into your right leg until you’re close enough to place your hands, shoulder-width apart, on the ground (foot still on upper arm/above elbow). Look past your fingers and start to lean your weight forward, finding your Chaturanga arms– creating a shelf for you to literally stand on.
- step 4: Keep bending the elbows and standing on your left arm. Start to lift the right leg up off the ground and in towards your booty. You might stay here or if you feel balanced and your left foot is not sliding down towards your elbow, keep looking forward and extend the right leg straight. note: in the photo above, Rachel starts with the gaze forward and then moves it towards the right toes– this is option too! Once you’ve got the pose and feel confident in it, the gaze will follow.
Got it?– Now what? At first you’ll probably rest the outer part of your right thigh on your arm (on your chatarunga shelf). With practice and as you gain more strength, you can work up to a fully straight leg hovering above the elbow.
Don’t get discouraged if you fall out (or bust your leg!). This is a great pose that has lots of steps and variations– so there is plenty of work to be done before moving onto the next part and eventually the full pose.
Failed attempts (this is ego getting in the way actually– WHY did I HAVE to try in the flower pot?!#@%$%):
Aftermath + a busted, bloody leg:
Check out some more tips on getting prepared for and into this pose via master yogini Kathryn Budig: http://blogs.yogajournal.com/challenge-pose-grasshopper.html
Have fun and report back!