We are surprised to find, or not find rather, Vrschikasana, Scorpion Pose, listed among the backbends or the arm balances on the Yoga Journal List of Poses. As we wind down our backbends as we approach the spring equinox, we would be remiss in not including this challenging backbend among our poses. It is encouraged to have a strong grasp of Sirsasana, Head Balance, Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Hand Stand, as well as Pincha Mayurasana, Feather of the Peacock Pose to practice Scorpion. Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana is another good preparatory pose, as well as warming up the back with the myriad backbending poses we have already suggested in previous posts.
This pose is practiced in two variations. Firstly, it is practiced on the forearms, as in Sirsasana. The more advanced pose is practiced on the hands as in Hand Stand. Both forms of this pose require a great deal of strength, grace, balance and openness in the chest and shoulders. And in order to make sure you keep the sting, or any overarching in the back, out of this pose, you will rely a great deal on your arms. Pressing into the forearms or the hands, will help you lift your chest, even though you may be in an inverted position and cannot rely as much on your legs, as in the other backbending poses.
As this is an advanced pose, preparatory poses are useful to help you practice to the best of your ability. iHanuman Yoga Teacher, Cora Wen, provides us with a great way to practice this pose using a chair and the wall. Enjoy!
Listen to the Pronunciation of Vrschikasana. Courtesy of the Online Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide.