Beginner’s Guide to Scorpion Pose
We’ve all had that moment in a yoga class where we hear that unfamiliar Sanskrit word vrschikasana and look over to see the person to our left or right with feet resting on shoulders and a rubber band spine making its way into a circle. Simultaneously, we are mystified and motivated. We want to assume the scorpion! Here are three tools to help you find your scorpion.
Shoulder strength is essential.Begin to create strong scapula muscles with dolphin pushups. Start in your dolphin pose and on an inhale, bring shoulders over wrists coming into a dolphin plank. On your exhale, press up and back to dolphin pose. Try these in sets of 10 to start and over time, move to sets of 20 and 30.
Camel pose is a great way to open the heart and lumbar spine, two motions that are key to enabling a scorpion pose.Try holding your camel pose for 5-10 breaths. Falling back into a camel pose is an awesome step to exploring some pre-inversion trust as well.
Fear is our largest barrier in our yoga practice and in the broader scope of our lives as well. Your desire to learn vrschikasana already demonstrates a piece of your fearlessness. Trust is key to any inversion practice. To build confidence, work first with headstand variations. Make your head and arms your new feet and then move to giving your forearms a try!
Why Savasana Is Good for Your Heart
Corpse pose (Savasana) is the final pose of a yoga practice. In Savasana you are encouraged to let the breath be free, but also bring awareness to it as you quiet the mind. To help yourself move deeper into the pose, practice in a quiet and warm space. Mindfully relax all of your muscles, and as you do this, you may want to deepen the breath.
Even though it’s a resting pose, it can be one of the most difficult poses of the practice. Savasana challenges you in ways that you are not used to being challenged. Patience, control of the mind, and complete acceptance of oneself are things that we don’t practice very often. And while some may enjoy the emotional experience it shares, Savasana has many physical health benefits to offer, too, especially for the heart. This February, celebrate heart health and learn about the benefits Savasana offers to your vital organ.
Decreases Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be caused by several factors, one of them being stress. Having high blood pressure can put you at risk for a number of serious health conditions, including stroke and heart disease. Taking time to slow down, deepen your breath, and relax during Savasana can help decrease your blood pressure.
Reduces Your Heart Rate
High or constant levels of stress can also cause your heart rate to increase – but so can other things, such as caffeine, alcohol and certain health conditions. The slow breathing techniques and relaxation opportunities that Savasana offers can help reduce your heart rate.
Allows the Heart to Rest
Deep breathing exercises major organs of the body, including the lungs. It forces your lungs to work more than they typically do throughout the day and brings in more oxygen to the blood, which then gets sent to the heart. With the lungs working a little harder, it eases the pressure needed by the heart to pump oxygen through the body. This gives the heart a bit of a break, making both your lungs and heart more efficient throughout your daily activities.
Helps You Lead a Healthier Lifestyle
Living a stressful life makes it more difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Cooking healthy food at home, doing things that you love and fitting physical activity into your day are harder to do when you live a high-stress life. But neglecting these things can put your health at risk. Some people respond to stress by overeating, smoking, or drinking alcohol – all of which increase your chances of developing heart disease and stroke. Taking the time to practice Savasana along with your slow, deep breaths helps you to reduce stress, calm your nervous system, and think more clearly. Overall, practicing Savasana can help you make healthier choices.
It is recommended to practice this pose for five minutes for every thirty minutes you have spent practicing the asanas/physical poses and movements of yoga. But remember – you can take this practice off your mat and learn how to do this throughout the day, too, helping your heart stay healthy all day long.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read in this article.