Vyaghrasana: Tiger Pose

TigerPose_StephSchwartz

Vyaghrasana is a great core-strengthening pose in preparation for your practice. Lift your belly and hover opposite arm and leg to feel the foundational core strengthening for balancing and back bending poses.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Blanket: For tender knees, place a blanket on the ground to add extra cushion.
  • Wrist adjustment: For tender wrists, place your fist on the ground rather than a flat palm.
  • Balance challenge: Lift and extend the corresponding arm and leg rather than the opposite.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin in table top pose in the center of your mat, with hips directly over knees and shoulders over wrists.
  2. Keep your gaze down, neck in a neutral position.
  3. Shift your weight to your left hand and slowly extend your right hand forward, thumb toward the ceiling.
  4. Lift your naval up away from the ground and extend your right leg behind you, starting with toes touching the ground.
  5. Gently lift your right toes off the ground, extending the ball mound of your foot behind you.
  6. Draw your shoulder blades down your back and keep your hips level.
  7. Hold for 3-5 breaths then return to table top. Repeat on the other side.

PREPARATORY POSES:

  • Table pose | Bharmanasana
  • Cat pose | Marjarasana
  • Cow pose | Bitilasana

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

COUNTER POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Vyaghra = tiger
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stabilizes core muscles
  • Prepares the body for backbends
  • Can help improve balance

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Can help improve mental focus
  • Thought to engage the solar plexus chakra


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Philosophy + Origin

In uttanasana, knowing when to accept intensity and when to be content with where you are is key to steady progress without injury or frustration. It’s easy to try to push for more — with uttanasana, this means wanting to be more flexible or pushing further into the pose. Rather than struggling, use the posture to practice santosha (contentment). Can you accept both the intensity and your capacity right now?

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