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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Agnistambhasana: Firelog Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Agnistambhasana (AG-nee-stahm-BAHS-ah-nah) is sometimes referred to as double pigeon pose because the legs take a similar shape as they do in pigeon pose. Firelog pose creates a deep stretch in the outer hips and space in the low back.

Philosophy + Origin

Fire (agni) is a transformative element. Agnistambhasana can be very uncomfortable as many people carry deep tension in their hips. See if you can feel the fire building in your hips and with your breath as you hold this pose.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Sit on a folded blanket or block to create more space for your hips.
  • Place your top leg in front of your bottom leg (rather than on top of it) to ease pressure on the knees.
  • Use a block under your top ankle to release pressure on your bottom leg.
  • Use a block under your top knee to help the hip relax and to relieve discomfort in the knee.
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