Seated Forward Bend
March 28, 2015
Shoulderstand
March 28, 2015

Shoulder-Pressing Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

Sanskrit

Bhujapidasana
(boo-JAH-pee-DAHS-anah)
bhuja = arm, shoulder
pida = pressure

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the shoulders, triceps, and hip flexors
  • Tones and stimulates abdominals organs
  • Strengthens the upper spine musculature
  • Lengthens the spinal musculature and gluteals
  • Opens the pelvis and hips
  • Boosts confidence

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Spine pathologies
  • Hip pathologies
  • Wrist, elbow, or shoulder injury

HOW TO

  1. Start in Malasana (Garland pose). Bring the torso forward through the inner thighs.
  2. Raise your hips until they are parallel with the floor. Draw your upper arms and shoulders as far under your knees as possible. Then place your hands at the outer edges of your feet, fingers facing forward.
  3. Inhale and draw the torso forward, bringing weight into the palms of your hands. Press through the floor.
  4. Exhale and squeeze your thighs into your upper arms. Wrap your left ankle over your right ankle in front of you.
  5. Take your gaze toward your toes.
  6. Hold Shoulder-Pressing pose for 30 seconds or up to a minute.
  7. To exit, slowly release the ankles with an inhalation. Bend the elbow to settle the feet on the mat. Repeat the pose with the right ankle over the left.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Place blocks under the palms for support.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the abdominals firm and press through the shoulders for support.
  • Squeeze the thighs together and press through the palms to extend the arms. Keep the shoulders engaged.
  • Be cautious of the low spine and hips. Do not strain.
  • Bind the feet together by wrapping one ankle on top of the other.

VARIATIONS

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Straining the wrists, shoulders, elbows, or low back
  • Hands lifting, instead of firmly rooting into the floor