Thursday 31 October 2013

Scorpion Pose : A Beginners Guide

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to watch Surya Yoga intermediate students learning the Scorpion pose. It was Foo's evening intermediate class. Foo (one of our dedicated instructors) is rather adventurous and personally, I find rather inspiring. His classes are challenging, but somehow his sense of humor and cheeky smile makes most of us believe that in time even the most challenging poses, can be achieved.

Surya Yoga Instructor Jenny Chia
showing us the Scorpion pose from handstand

As I watched the class unfold, one or two students managed to do the Scorpion pose. Being curious, I google-ed how to achieve the Scorpion pose and I've compiled all the information I've found in this blogpost.

Benefits of Scorpion Pose
  • Strengthens the torso, back, arms and shoulders
  • Improves your sense of balance
  • Improving the flexibility of the spine
  • Builds stamina and endurance
  • Allows blood to rush to the brain improving memory and concentration
  • Stimulates the hair follicles in the scalp (hair loss prevention)
  • Release accumulated stress in the shoulders and spine

Things to consider before attempting the Scorpion Pose
  • Only attempt Scorpion pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher if it's your first time and you are new to the pose
  • If you have a history of heart disease or suffer from any hip or back problems - this pose is not recommended

The Basics

As we all know, Yoga is all about practice. For beginners like me, It's best to focus on 3 things before attempting the Scorpion pose - Strength, Flexibility and Trust.

To create better shoulder strength, Dolphin pose is key. As I've read. The best way is to do Dolphin pushups! We start off with the Dolphin pose and then bring the shoulders over the wrists into a Dolphin plank. Start of with sets of 10 and build it up over time to sets of 20 and 30.

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Plank

Create flexibility with the Camel pose. It opens up the heart and lumbar spine which is needed to achieve the Scorpion pose. Try holding the Camel pose for 5-10 breathes. Have you tried falling back into Camel pose? Falling back into Camel pose requires trust and a sense of fearlessness, which brings me to the last basic step - Trust.

Camel Pose

Trust yourself. Sometimes we paralyze ourselves with anxiety and fear. It's time to break free from fear. You will be surprised how the lessons we learn on our yoga mat can be applied to real life. Trust is key in any inversion practice. You need to work on your headstand and headstand variations to achieve the Scorpion pose.


wall assisted Scorpion pose

Before attempting the Scorpion pose, use a wall to practice first. I found a really good video with instructions on how to do it. Do have a look.


Forearm stand

From my research, you need to work on your forearm stand (without the wall) in order to get into the Scorpion pose. I found another good video on YouTube on how to do it. Check it out.


Forearm stand Scorpion pose

  1. Start with Dolphin pose.
  2. Inhale and lift your right leg up into the air as high as you can into the Three-legged Downward Facing Dog pose.
  3. Slowly kick the raised leg backward and lift the other leg off the floor. Your entire body weight is now on your palms, forearms and elbows.
  4. Center yourself. Balance.
  5. Arch your back and slowly bring your feet as close as possible to your head by bending your knees. Use your core to maintain balance.
  6. Keep your head facing front with your eyes focused on an imaginary point on the floor in front of your arms.
  7. Hold.
  8. Exhale and slowly come back to the starting position.

Another excellent video to have a look at.

So this is my personal compilation of Scorpion pose how to's. Like all things, it takes effort, time and discipline to achieve anything. Be sure not to push yourself too hard physically. Work your way up from the basics. 

So it's time to take the sting out of scorpion pose! Want to give it a go?



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