Bhekasana: frog pose Level 3 at Yoga on Tay
Benefits: this pose strengthens the back muscles, stimulates the abdominal organs and of course stretches the front body.
Before attempting this pose it would be wise to warm up with some standings, Urdhva Baddyanguliasana, Gomukasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana or Supta Virasana and Urdhva Hastasana on a bolster, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Dhanurasana.
Warm up pose 1 Supta Virasana
Warm up pose 2 Dhanurasana
Bhekasana Preparation Hand placement
1) Most people find Bhekasana a challenging pose to start with so we shall start lying on the belly with hands on the floor by the chest in a chaturanga type position, head on the floor.
Extend both legs, feet together, pressing the top of the left foot into the floor then bend the right leg at the knee. Reach your right hand to the inside of the right foot and rotate/pivot your hand so that your wrist is facing backward, and your knuckles and fingers face forward in the same direction as the toes. At the same time, slowly rotate your elbow toward the ceiling. To place the hand well also requires good shoulder mobility and takes a lot of practice:
Slide your fingers over the top of the foot and extend them out to the fingertips. Press with the base of your palm, take the top of your foot toward your buttock, and overtime slightly off to the side. Keeping your knee in line with your hip.
Square your shoulders with the front of the mat and keep your chest level. Check that the fronts of both frontal hip bones are level and pressing down into the floor along with the pubis. Let your gaze extend softly forwards.
Do Eka Pada Bhekasana on each side for the same length of time, thirty seconds to two minutes.
Beginner's Tip: Support the lift of the upper torso with a pleated blanket at your lower ribs.
• Press the bent–knee hipbone down into the floor and lengthen the thigh back towards the knee.
• Soften and widen the buttocks before making them firm.
• Lengthen the tailbone towards the bent knee.
• Widen the collarbones.
• Lengthen the neck rather than lift the chin.
2) Once the thighs and groins are open enough you can try to come into full Bhekasana.
Begin by rotating your front thighs inward, now press the sacrum to the floor and extending buttock flesh to back knees.
Bend the knees and reach back to hold the inner feet. Then pivot on the big toes with the heels of your hands so your wrists point back and your fingers point forward, in the same direction as your toes.
Actively soften the flesh of the legs before you press down on the tops of the feet. Gradually bring the toes and heels toward the floor alongside the hips; at the same time, extend your chest forward and look forward the chest will also lift a bit as you do this.
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS
• High or low blood pressure
• Low back, neck or shoulder injuries
• Don't push your foot too hard if it hurts your knee
• Knee injury – see an experienced teacher
Thanks to all my teachers in creating this pose of the month. Julie Anderson.
If you would like to try a class at Yoga on Tay, we would love to welcome you. We have a wide range of levels available. You can view our timetable or contact us to discuss which class might be best for you.