Balancing in Bhujapidasana: Shoulder-Pressing Pose
By Ray Long, MD, FRCSC • April 14th, 2011 • 13201 Views
Bhujapidasana has many similar joint actions to those found in Tittibhasana, except here the ankles are crossed and the knees are flexed. As with Tittibhasana, Kurmasana can be used to prepare the hips and back for the pose. Ideally, the legs are as high up as possible on the arms, with the weight of the body balanced over the hands. A great deal of flexibility must be attained in the lower back and gluteals to perform this posture. There should also be sufficient external rotation of the hips (meaning length of the internal rotators).
Press up into the pose by straightening the elbows while squeezing the legs around the arms. The thighs form a “lock” or a bandha where they join with the arms. The contact point where the ankles cross forms another bandha. Attempting to pull the feet apart augments this lock, strengthening the abductors of the hips. Alternatively, you can bend the knees and use the thighs and calves to squeeze the arms (while at the same time attempting to straighten the elbows).
Basic Joint Positions
- The hips flex and adduct.
- The knees flex.
- The ankles dorsiflex.
- The feet evert.
- The toes extend.
- The trunk flexes.
- The shoulders flex, adduct, and externally rotate.
- The wrists extend.
- The cervical spine extends.
Gain flexibility in the hips by stretching the internal rotators with cradle stretch, as shown. Use a facilitated stretch to make this more efficient (protecting the knees at all times). Lengthen and prepare the lower back muscles with poses like Prasarita Padottanasana, Kurmasana, and Uttanasana. Strengthen the wrists and arms with Chaturanga Dandasana and Full Arm Balance.
Begin in Tadasana. Bend forward and place the hands in-between and behind the lower legs. Walk the feet in front of the hands. Then hook them around each other, preferably at the ankles, and lift up. Squeeze the thighs into the arms and straighten the knees, pulling on the lock at the ankles. Then bend the knees and squeeze the arms between the legs. In both variations, contract the triceps to straighten the arms and press them outwards into the thighs. Come out by unlocking the feet and placing them back on the floor; stand in Uttanasana. Have a bolster or blanket in front of you in the event that you fall forward in the pose.
STEP 1 Flex the trunk and hips by contracting the psoas and its synergists (the pectineus, adductors longus and brevis, and sartorius). Engage the rectus abdominis by...
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