How To Do The Vrschikasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by Shirin Mehdi  • 

Vrschik – Scorpion, Asana – Pose; Sanskrit: वृश्चिकासन; Pronounced as vrush-chick-ah-sa-nah

This asana is also known as the Scorpion Pose. It requires both core and shoulder strength. It is an extremely challenging yoga asana.

Everything You Need To Know About Vrschikasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do Scorpion Pose
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tips
  5. Advanced Pose Alterations
  6. Benefits Of The Vrschikasana
  7. The Science Behind The Vrschikasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

This asana is best performed in the morning when your mind is fresh and free of stress and tensions.

Remember, there must be a gap of at least 10 to 12 hours between your meal and practice. Your bowels and stomach must be clean and empty before you attempt this asana.

It might be a good idea to do a few warm-up poses before you attempt the Scorpion Pose. This will prepare you for the challenge ahead and will also prevent muscle injuries.

Level: Advanced
Style: Ashtanga Yoga
Duration: As Long As You Are Comfortable
Repetition: None
Strengthens: Shoulders, Rectus abdominal muscle, Arms, Back
Stretches: Hip, Neck, Vertebral column

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How To Do The Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)

  1. Begin the pose on your hands and your knees in a kneeling position.
  2. Drop your forearms to the ground and hold on to the opposite elbows so that your arms are at shoulders’ distance apart.
  3. Make sure your forearms are parallel to each other, and once you are in position and comfortable, lift your hips and assume the Dolphin position.
  4. Walk towards your elbows, as close as you can get.
  5. Then, gently lift your right leg towards the ceiling.
  6. Arise on the ball of your left foot and begin rocking forward before you lift both the legs off the ground.
  7. Bring your legs and feet together, making sure your toes are pointed outside.
  8. Bend your knees, and start moving your toes toward your head while you stretch your chest forward through your arms.
  9. Hold this posture for at least three breaths. It is absolutely fine to take the support of a wall until you are comfortable without it.

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Precautions And Contraindications

These are a few things you must keep in mind when you are attempting this pose.

1. Beginners should NOT attempt this pose. Even once you have reached the advanced level, when you first attempt this pose, it must be under the guidance of a yoga instructor. The instructor must tell you that you are ready for this asana before you try it.

2. Avoid practicing this asana if you have back problems, hip injuries, vertigo, high blood pressure, heart diseases, or if you are pregnant or menstruating.

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Beginner’s Tips

Beginners should not attempt this advanced pose. You must do this asana only after you are comfortable with the forearm stand. Initially, using a wall for support is absolutely alright. These are some tips beginners to this pose could use.

1. Before you lift your legs off the floor, it might be a good idea to move your hands two feet from the wall.

2. When you assume the forearm stand, place your feet on the wall. Since your hands are away from the wall, locking your feet on the wall will create that backbend in your spine.

3. To intensify the spinal extension, walk your feet down to your head, but stop when your body asks you to.

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Advanced Pose Alterations

These are some advanced positions you could try once you are comfortable doing the Vrschikasana.

1. You could perform this asana while doing a headstand, instead of doing this while resting your forearm on the floor. This increases the difficulty quotient. But make sure you do this variation only after you have mastered the Vrschikasana.

2. Another variant of this asana is the Locust Scorpion Pose that requires you to clap your arms behind you and touch your chin to the floor. In this variation, your body weight is on your shoulders, forearms, neck, and chin. But again, this variation must be attempted only after you have perfected the Vrschikasana.

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Benefits Of The Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)

Take a look at the amazing benefits this challenging pose has to offer.

1. This asana strengthens the back and the torso and helps to get rid of the stubborn fat lodged in these areas.

2. It also strengthens the legs, forearms, and shoulders.

3. It helps to expand and stretch the hip flexors, chest, and shoulders.

4. This asana is also a sort of cardio as it elevates the heart rate.

5. Not only does this asana improve the flexibility of the spine, but it also improves the stamina.

6. This asana truly challenges balance, coordination, strength, and perseverance. It greatly improves your sense of balance.

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The Science Behind The Vrschikasana

This pose, in its full expression, offers both strength and flexibility. Being an inversion, it opens up the shoulder and thoroughly flexes the back. This asana also helps to develop patience and tenacity. The reason we develop both patience and respect for the edges of our body is that it takes a long time for the shoulders to open up.

This backbend also touches us at an emotional level. It requires us to open up our hearts and find humility due to the extreme challenges that our body goes through. It is said that by stamping on his head, the yogi attempts to eradicate self-destroying emotions and passions such as anger, pride, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. This defeat of the ego leads to happiness and harmony.

This pose leads you to move beyond ego, seek your utmost tenacity, and open up possibilities you thought never existed.

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Preparatory Poses

These asanas not only help to warm up your body before you attempt this challenging pose but also helps you get into the Scorpion Pose easily.

  1. Shirsasana
  2. Pincha Mayurasana
  3. Ado Mukha Vrikshasana
  4. Urdhva Dhanurasana
  5. Sarvangasana
  6. Bhujangasana

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Follow-Up Poses

  1. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  2. Catur Svanasana

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On the whole, this asana breaks you both physically and emotionally, only so that you can emerge much stronger than you were. It is the perfect challenge to take on when you are ready for it. Just remember to listen to your body at every step.

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