Shoulder Pressing Pose
Bhujapidasana is a pose that creates strength and agility. It is the first of the arm balances to learn in the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Although it seems like the real challenge is arm strength, for many students, the limitation is with low back and hip flexibility. 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).
Benefits of Shoulder Pressing Pose
Stretching your shoulders after moving or sitting in a forward-hunching position simply feels good, but it has other benefits, too! As you add more flexibility to your shoulders, you lower your risk of injury and can improve your performance in sports. It can also help with daily activities that include lifting, turning, and pushing, such as carrying the groceries, walking a dog, or pushing a baby stroller.
When life gets stressful, many people hold tension in their shoulders. This can lead to fatigue, muscle knots, and pain. Keeping your shoulders relaxed and mobile will help to release this tension, which can increase your energy and even boost your mood! Improving the flexibility in your shoulders can help make your everyday life stress-free.
Shoulder Pressing Pose will help you to:
- 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.
How to Do Shoulder Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana)
- Start in Garland Pose (Malasana), a basic squat.
- Bend your torso toward the floor, getting your shoulders as low as possible. Below knee level is ideal.
- Slip your arms behind your thighs and plant your hands just behind your feet. This gets you into a position where your thighs can rest on your upper arms when you lift up.
- Bend your elbows so that you come into chaturanga arms.
- Scoot your feet together and try to criss cross your ankles. If you can get the ankles crossed, flex your feet to lock in this position.
- Let your weight drop back toward your butt so that you can lift your feet off the floor while supporting yourself on your hands.
- Squeeze your thighs tightly against your upper arms (it’s called arm pressure pose for a reason!) and begin to straighten your arms any amount.
- Try to come back to a squat as you release out.
When practice 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.
Shoulder Pressing Pose for Beginners
The pose won’t really work unless you can get your shoulders low in your squat to prepare. Work on this if it is challenging for you. Practicing crow pose will also help you get the feeling of where to place your weight for arm balances.
- Some of you can practice by placing your hands onto the flat side of two blocks in order to gain enough elevation to lift your hips and torso.
Shoulder Pressing Pose for Advanced
Once you lift your feet up, cross at the ankles and latch them firmly together (the lower foot lifts the upper foot ). Practice drawing your feet vertically upward and also practice sliding your latched feet forward. These two movements activate different parts of the spinal column, spinal ligaments and discs. Once you can cross your feet one way, then learn to reverse and cross in the opposite way.
- Work on transitioning in and out of the pose from Firefly Pose (Tittibhasana).
Shoulder the Poses
Adding Bhujapidasana to your regular routine will help you keep your shoulders flexible and mobile. It will also improve your posture. Be sure to take it slowly and never force a pose. With time and practice, your shoulders, chest, and spine will open up. You’ll increase your range of motion in a smooth and powerful way!