The Scorpion

The scorpion posture looks like a scorpion, with a front pair of nipp g claws and a long, slender, jointed tail ending in a curved poisonous sting r. The posture incorporates gravity-driven passive backbending with extrc e hyperextension of the head and neck, and thus it requires more athl ic ability than the headstand. Even a little practice of the scorpion will t- e the student enough confidence to try the headstand. And remaining in e posture for 30-60 seconds is a real wake-up—but it is not for the timid

You can come into the scorpion in one of two ways: either by kicking p into the posture with the head lifted or coming into it from the headsta 1 Kicking up is more athletic. Start in the same position that you used for e dolphin, except that the forearms are at a 60-75' angle from one anot r and the ptdms are facing down with the thumbs touching (fig. 8.31a) " can also make the posture more difficult by keeping the forearms paral 1. To come into the posture lift the pelvis up into the air, and kick up w h both feet, one immediately after the other, adjusting the kick so that J >u get into the posture but do not overshoot and fall to the rear (fig. 8.31b). -e careful not to try this in a confined region where you might crash ii 0 something if you fall. The knees end up in a flexed position, which mak s it easy for you to support your feet against a wall behind you until you ga n s. 1hf hka lista at) 4« 7

confidence. In the final posture the weight is on the forearms, the head is lifted, the nose is fairly close to the hands, and the feet are as close to the head as the arch in your back permits.

The sacroiliac joints will be in full nutation for the scorpion, and the posture may not be comfortable for more than a few seconds for those who have a lot of sacroiliac mobility. In any case, anyone with good flexibility for backbending can easily touch their feet to their head. Come down by first straightening the body, then flexing the torso, and finally dropping forward onto the feet.

Figure 8.31. Scorpion (b) and starting position (a). To come into the posture by kicking up, you toss your feet up from the starling position and balance your weight making use of a substantial back-bend. Until learning how much energy to put into the initial kick, most people use a wall as a prop so as not to fall over backward. With more experience you can forgo the wall. For the final posture you can keep the knees straight, or you can bend your knees and drop your feet toward your head. You can also come into the scorpion from the headstand, but if you do that, don't delay, because coming into the scorpion after being in the headstand for more than a few seconds creates excess pressure in the arterial circulation to the brain.

When you come into the scorpion from the headstand, you arch the back, flatten the palms against the floor, transfer your weight to the forearms, lift the head until you are looking forward, and bend the knees. If you take this route to the scorpion, however, do it quickly before too much blood and tissue fluid has accumulated in the head. If you stay in the headstand too long beforr converting that posture into the scorpion, the feeling of pressure in the hea< is greatly intensified: it's much more pronounced than what you experienct by simply kicking up, and it's also unnerving.

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