(Side Plank Pose)
Take your time developing this pose. You can bend your top leg and place that foot on the floor until you build enough strength to keep the legs stacked. Be sure to engage the entire body in Vasisthasana. Lift the muscles of your bottom arm to make space in your wrist. Press strongly through your feet, especially the big-toe side, which will help activate your inner thighs.
(Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)
Use your vision to help balance the alignment of your inner and outer feet and legs. Tap into the strength of the inner legs as you did in Vasisthasana. This will be key when you attempt Titti-bhasana. Be honest about what is available to you in this pose, and if the floor is far away, place the hands on blocks. You can also place the top of your head on a block. Press your palms down firmly to lift your shoulders up toward your waist, creating length in your neck.
5 Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)
You've got everything you need to do this pose now! Evenly distribute the weight on your inner and outer wrists and press your fingers down into the floor. Hug your arms with your legs by strongly engaging your inner thighs. Reach your toes forward and shoot your pubic bone back. Even though your spine is rounded, broaden your collarbones and look forward, relaxing your face.
(Cow Face Pose), variation
This pretzel-like position can bring up a lot of thoughts and emotions. Notice whether you are gripping your fingers or toes, throat or jaw, and try to let go. If you can stay attentive in this position, you will begin to feel tiny releases in your shoulders, wrists, hips, and mind. You can't make these openings happen by pushing, so organize your alignment and then be patient.
Q courageous, or superstrong and stretchy But you can come as you are, bringing the very body you have today, with equal doses of skepticism and eagerness, right onto the mat with you.
When you begin to investigate Tittib-hasana, it might appear that the secret to doing it is core strength. When you look again, it might seem to be all about long hamstrings; perhaps you need robust arms, or maybe just a sense of adventure. Of course, the pose requires you to integrate all of the above. Combining a forward bend, an arm balance, and a hip-opening pose, Tittibhasana is a tall order. But when you get it, you will have the experience of both flying and landing.
The preparatory poses in the following sequence will help you understand, both conceptually and physically, how Tittibhasana works. As the sequence builds, you take what you learn from one pose into the next, until you eventually integrate the calmness of Child's Pose with the victorious strong arms and legs of Vasisthasana, the wide sacrum of Gomukhasana, the flexible wrists of Garudasana, and the open hips of Prasa-rita Padottanasana.
Finally, the flickering firefly is a reminder that both light and dark, activity and receptivity, are needed to find a workable balance in any given situation. Real integration occurs when two or more energies become interdependent, each one supporting and interacting with the other, leading to a new and alive experience. Integration means never rejecting anything and instead viewing all of your feelings, emotional and physical, as the sacred ingredients for a rich and positive life. A life that flies, flickers, lands, and arrives fresh in every moment.
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