Scorpion Pose - Vrischikasana

The Scorpion Pose or Vrischikasana is an inverted backbend pose.

Designed to enhance the strength and flexibility of the practitioner, the Scorpion Yoga Pose is one of the more difficult poses to master, and it should only be attempted by advanced practitioners.


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The pose focuses on the back, hips, abdomen, and legs and is effective in toning the body. Since this is an advanced pose, it is recommended that you check with your doctor first before attempting it. Also, consult a yoga professional to teach you the steps in a systematic manner.

Steps :

  1. Start off in the Dolphin Pose. This pose is a variation of the Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose. It is also known as the Catur Svanasana or the Quarter Dog Pose. It is similar to the Downward Facing Dog Pose, but instead of your bodyweight being borne by your hands and feet, the weight is borne by your hands, forearms, and feet.
  2. Inhale and lift your right leg into the air as high as you can. You are now in the Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Three Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose.
  3. Slowly kick the raised leg backwards, and lift your other leg off the floor as well. Now your entire body weight is on your palms, forearms, and elbows.
  4. Center yourself as you strive for balance.
  5. Arch your back and try to bring your feet as close to your head as possible by bending your knees. Concentrate on stabilizing your core muscles in order to maintain your balance.
  6. Keep your head facing forward with eyes focused on an imaginary point on the floor in front of your arms.
  7. Hold this posture for a couple of breaths.
  8. Exhale and slowly come back to the starting position.

Precautions :

  • First and foremost, if you are new to this pose, it is a good idea to perform it under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
  • Do not attempt this pose until your yoga trainer or guru tells you that you are ready for it.
  • You should not perform this pose if you suffer from any hip or back problems.
  • If you have a history of heart disease, it is best to avoid this posture.
  • People who have high blood pressure or suffer from vertigo should also avoid performing the Scorpion Pose.

Beginner’s Tip :

Here are a couple of beginners’ tips for performing the scorpion pose. When you are new to the Vrischikasana, you may initially find it difficult to balance your torso and legs in mid-air.

Try to perform Scorpion Pose yoga next to a wall, chair, or other support. When you swing your legs up into the air, you can support your legs against the wall. Once you are sure of your balance, slowly bend your knees until you come into the Scorpion Pose.

Benefit to Body Part :

  • The Vrischikasana is a great way to strengthen your torso and back and get rid of stubborn fat from these areas.
  • It also helps to strengthen your arms and your shoulders.
  • The Scorpion Pose also helps you to improve your sense of balance.
  • This is also an excellent posture for improving the flexibility of the spine.
  • It also helps to build stamina and endurance.

Therapeutic Applications :

  • This inverted posture allows blood to rush in to the brain. Thus, it can help to improve memory and concentration.
  • The Scorpion pose also stimulates the hair follicles in the scalp and can be used to arrest hair loss.
  • It also helps to release stress that accumulates in the shoulders and the spine.
  • When performed properly under the guidance of a trained instructor, it may also be used to treat back problems such as slipped discs.

Variations :

  • Instead of performing this stretch while resting your forearm on the floor or yoga mat, you can perform the Vrischikasana while doing a handstand. This greatly increases the difficulty of the posture and should not be attempted until you can comfortably perform the unmodified version of the Scorpion Pose.
  • As mentioned earlier, the Scorpion Pose may also be performed while taking support against a wall or other object to make it easier for newer practitioners of Scorpion Pose yoga.
  • You can also clasp your palms together to obtain better balance.
  • Another popular variant of the Scorpion Pose is the Locust Scorpion Pose, which is performed while keeping your arms clasped behind you and your chin touching the floor or yoga mat. In this variation of the Scorpion Pose, your body weight rests on your forearms, shoulder, neck, and chin.

Preparatory Poses :

There are a number of preparatory poses for the Scorpion Pose. The main aim of these preparatory poses is to get your body ready for demands placed upon it by the Vrischikasana. Some of the poses that will help you to prepare your body for the rigors of Scorpion Pose yoga include Shirsa Asana or Headstand, Pincha Mayur Asana or Feathered Peacock Pose, and the Ado Mukha Vriksha Asana or Downward Facing Tree Pose. Other preparatory poses for the Scorpion Pose include the Urdhva Dhanura Asana or the Wheel Pose, Sarvanga Asana or Shoulderstand, and Cobra Pose or Bhujanga Asana.

Follow Up Poses :

Once the Vrischikasana is complete you should return back to your starting position in the Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Catur Svanasana.

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