I first attempted the scorpion pose naively five years ago but had no arm strength. After many failed attempts at getting even close to it, I gave up. I was running before I could walk! If this pose taught me anything it was patience, humbleness and the importance of being present during yoga practice.
For the last two years, practising the scorpion pose has become a regular part of my practice. However, it wasn’t until about four months ago that I finally managed to master it and today, I was able to touch my feet to my head. The posture came — not through force — but through practising yoga mindfully, regularly and not getting frustrated when I couldn’t do it.
How to do the forearm scorpion pose (Vrischikasana)
There are two main ways that I know of to get into the scorpion posture:
1. From the supported headstand
2. From the dolphin
First, however, I would recommend doing some strengthening exercises daily! These could include:
- Holding the plank position
- Dolphin exercises (see my post 10 minute step by step yoga sequence for instructions on how to do the dolphin)
- Lowering your legs up and down in the headstand (great for your core and balance)
How to do the scorpion from the supported headstand
1. Come up into the supported headstand.
2. Push down on your forearms and make sure your shoulders are away from your ears.
3. Relax and bend both of your legs. Keep a solid base and let your legs remain light.
4. Release one hand followed by the other so both palms are pushing down on your mat.
5. Slowly start to lift your head and chest.
6. With time you will find your balance and be able to judge how far you would like to bring your legs over.
You might find the following silent headstand to scorpion movie/ demonstration helpful:
Headstand and Scorpion – Advanced Yoga Asanas – Silent Movie
How to do the scorpian from the dolphin
1. Come into a downward dog position.
2. Now lower your forearms to the ground so you’re in the dolphin position.
3. Walk your legs towards your head.
4. Push down on your forearms and remember to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
5. Lift one leg up to the ceiling or sky
6. Gently let the other leg glide up without force.
You might find the following video helpful:
Ashtanga Yoga : Forearm Balance, Pinchamayurasana with Kino MacGregor
Benefits of the scorpian asana (Vrischikasana)
- Strengthens your abdominal muscles and back as well as getting rid of fat from these areas
- Significantly strengthens your arms and shoulders
- Improves your balance
- Improves flexibility in the spine
- Builds stamina and endurance
- Allows a fresh rush of blood to the brain and can help to improve memory and concentration
- Stimulates hair follicles in the scalp
- Releases stress that can accumulate in the shoulders and spine
Scorpion asana benefits from Yoga Wiz
Please don’t attempt the scorpion if you are a complete beginner. Ask a yoga instructor to guide you or if you have a regular yoga practice and you feel ready to start practising this asana, ask someone to spot you.