Yoga Posture Guide – The Scorpion Pose (Vrischika – asana)

Vrschikasana, Yoga Scorpion from Pinchamayurasana
Vrschikasana, Yoga Scorpion from Pinchamayurasana

The Scorpion Pose Translation.

Vrischika is the Sanskrit word for a scorpion. This posture is so named because the body resembles a scorpion with its tail arched above its head ready to sting its victim. Although it may not be a simple posture for beginners to perform, the Scorpion is not as difficult as it may at first seem.
Pronunciation: vrik-shah-sa-na

Difficulty Level: (7)

The Scorpion should not be attempted until you are comfortable with all the balance postures (e.g.: Vriksha-asana, Ekapada-asana, etc.) as well as the Headstand (Sirsha-asana). Beginners should do this posture under the supervision of a qualified teacher. When first attempting the Scorpion asana you may want to try it while facing a wall. Position yourself so that when you are doing step #1 above your head is about 2 - 3 feet from the wall. This way if you lose your balance you can use the wall for support.

The Scorpion Pose (Vrischika – asana) will provide maximum stretch to the neck, spine, and chest. It combines many of the benefits of the Chakra-asana (the Wheel posture) and the Sirsha-asana (the Headstand).

For beginners, use the support of a wall to attempt this asana. It will be better to have a partner or a yoga instructor to look over you while performing this asana.

Benefits of Vrischika Asana, The Scorpion Pose

This asana aid in maximizing wellness and vital force of our body. It gives strengths to the muscle of hand and arms. Increases the balance power of the body. As you balance your entire body on your hands, the muscle of wrist and palm are strengthened a lot. It helps in curing the abdominal disorder. This asana provides extra flexibility and elasticity to your spine and belly. It helps you in shaping your body posture or figure. Whenever you can’t execute this pose fully, then you may practice it in half pattern. It is known as the Ardha Vrishchikasana or Half Scorpion Posture. It combines up many advantages of Chakra-ASANA- Wheel Posture and Sirsha-Asana

Unless and until you’re well-fixed with every balance postures like Vriksha – ASANA – The Tree Pose or Ekapada-ASANA-One Legged Pose or Sirsha-asana, then you may try out with scorpion pose. Any person who tries this asana for the first time then there should be a yoga teacher or supervisor.

Instructions for The Scorpion Pose (Vrischika – asana)

  1. Kneel on the floor and lean forward placing the elbows and forearms flat on the floor with the palms facing down. Your arms should be placed about shoulder-distance apart. 
  2. Extend your head forward and lift it as high as possible. 
  3. Raise the buttocks and place the feet firmly on the bottoms the toes. 
  4. Inhale a swing the legs up and over the head while maintaining your balance. Bring the legs straight up over your head. 
  5. Slowly bend the knees and drop the legs toward the head being careful not to move too quickly or drop the legs too far while maintaining balance. 
  6. Reverse the steps above and return to a kneeling position. 
Duration/Repetitions: Hold the vrischika-asana for as long as you are comfortable. Keep in mind that returning from the posture gracefully without falling out of it will take some strength, so don't hold it too long. 20-30 seconds is fine for early attempts, increase the time gradually as you become more proficient.

Contraindications of the Scorpion Pose (Vrischika – asana) 

  • Do not practice this asana, if you have glaucoma, detached retina, or other eye disorders that are aggravated by pressure.
  • Do not do this asana if you have high blood pressure or heart palpitations.
  • In case of suffering from vertigo do not practice this pose.
  • The Vrischika Asana should not be attempted until you are comfortable with the Headstand (Sirsha-asana) without any slightest
  • difficulty.
  • Beginners should not practice this asana.
  • Beginners should do this posture under the supervision of a qualified teacher
CAUTION: Always check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns regarding the suitability of this pose for you.

The Scorpion Pose (Vrischika – asana) Variations

There are two common variations to this posture illustrated and described below:

To do the first variation, illustrated above, after entering the Scorpion as described above slowly raise the legs straight up until your feet are directly over your head (you won't, of course, be able to see this but you will easily be able to feel when they are properly positioned). This variation requires a bit more strength and a stronger sense of balance then pose described above.

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