Dragonfly Pose

Dragonfly yoga pose
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Also Known As: Hummingbird pose, grasshopper pose

Good to Know: There is a different pose in yin yoga that is called dragonfly. The yin pose is a seated straddle forward bend, similar to upavistha konasana.

Type of Pose: Arm Balance

Benefits: Builds arm strength and core strength.

Let's not beat around the bush: dragonfly is a very hard pose. What makes it so is that it combines a number of elements that are very challenging in their own rights.

You have to be a confident arm balancer, comfortable with side crow and flying crow. Flexibility in the hips and hamstrings is also necessary to get your legs into position. This is not a pose you're going to pick up easily. That's the "bad" news. The good news is that everything you're working on by consistently doing yoga is bringing you to a point where this pose becomes accessible. It's fun when it all comes together, but try not to get too goal oriented in your yoga practice. Checking poses off your to-do list is not what it's all about. When you're ready for dragonfly, it will be ready for you. Here's how to get in and out of it. 

Instructions:

1. Begin by standing in mountain pose.

2. Shift your weight into your right leg and bring your left ankle to cross your right thigh just above the knee. Your shin will be parallel to the floor. This variation on utkatasana is same position from which you enter flying crow.

3. Come into a forward bend, bringing the palms of your hands to the floor.

4. Bend the right leg (the standing leg) and twist your torso to the right, walking your hands over until your palms come in line with the side of your right foot. This is a similar arm position to side crow.

5. Bend your elbows down to chaturanga position and bring the sole of your left foot onto the shelf created by your left upper arm.

Try to get the foot as high up your arm as possible.

6. Bring your right thigh to rest on the left upper arm as well.

7. Tip forward, bringing your weight into your arms as your right leg straightens out to the side and right foot leaves the floor.

8. To come out, bend the right knee and bring the right foot back to the floor.

9. Try the other side.

Beginners' Tips:

1. There's not really a beginner's version, but side crow is a good preparatory pose. It gives you the feeling of how much you have to twist your torso and how to far forward you need to tip in order to get your feet off the ground. 

Advanced Tips:

1. Don't be surprised if the two sides are very different! There are a lot of factors that go into making this pose work, but the openness of the hips is the one that may it possible on one side but not the other.

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