Firefly Pose - Tittibhasana

How to Do Firefly Pose - Tittibhasana
Firefly Pose - Tittibhasana. MichaelSvoboda/E+/Getty Images

Type of pose: Arm balance

Benefits: Strengthens the wrists, forearms, and core; stretches the hamstrings.

Instructions:

1. Take your feet about 18 inches apart (this will vary a bit based on your size). Come into a forward bend with your knees slightly bent.

2. Nestle your shoulders as far under your knees as you can. You can bend your knees more if you need too. It's ok if you can't get your knees all the way on to your shoulders.

The thighs on the upper arms will do. 

3. Bring your palms flat on the floor just behind your feet.

4. Bend your elbows slightly back as you would if you were heading into chaturanga dandasana. Don't bring the upper arms all the way to parallel with the floor, however. 

5. Begin to shift your weight back to rest on your upper arms. Let that slight backward momentum lift your feet up off the floor.

6. Straighten your arms as much as possible.

7. Straighten your legs and hug your upper arms strongly with your thighs.

8. Flex your feet.

9. To come out, bend your knees and tip your feet forward until they touch the floor again. (Or just sit down on your butt.)

Beginners' Tips:

1. If you've got the hang of some basic arm balances, this pose is actually easier than it looks. For one thing, if you fall you'll land on your butt instead of on your head as you would in a lot of other arm balances!

2. If you can lift the feet off of the floor but can't straighten your legs, try crossing the feet at the ankles in front of you.

This is arm pressure pose - bhujapidasana. It also helps you get the feel for how strongly you need to hug your arms with your legs in both poses. 

Advanced Tips:

1. Once you have your arms and legs straight, you can begin to work on a slight variation on the pose. Shift your weight back, taking the forward slant out of your torso and bringing it into a more upright position.

Your legs will come along for the ride as your toes begin to point toward the ceiling. It takes a lot of core strength here not to tip back and end up sitting on your butt.

2. From firefly pose, transition to crow pose by bringing your legs behind you with the knees on your upper arms. Then jump back to chaturanga. This sequence is from the Ashtanga second series. 

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