How to Do Vrschikasana—Scorpion Yoga Pose

Advanced Yoga Pose

Yoga Scorpion Pose
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Scorpion pose (Vrschikasana) is an advanced pose that you may not be able to master until you have attained enough core strength and you have mastered basic yoga poses. The pose mimics the position of a scorpion ready to strike. Some have labeled Scorpion as the hardest yoga pose. It can take extra preparation and skill to build the muscle, flexibility, and skill to accomplish this pose. It is usually reserved until the end of an asana practice.

  • Type of pose: Inversion, backbend
  • Benefits: Scorpion pose will strengthen your shoulders, arms, core, and back. It improves the flexibility of your spine and improves your balance.
  • Precautions: This is not a beginner's pose, and even experienced practitioners should be careful with this intense backbend. Work with spotters when you are attempting this pose. Do not attempt this pose if you have hip or back problems.

Instructions for Scorpion Pose

  1. Begin by balancing in forearm stand in the center of the room.
  2. Bend your knees and lift your head. 
  3. In forearm stand, the hips are pretty much over your shoulders. For your body to move into the classic C shape of a scorpion, your hips must move away from your head. This happens naturally as you begin to curve your spine into a position of extension.
  4. As you deepen your backbend, your knees may separate, but keep your big toes touching.
  5. Continue to move your toes toward the crown on your head.
  1. To come out, lower one leg at a time to the floor.
  2. You may want to perform the child's pose to counter the intense backbend of the scorpion pose.

Preparing for Scorpion Pose

Before attempting scorpion pose, you will want to build your shoulder strength. Dolphin pose push-ups are a good exercise to build your shoulder strength.

Perform sets of 10.

You will also need good back flexibility before attempting scorpion pose. Camel pose will help develop this flexibility, with the spine curved in the same way it will be in scorpion pose, but not inverted.

You will want to be accomplished at performing a handstand pose before you attempt the scorpion pose. You 

Beginners Tips

True beginners should not attempt this advanced posture. You should work with a yoga instructor to guide you.

  1. If you are comfortable doing forearm stand at the wall, you can start to work on scorpion at the wall.
  2. Before you kick up, move your hands about two feet from the wall.
  3. Come into forearms stand with your feet on the wall. Because your hands are further from the wall, placing your feet on the wall will create a backbend position in your spine.
  4. Walk your feet down the wall toward your head to intensify your spinal extension. Stop whenever you need to.

Advanced Tip

In the full pose, the soles of your feet rest on the crown of your head. This requires a very deep backbend, so working on poses like urdhva dhanurasana will help prepare you.

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