[Pose Of the Week] Formidable Face Pose (Advanced)

Stretch your entire body from head to toe while building strength & balance in Formidable Face Pose…

Formidable Face Pose (Ganda Bherundasana) – also known as Chin Stand Pose – is an advanced backbend pose that offers an intense stretch to the front of the body as well as the spine and hips, while strengthening the neck, wrists, shoulders, legs, and core muscles. It is also thought to reduce stress, calm the mind, improve circulation and respiratory health, and ease headaches and menstrual pain.

This pose requires great concentration and focus, so it is a good pose for working on these things, as well as posture, and it is also believed to stimulate the Heart, Throat, and Crown chakras.

This is an energizing pose, so it should not be performed close to bedtime. As an advanced pose, students should not attempt this one until mastery of beginner and intermediate backbends have been achieved. You may wish to place a folded blanket or other padding under the chest or shoulders for comfort.

Those with neck, back, knee, hip, or shoulder problems or recent surgeries, internal injuries, or who are pregnant or have recently given birth should avoid this pose.

How to Do Formidable Face Pose:

  1. Begin sitting in Toe Squat Pose (Vajrasana Variation On Toes). Relax the whole body and mind before getting into a deeper backbend by taking a few breaths.
  2. Inhale, come into Table Top Pose with the toes tucked in, and place the palms right under the shoulder with the fingers nice and wide. Now rotate the elbows inside to point them back. It helps bring the elbows closer.
  3. Exhale, bend down to place the elbows right underneath your ribs and chin on the ground.
  4. Lift your knees and walk forward, forming a v-shape with your upper and lower body.
  5. Come onto your toes, lifting your heels high. Inhale, lift one leg towards the sky. And when you’re ready, transfer the weight forward, pressing the palms strongly on the ground and chin placed firmly on the ground, kick or reach the other leg up to the ceiling, using the core, arms, and shoulders to hold the balance.
  6. Once the balance is obtained, gradually, with a deep exhalation, bend the knees and bring the toes down to touch the head.
  7. Remain here in Formidable Face Pose, using the strength of your arms and shoulders to avoid strain in the neck as long as comfortable but not more than 3 minutes.
  8. To release, lift the feet from the head, straighten them, and slowly lower the legs down without losing balance. Stretch out in Makarasana. Stay here for five breaths.
  9. Finally, release and relax in Balasana.
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