[Pose Of the Week] Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose (Advanced)
Improve core strength & stability, flexibility, and focus in Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose…
Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose (Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana) – also known as Upward-Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose or Forearm Wheel Pose – is a deep yoga back bend for experienced yoga practitioners. This intense stretch opens up the chest, shoulders, and hips, strengthens the muscles of both the upper and lower body, and is believed to relieve stress and anxiety, increase lung capacity, improve digestion, and boost energy.
Before performing this pose, make sure you are fully warmed up, and are comfortable performing Wheel Pose and Headstand Pose.
If you’re just getting started with this pose, you may wish to place a cushion under your head, forearms, and elbows for a bit of extra support. Those with injuries to the wrists, back, neck, or shoulders should avoid this pose.
How to Do Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose:
1. Start on your back with your knees bent, your feet hip distance apart, your toes pointing forward, and your shins straight.
2. Lift your hips and raise your arms with your palms up, then plant your hands next to your ears with your fingers pointing slightly out.
3. Push down through your hands and feet and come onto the crown of your head.
4. Lower one forearm down at a time and interlace your fingers behind your head. Make sure your elbows are shoulder distance and firm your elbows toward your midline as you squeeze your inner thighs in.
5. Push down through your elbows and lift your head up off the ground, pressing your chest toward the gateway of your shoulders and bringing your weight into your elbows.
6. To shorten and deepen your stance, bring your feet closer to your hands – or, if possible – walk the feet away your hands until the legs are almost completely extended, anchoring the inner feet and pushing through the calves.
7. For the one-legged variation of this pose, you can also balance on one foot with your heel down and reach your other foot up toward the sky.
8. To release, return the feet to the original position – under the knees. Place your palms by your ears, pushing down to release your head. Roll the spine slowly back onto the mat, breathing slowly.
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