“It is said that you are as old as your spine and quite rightly”, actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra, who is a yoga aficionado, points out in her latest fitness video on Instagram in which is she seen nailing Vrischikasana or the scorpion pose, considered to be one of the most difficult poses to master in advanced yoga.
Shetty wrote, ‘As James Broughton said, “I’m happy to report, the child in me is still ageless”. Started learning advance yoga at 42… rather late, but better late than never. I always wanted to do the #vrischikasana. I believe it’s never too late to learn something new. Years may wrinkle the skin (that I’m okay with), but to give up enthusiasm will wrinkle my soul… that I couldn’t live with. We don’t grow old with the number of years we live, we age when we stop living… So Live it up #instafam. Never give up. Try something new.’
What is Vrischikasana or the scorpion pose?
The English name of the asana comes from the practitioner’s leg position that resembles a scorpion’s curved tail. Vrischikasana has two variations and can be done while being on the forearms or in a handstand position.
How to perform it?
*Get in the Dolphin Pose which is similar to Downward Facing Dog Pose, except for the fact that here the weight is borne by the hands, feet and mainly forearms.
*Inhale on a count of two and lift up your right leg into the air as high as you can (attaining the Three Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose).
*Give a kick to the raised leg in the backward direction and lift the left leg off the ground as well. This shall put all your body weight on your palms and forearms as well as your elbows.
*Stabilise yourself for balance.
*Arch your back gradually and try to bring both your feet as close to your head as you can. Bend your knees for help.
*As you maintain your balance, look in front and focus your gaze on an imaginary point in front of you.
*Hold this pose for three breaths and repeat.
Some benefits of the asana
The inverted asana is known to strengthen the spine, shoulders, arms and core, and lend balance and flexibility to the body. Besides, the asana also helps build stamina and endurance; allows a fresh rush of blood to the brain and can help improve memory and concentration. It is also believed that it stimulates hair follicles in the scalp and releases stress that can accumulate in the shoulders and spine.
Since this is an advanced asana, people should only learn and practice it under guidance. However, people with high blood pressure, cerebral thrombosis, vertigo, chronic catarrh or heart disease as well as pregnant women should refrain from it.