Grasshopper Pose, which is also known as Parsva Bhuja Dandasana, or Dragonfly Pose, or Hummingbird, or Maksikanagasana, is a huge power yoga pose and challenging asana for your body and mind.
This asana is a deep twisting, hip opening, arm balancing and strengthening arm all in one posture.
Grasshopper Pose is not a pose that you can easily pick up. It has a lot going on, so it is important to warm up with several sun salutations first. You also need to do a deep twist poses with some hip openers poses.
|Known as:||Grasshopper Pose, Parsva Bhuja Dandasana, Dragonfly Pose, Hummingbird pose, Maksikanagasana|
|Focus:||Arms, shoulders, core|
|Total time:||15-30 seconds|
|Chakra:||Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra, Swadhisthana (Sacral) Chakra, Muladhara (Root) Chakra, Anahata (Heart) Chakra|
|Indications:||Arms, shoulders, core muscles, hips, groin, legs, balance, coordination, confidence, concentration, digestive system, stress, anxiety, circulation, oxygenation|
|Counterposes:||Child’s Pose (Balasana), Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana), Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana), Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)|
|Follow-up poses:||Crow Pose (Bakasana), Eight Angle Pose (Astavakrasana), Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana), Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)|
|Contraindications:||Wrist, shoulder, or elbow injuries, Hip injuries, Pregnancy, High blood pressure|
Maksikanagasana is derived from three Sanskrit words – Makshika + Naga + Asana:
- “Makshika” = “bee”
- “Naga” = “snake”
- “Asana” = “pose” or “posture”
So, the word “Maksikanagasana” can be interpreted as the pose that resembles a bee with a snake-like shape. The pose requires the practitioner to balance on their arms while their leg is wrapped around their upper arm, resembling the shape of a bee with its stinger raised.
Practice 6 poses before grasshopper pose (Hummingbird Pose)
- Modified side angle pose (dip twist pose)
- Modified triangle pose (dip twist pose)
- Half god of fish (dip twist pose)
- Yogi Squat (hip opener pose)
- Butterfly (hip opener pose)
- Agni Pravesh or Agnistambhasana (hip opener pose)
1. Step by step dip twist poses
Dip twisting yoga poses can activate the muscles around the lumbar spine and the abdominal core, which can increase stability as well as oxidize blood flow and area.
As you turn, you will release tension stored in the body, which can have a positive effect on your mental state.
Modified side angle pose instructions
- You can start mountain pose (tadasana) by standing with feet on your hands.
- Exhale and keep your feet apart.
- Extend and extend the palms horizontally with your arms.
- Place your right heel towards the center of your mat. Opinions differ on the ideal angle for the foot in relation to the ankle.
- A degree somewhere between 90 (which will be parallel to the back edge of your yoga mat) and 45 (toe located in the top left corner of your mat) is acceptable.
- Bend your right knee so that the calf and thigh form a right angle with the thigh parallel to the floor.
- Bring your right hand in or out of the right foot, depending on which it is more comfortable.
- Rest on the right fingers so that you are not dumping too much weight in your hand.
- Raise left arm straight up towards the ceiling.
- Open your chest and make sure that your left shoulder rests on your right shoulder.
- Stare at your left hand.
- When you are standing at shoulder height at arms height, press your back leg firmly and exhale. Fold the legs and the body is in the same direction.
- To keep the body in balance, repeat the asana with your left leg.
Modified triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana) instructions
- Stand in Tadasana. With exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3.5 to 4 feet apart.
- Raise your arms parallel to the floor and actively extend them to the sides, shoulders, palms down.
- Rotate your left leg to the right and your right foot at 90 degrees to the right.
- Align the right heel with the left heel.
- Strengthen your thighs and tilt your right thigh outward, so that the center of the right knee cap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
- Exhale and extend your leg directly under the right leg, not from the hip joint, but from the hip joint.
- Do this movement by strengthening the left foot and pushing the outer heel firmly onto the floor.
- Rotate the torso to the left, keeping both sides equally long.
- Allow the left hip to come forward slightly and extend the tailbone backwards.
- Rest your right hand on the floor outside of your calf, ankle or your right foot, which is possible without deforming the sides of the torso.
- Extend your left hand towards the ceiling with the top of your shoulders.
- Keep your head in a neutral position or bend it to the left, gaze gently at the left thumb.
- Stay in this posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- To breathe, press the back heel firmly on the floor and reach upwards towards the ceiling.
- Fold the legs up and repeat the same time on the left side.
Half god of fish (Ardha Matsyendrasana) Instructions
- Sit on the floor, where your legs straight out in front of you and buttocks supported on a folded blanket.
- Bend your knees, place your feet on the floor, then slide your left foot out of your right hip under your right foot. Keep the left foot on the ground.
- Move the right leg over the left leg and place it on the floor outside your left hip. Your right knee will point directly to the ceiling.
- Exhale and turn inward to the right thigh.
- Push the right hand to the floor just behind your right buttock, and place your left thigh near the knee outside your right thigh.
- Pull front torso and inner right thigh together.
- Press the inner right leg very actively into the floor, release the right waist, and lengthen the front torso.
- Move the upper torso back slightly against the shoulder blade, and continue to lengthen the tailbone in the floor.
- You can turn your head in two directions: (A) turn the torso to the right; Or (B) look at the bend of the torso in the right leg, above the left shoulder and turning to the left.
- With each breath, lift it up slightly through the sternum, pushing the fingers against the floor to help.
- Turn slightly with each breath.
- Be sure to distribute the bend evenly over the entire length of the spine; Do not center it in the lower back.
- Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then exhale with one breath, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length.
2. Step by step hip opener poses
Tight hips can affect you to achieve Grasshopper Pose goal. When the hips are tight, they increase the load and cause excess spine.
Practicing hips opener poses not only give Grasshopper Pose but also benefits you to improved range of motion and circulation and reduction in back pain.
Opening the hips can release or simultaneously release an energetic shift. The Yogic tradition places the hips as a storage ground for negative emotions and mood-feelings, especially those related to control in our lives.
Hip-opening can also make room for the birth of new ideas and new avenues. The hips opener pose gives you freedom in the body and in your own unique expression – creatively, physically, sexually and spiritually.
Yogi squat (Yoga Squat, Malasana, Garland, or Deep Squat) instructions
- Start with squatting. As to do this, keep feet close to each other, support your heel on the floor or on the ground.
- Spread your thighs, keeping them slightly wider than your torso.
- Exhale and bend forward as if your torso is stuck between your thighs.
- Bring your palms to the Anjali posture, and press your elbows against the inner thighs. Doing this will help you expand the front section of your torso.
- Push your inner thighs against the side of your torso.
- Then, stretch your arms, and rotate them in such a way that your calves fit in the armpits. Hold your ankles.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds. Inhaling and exhaling.
- Start at Staff Pose (Dandasana). If you find it difficult to sit upright in the staff pose, raise your hips slightly by placing a soft foam block or blanket under your seating bones.
- When exhaling, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together to touch.
- Bring your heel as close to your pelvis as you can without feeling pressure or pain in your knees.
- Press the outer edges of your feet firmly on the floor and wrap your hands around your feet or ankles.
- To open the grocer by gently working the outer knees toward the floor, in a neutral position with the pelvis. Never walk on your knees.
- Stay here, or start bending your torso forward, making sure that your spine stays long and neutral by leaning against the hip joints opposite the waist.
- This mudra can be conducted anywhere from 1–10 minutes.
- To get out of the pose, pull your knees towards each other, spread your legs and return to the staff pose.
Agni Pravesh (Agnistambhasana or Fire Log Pose) instructions
- Sit on the mat in a comfortable cross-legged position.
- Bring your right calf in front of the pot.
- Keep the left ankle directly above the right knee, bring the left calf parallel to the right.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine.
- Flex both legs.
- Hold about five full breaths for a minute or more.
- Repeat on the other side.
How to do Grasshopper Pose (Parsva Bhuja Dandasana Vinyasa)?
- Start by standing in the mountain pose.
- Shift your weight to your right leg and bring your left ankle just above the knee to cross your right thigh. Your calf will be parallel to the floor.
- This variation on the Chair Pose is the same position from where you enter the Flying Crow.
- Bend forward, bringing the palms of your hands to the floor.
- Bend the right leg (standing leg) and rotate your torso to the right, rotating your hands until your palms are aligned with the edge of your right foot.
- This is the same hand position as the side crow.
- Bend your elbows down in the chaturang position and bring the sole of your left foot to the shelf formed by your left upper hand.
- Try to raise your hand as high as possible.
- Bring the right thigh to rest on the left upper arm as well.
- Tip forward, bring your weight in your arms as your right leg is straight to the side and the right leg exits the floor.
- To come out from grasshopper pose, bend the right knee and bring the right foot back to the floor. Try the other side.
Precautions and contraindications
Precautions and contraindications are important to consider when practicing any yoga pose, including Grasshopper Pose or Maksikanagasana. Here are some precautions and contraindications for this pose:
- Wrist, shoulder, or elbow injuries: As this pose requires a significant amount of weight to be placed on the arms and shoulders, it should be avoided if you have any injuries in these areas.
- Hip injuries or limitations: If you have any hip injuries or limitations, it may be difficult to bring your leg up onto your tricep in this pose.
- Lack of arm strength: If you don’t have the necessary arm strength to hold your body weight in the pose, it could result in strain or injury to the arms, shoulders, or wrists.
- Lack of flexibility: If you don’t have sufficient flexibility in your hips, groin, and legs, it may be difficult to bring your leg up onto your tricep and hold the pose.
- Pregnancy: As this is an advanced pose that requires a lot of core strength and balance, it is not recommended for pregnant women.
- High blood pressure: As this pose involves a lot of weight being placed on the arms and shoulders, it may not be suitable for those with high blood pressure.
Make sure that you are able to master the preparation situation and have developed the necessary strength and flexibility.
Benefits of Grasshopper Pose (Dragonfly Pose)
Grasshopper pose (Hummingbird Pose) is considered a super dynamic pose. It works on muscle groups include the arms, shoulders and upper back, opening your hips and pelvis.
Practicing this will help develop your abilities along with your concentration. Other benefits include:
- Activates the musculoskeletal system of the upper body
- Strengthens the shoulder, wrist, forearms, back muscles, and spine
- Improves mental focus
- Calms the mind
- Improves overall feeling of balance
- Increases flexibility
- Stimulates the digestive system
- Increases self-esteem and/or humility
- Balances Mooladhara Chakra
- Reduces stress and Anxiety 1
- SlideShares, Oct. 05, 2015: Jatin Chaudhary; The effects of Pranayama yoga on Stress and Anxiety