Finding Joy in Movement

Bhujapidasana/ Shoulder Pressing Pose

Bhujapidasana is an arm balance that strengthens the arms, shoulders, and wrists as well as the abdominals. For those with less flexible hips, it can be a struggle to keep the legs lifted, but you can get the benefits of the pose even if you don’t get the feet all the way off the floor. Have patience.

Begin in a squat with the feet about hip width distance apart. Lift the hips up away from the floor and fold forward, keeping a rounded back and bent knees. You can also choose to jump the feet around the arms to come into this position. It’s up to you. As you fold forward, grab on to the left ankle with the left hand and bring the left arm under the left leg. Rest the back of the thigh on the upper arm, then repeat on the right. The more you can work your shoulders under the knees, the easier it will be to hold the pose. Squeeze the thighs in toward the shoulders and place the hands on the floor with the fingers pointed forward. The hands should be placed behind and wider apart than the feet.

Bring your weight onto the hands and begin to straighten the arms. As you do so, lean the hips back so that the balance shifts and the feet begin to lift off the mat. Keep squeezing the thighs in to prevent the legs slipping down the arms and strongly engage the abdominals to keep the legs lifted. Once you have found your balance, cross one ankle over the other and look forward.

Generally the pose is repeated with the opposite ankle on top. If you would like to go further, you can then straighten the legs for Tittibhasana. Lastly, for those that are flexible and strong enough, you can attempt jumping straight into the pose from Downward Dog without letting the feet touch the floor.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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