Definition - What does Vrschikasana mean?

Vrschikasana is a challenging inversion and backbending asana that is helpful for building stamina and endurance in the mind and the body. It is particularly beneficial because it cultivates better balance and teaches practitioners to take a more playful approach to yoga. This asana is also said to have a range of spiritual and energetic benefits.

In this asana, the body balances on the forearms as in pincha mayurasana (peacock pose). The gaze is pointed forward, and the body bends more deeply as the legs fold down toward the head. In more advanced variations, the yogi will balance on the hands with the arms fully extended.

The English name for vrschikasana is scorpion pose.

Yogapedia explains Vrschikasana

It is said that the increase in blood flow to the brain during vrschikasana will improve memory and concentration and, as such, it is a powerful pose for the mind as well as the body. It is also said to be very calming, and helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. The stimulation of the shoulders and spine is thought to release tension and stress that may have accumulated there.

Like all backbends, vrschikasana is said to be good for opening and balancing the anahata (heart) chakra. This can help the practitioner feel more open, loving and connected with others. In this posture, energy can also be directed to the ajna (third eye) chakra in order to increase the spiritual benefits of the pose.

Some say that vrschikasana is the ultimate yoga posture for promoting happiness and generating energy, because it combines an inversion's benefits of increased blood flow to the brain with the stimulating and invigorating effects of backbending.

Vrschikasana is usually performed towards the end of a yoga practice when the body is warm and ready, and the mind is prepared.

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