Tittibhasana Pose (Firefly Pose)

This is a relatively challenging but dynamic pose and requires the opening of the entire back body. Preparatory poses like Utthan Pristhasana (lizard), Uttitha Chaturanga Dandasana (plank), Malasana (garland), Baddha Konasana (bound angle) pose are good hips and shoulders strengthening poses and it should be advised that necessary warm ups need to be done before attempting this pose. In addition, it requires a deep core connection and stable, strong arms to hold this arm balancing asana.
Focus: Develops core and wrist strength, lengthening of the hamstrings and back muscles. Improves stability and develops patience and focus. Involvement of (core) transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, (sides) obliquus externus, obliquus internus,(hips) ilipsoas, (upper body) pectorialis major, teres major, infra-spinatus, deltoideus anterior and exterior,triceps brachii, biceps brachii, latissimo dorsi, brachialis, trapezius, rhomboids and (neck) sternocleidomastoideus muscles.
1) Stand in Tadasana (mountain pose), hip width apart.
2) Fold forward from the hips, letting your palms touching the ground as close as possible (Uttanasana).
3) Widen your stance once you have found your balance point, bend your knees forward to a 90 degree angle. At the same time, sweep your arms underneath your hamstrings so your legs are resting on your triceps. Place your palms onto the mat behind your feet. (The further you can get the backs of the knees towards or over the shoulders, the more ease you will have with the pose).
4) Gather the back of your knees into the shoulders so you would not slip off.
5) Engaging your root Chakra (Muladhara), slowly lower the hips, meanwhile lift your feet off the ground, shifting your weight towards the back. Try to stay stable in this position and cross your ankles. (Bhujapidasana)
6) When you are ready, stretch your inner thigh muscles and straighten your legs upwards, slowly working towards having your hip as close to the ground and legs as far away. Tittibasana is achieved!

Benefits of Tittibhasana:
1) Strengthens wrists and arms
2) Tightens and tones core
3) Stretches the inner groins, hamstrings, and back torso
4) Helps to calm the mind and focus while achieving stability
5) Bringing relief from anxiety, stress, and tension.
1) Avoid this pose if you have a lower back injury, elbow and wrist injury, or shoulder injury.
2) As this pose actively involves the shoulder, wrist, elbow and lower back, injury to these parts could be made worse with the performance.
3) To support the wrists during this pose you could keep your hands on a block or on a yoga mat that is rolled up.
-Instead of hooking the ankles (for those who have ankle issues), you may choose to bend your knees and let your soles touch each other instead.
-You may begin from a plank position and jump forward, slightly over and just beside your palms.
-Don’t get discouraged. Very few people can do firefly pose the first time they try. Just have fun with it.=)
Shan (200hrYTTC/HathaAshtanga/Weekday/Nov14)