Yoga Asana – Bird of Paradise Pose (Svarga Dvijasana)

For those who have only just entered the world of yoga you may not understand the sequencing of the asanas (postures). How each pose works towards another, opening or strengthening to reach the next goal without injury.
Svarga Dvijasana is Sanskrit name for my latest favourite posture. The English being Bird of Paradise Pose and as an actual bird of paradise is the final pose is beautiful when done correctly. As much as I love this pose we have a slight love hate relationship from the first time I tried it. Due to a shoulder injury my one side is much weaker than the other & with certain arm binds I can experience sharp pain, which is a big ‘no no’ if you ask any yoga instructor. A stretch is good, great actually, but any sharp pain is a bad sign & you need to take a step back. Although you’re not supposed to have ego in yoga this did bruise mine a little, knowing that I can bind my hands on both sides but one side brings me much pain & therefore common sense my prevail.
The postures before you get to Bird of Paradise are all about working on having the right balance of strength & flexibility to assist with the final pose. Warmup to this posture, as with most, is very important. You will progress your way through stamina building side angles (strengthening quadriceps muscles) & binds (opening pectoral muscles) into intense hamstring stretches to work on your extension of that lifted led. Once those have been completed you will be keeping the bind & stepping your feet together then balancing on one leg to lift the bound leg off the floor, straighten your torso towards the sky & eventually straightening that bound leg with a pointed toe & beautiful elegance.
The sense of achievement once you get to this (or close to this) is what it’s all about. Its building something beautiful starting with the basic building blocks & following it through.
200hr Vinyasa TT August 2015

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