Like Ayurveda, our yoga practice asks us to find balance in the body. Arm balances help us find that steady point by focusing on sthira (effort) and sukha (ease). Sometimes, this can be challenging because arm balances such as tittibhasana or firefly require significant effort and strength. For instance, in tittibhasana or firefly pose, strength is required in your core, hip flexors, and arms. But even in challenging postures such as tittibhasana, ask yourself where you can soften in the body while still maintaining strength? Where can you find ease? Another way to bring balance into tittibhasana is to soften your mental approach. Focus on your breath and let go of expectations. Meet yourself where you are.
1. With your feet approximately outer hip width apart, squat down.
2. Tilt your pelvis forward and bring the torso between your legs.
3. Keep the torso where it is, and straighten your legs so you can lift the pelvis to the height of the knees.
4. Begin to work your left upper arum under that back of the left thigh just above the knee. Place the left hand on the floor on the outer edge of your left foot. The fingers point forward. Repeat on the right side.
5. Focus on pressing your hands into the floor as you rock your weight back. Lift yourself off the floor by shifting your center of gravity. Keep the inner thighs as high as possible on your upper arms.
6. Stretch your legs out to the side, and keep the legs parallel to the ground.
7 Peel the toes toward the face and spread them apart.
8. Straighten through the arms as much as possible. Broaden the shoulders across the back.
9. When you are ready to release, slowly bring the feet to the floor.
To modify or go deeper:
Modified Variation: Begin by sitting on the floor. Extend the legs into a straddle, and elevate each heel on a block. Press your palms into the ground and lift the pelvis off the ground.
To go deeper: Keeping the arms straight, shift weight forward. Engage the core, and press into the ground. As the head moves toward the ground, extend the legs toward the sky into a handstand.
Cautions and Contraindications:
Do not perform this posture if you have shoulder, elbow, wrist, or low back injuries.