Yoga stretches help with flexibility, breathing, blood pressure, relaxation and attention. The flow from crow into scorpion pose demands patience, strength and balance. It may take days to months to achieve, but the benefits are innumerable.
Position 1: Crow
Begin in a deep squat. Position your arms parallel to your knees on the floor. Reach them far enough out that your knees begin to touch beneath your armpits. Slowly raise yourself off the floor by pressing up on your toes. Feel the distribution of your weight as you shift your knees up firmly onto your arms. Receive the weight of yourself through your arms and tuck your abdomen in. It is sometimes easier to bring your feet together behind you. Practice this until you can easily breathe smoothly and hold this position.
Position 2: Tripod
Slowly bring your head close to the floor. To keep from falling forward, use your abdomen to tighten and lower you. Keep your legs tucked close until you have successfully placed your head on the floor, forming a tripod. Move your knees to the ends of your elbows.
Position 3: Headstand
Using your abs, bring your feet above you. Do this slowly so you can feel the distribution of your weight. Remember to breathe. If you find this more difficult, you can do one leg at a time.
Position 4: Forearm stand
Gradually, raise your head as you bring your forearms down flat on the floor. This may be easier to do one arm at a time. Take a deep breath, tighten your core into your spine, keeping your body strong and push your body up into a forearm stand. Press down on your arms as you finish shifting all your weight from your head to your shoulders and arms. Breathe deeply and hold as you feel your new position.
Position 5: Scorpion
Widen your shoulders as you begin to gently bring your legs down behind you. Loosen your hips, softly arch your back and reach your feet to the floor. You will feel the stretch through your neck, arms, abs, back and legs. Move carefully and don’t push yourself too far. When you feel you are ready to come out of the position you may choose to tighten your core and raise your legs, coming back into forearm stand and tripod, or you may choose to drop your feet further to the floor and fall into bridge pose.
Take your time doing each position. It isn’t about the speed, but about the accuracy and feel.