Ah scorpion pose - my ultimate 'I would love to be able to do that pose' pose, one which I thought was way out of my reach. As a yogi I am strong, I can pop into an arm balance such as grasshopper pose with no warm up but I am not the most naturally flexible of people. Every ounce of flexibility I gain I have to work for it - hard. I have no shame in this, I love being strong. Being strong means that my muscles are engaged and working hard, I'm not likely to hyper extend and I can keep my body safe and free from injury. Scorpion pose, much like handstand has been one hell of a journey for me so today I thought that I would share with you my own mini victory in my personal scorpion pose progress.
This all started way back in January of 2015 when I had just started sticking my forearm stands so of course looking for the next thing (naturally) I think to myself - well I can do a wheel do scorpion pose is basically a wheel on my forearms, I can do that - wrong! Well as you can see from the photo on the left I have dumped a lot of weight into my lower back then brought my shins parallel to the mat - not the best for my low back at all!
I stepped away from this pose, worked on my strength and flexibility just through my general practice, toyed with the pose every now and then but didn't really focus on it again until earlier this year. I do however love working with this variation of forearm stand below -
Using this variation and playing with it is how I eventually figured out how to get into scorpion pose safely as it is kind of a half scorpion pose. One leg to the sky elongates the spine which allows the arch to happen, hands together works best for me as I find that I can push the mat away and engage my shoulders, the second leg is reaching over and down, flexing the toes in order to keep the muscles engaged and lifting.
I like to envision myself going up and over a barrel so you get the lift, the lengthening and then the space to get into the pose. You can see in the video below how I work on this, plus an attempt at scorpion pose which didn't quite work!
Following on from a workshop with Kathryn Budig back in May something seemed to just click, although we didn't work on scorpion pose itself we did work on a lot of backbends, hip openers and vinyasas to build strength.
In this video I reached my fullest expression of the pose yet, I'm pushing the mat away, lengthening the spine and I have so much more space between the mat and my face then in the first picture on the left above. It's still a work in progress and anatomically I will never be able to touch my feet with my head but for me this pose is more than a pose - it's about kicking ass, living MY dream and being myself every step of the way.