Yoga may be a word that brings to mind images of mirror-lined studios or Buddha statues surrounded by bowls of incense. But did you know that yoga can also be extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health?
Not only can yoga increase muscle strength and tone, but it can also improve your respiration, energy and mind.
Of course, there are now hundreds of different poses that can be used when practising yoga, from the mermaid to the baby grasshopper. And while each pose comes with its own benefits, the bird of paradise remains one of the best for anyone hoping to enhance their muscles and improve their balance. So if you want to know more about this pose, then you have come to the right place.
In the following article, we are going to teach you how to execute the bird of paradise, while also explaining its benefits and how you can approach the complex pose in an easy and safe way. We have also included some important information concerning the pose and the common mistakes that come with it.
So if you are ready to tone your muscles and control your balance, then we have everything you need to execute this pose…
What Is The Bird Of Paradise Pose?
The bird of paradise pose (otherwise known as svarga dvijasana) is a challenging and complicated pose that is commonly practised at the intermediate level.
When performing the bird of paradise, you are expected to pose with the bind while standing on one leg and stretching your hamstring. We promise that this pose will make more sense once we break it down later in the article.
Before you can tackle the bird of paradise, you should be able to execute a bound extended single angle pose, as this will determine whether you are ready to perform the complex pose.
However, this does not mean that you should rush into it, as the bird of paradise is considered very challenging and should not be attempted unless you have perfected the bind. The pose itself takes its name from a beautiful flower that is native to South Africa.
While the bird of paradise is not recommended for entry-level users, you can perform a limited variation of the pose that will help to loosen your hips and groin. But how can you execute the original pose in a safe and easy way? Well, everything you need can be found in the following instructions.
How To Do
These instructions have been provided so that you can execute the bird of paradise pose from the comfort of your studio. To begin the pose, you will need to assume the bound extended side angle pose:
- Once you have assumed the starting position, turn your head so that your line of sight comes to your front foot.
- Place your back foot in a forward position so that your feet are parallel to the front of your yoga mat. While doing this, it is okay to take a few steps until your back foot is in the correct place. This should leave you in a forward bend with your arms wrapped around one leg and your knees slightly bent. You will need to make sure that your bind remains intact during this step.
- Take your weight and transfer it to your unbound leg before standing firmly on that foot.
- Once you have done this, lift your other foot off the ground. Slowly bring yourself up into a standing position, while keeping the bind and lifting the bound leg during your ascent.
- When you feel secure in your new standing position, begin to straighten the bound leg to meet your preference. While doing this, bring your line of sight over your opposite shoulder and away from the outstretched leg.
- To come out of this pose, you will need to bend the bound leg and slowly lower your foot to the ground. While keeping your bind in place, step your free leg to the back of the mat and reverse the process you used to perform the pose. This should return you to a bound side angle pose.
- When you are ready, release the bind and repeat the same process on the other side.
Beyond its complex nature, the bird of paradise pose comes with numerous benefits, which work to improve your physical and mental health. In most cases, the bird of paradise is used to enhance muscles and balance, with the pose also being connected with the sacral and root chakras.
If you want to know more about the pose and its benefits, then we have compiled some interesting information in the following list:
- The bird of paradise pose works to improve balance and stability, which is extremely important as these elements can wear with age.
- When you practise this pose, your body will begin to become fit, lean and toned.
- Over time, your mental concentration will begin to improve, as the pose works to stimulate the mind as well as the body.
- Unclear thoughts or brain fog will become a thing of the past, as the exercise will help to keep your brain in focus.
- During the pose, your hips, hamstrings and groin muscles will be stretched, which will increase your flexibility.
- Your legs and calves will become much stronger, as the pose works to target these specific muscles.
- Because of the complex and twisting movements, your internal organs will receive a comfortable and welcome massage.
Because the bird of paradise is considered a complex and challenging pose, it is common to make mistakes during its execution. However, it is important to avoid making these mistakes as they can sometimes result in serious injuries and future problems:
- A common mistake often made by practitioners is trying to perform the pose before they are ready. You need to remember that the bird of paradise is an intermediate pose, which means you should be able to execute basic poses before trying to attempt it.
- During the execution of this pose, it is common for practitioners to hunch their shoulders, which can make the process painful and lead to back problems. So when it comes to performing this pose, please remember to keep your shoulders strong and pulled back.
If you are practising the bird of paradise and find yourself needing to release the bind, then you are allowed to stop and come out of the pose. It is also possible to use a strap instead of binding with your hand, especially if you are still new to the pose and its complexities. For the best results, we recommend practising the pose near a wall to reduce the risk of falling and injury.
And there we have it, that is the bird of paradise pose. We hope you found this article informative and that you will use it to safely practise yoga from your home.