Grasshopper pose is probably – together with Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock pose) – my favorite arm balance at this moment. I mostly like asanas I’m just nut succeeding yet to do. They form my biggest challenge. Pincha I’m still not stable enough in, Grasshopper pose I’ve conquered now.
It did take me a while to finally be able to do Grasshopper pose. It’s a pretty complex and demanding pose. Like any other arm balance you need strength to do it and you need balance to stay in it. Grasshopper pose also demands a deep hip opener and a deep twist. The deeper the twist, the easier the pose becomes. The hip opener you need to bend the top leg and place it on your upper arm. The twist you need to get your upper arm underneath your foot. If you have a real deep twist, you can place both legs on your upper arm, which will make it easier to hold the straight leg in the air as well.
This all probably sounds pretty confusing. To be honest: the pose was very confusing for me for a long time. I looked at it over and over again, went into a parivrtta bakasana (side crow) and tried to place my top leg on my arm. I fell out of it as many times as I tried, till I was finally smart enough to watch a tutorial on YouTube how to get into the pose. It made everything clear.
Getting into Grasshopper pose
- Start in Tadasana
- Bend at your knees, brush your mat with your fingertips and raise your arms up; coming in chair posture
- In chair place your right ankle just above your left knee, coming into a figure 4
- Place your hands in prayer pose in front of your sternum
- Twist your upper body to the left and place your right upper arm on the sole of your foot. The higher your foot is on your arm, the easier the pose will be
- Bring your right hand to the floor; about 20 cm away from your left foot and diagonal in front of it. Bring your left hand to the floor about 50 cm next to your right
- Now comes the big trick: press your right foot down on your upper arm and shift your weight slightly to the left side. Keep pressing the right foot down and start lifting your left leg
- If you still have room on your right arm you can place your left leg on top as well, otherwise use your muscles to keep it in the air
- Slowly build up until you can stay in the pose for halve a minute till a minute
- Come out with control and change sides
Benefits of Grasshopper pose
- Strengthens arms and wrists
- Stretches and strengthens inner thighs / groins (adductor muscles)
- Strengthens core
- Strengthens abdominal organs
Grasshopper pose is also know as Dragonfly or hummingbird pose. I love hummingbirds, but I think they look way more elegant than I look in this pose, so I stick with the name Grasshopper. For me this pose looks most like that. In Sanskrit it is known as Maksikanagasana or Parsva Bhuja Dandasana.
It’s a pretty demanding pose, but no worries: there is a nice modification as well: baby grasshopper. So if you’re struggling with it, try the baby variation.
Source: Light on Yoga - BKS Iyengar Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long Ashtanga – David Swenson Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Want more? Check out my library of yoga poses or do them with me on YouTube.