Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise) – Overview

Lesson Overview

  • Features: Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise)
  • Objective: Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.
  • Description: Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.

Svarga Dvijasana

“dvija” = twice born

“svarga” = paradise, heaven

Bird of Paradise Pose

Heart of Pose

  • Standing Balance
  • Shoulder & Hip Opener
Asymmetrical Pose Requiring Steady Focus

The Bird of Paradise is not a bird at all, but a flower that symbolizes the entire tropical plant genus. The unusually beautiful shapes and colors of the petals look like a bird taking flight, while the signature asymmetrical shape makes this a staple in most tropical bouquets. Similarly, Svarga Dvijasana or Bird of Paradise Pose celebrates asymmetry and is a creative expression of a mash-up of Tree, Extended Side Angle, and Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose… [It] will teach you the value of drishti (gaze) by increasing your ability to concentrate during chaotic situations, because with so many transitions during this pose, maintaining steady focus is crucial. – Judy Rukat, DoYouYoga, How to Do Svarga Dvijasana  link

Trivikramasana & Durvasana

The poses we cover are typically featured to some degree in expert books that feature asana. However, we didn’t find this pose in any book (including those by authors Iyengar, Swenson, Stephens, Frawley, Birch, Long, Yee, LePage, Brown, Vishnu-devananda, Austin or Pappas). All coverage was via online sources.

The closest we found (outside of online sources) was in The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga 2005 p 97. Srivatsa Ramaswami features a series of poses he calls  “The Conqueror of the Three Worlds Sequence.” The first pose in this sequence is Trivikramasana.

Some refer to Trivikramasana as Standing Splits (including Yoga International here and Kino MacGregor here). It is like a very deep Utthita Padangusthasana (Extended Hand to Toe) to the side.

The next pose in the Conqueror sequence is Durvasana (Pose Dedicated to Durva), also found in the advanced third series of Ashtanga Yoga. This pose takes the hip opening of Bird of Paradise to a more extreme level—with leg behind back rather than binding with arm—as shown here.

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