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Visvamitrasana (Flying Warrior) – Overview

Lesson Overview

  • Features: Visvamitrasana (Flying Warrior)
  • 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.

Visvamitrasana

“Visvamitra” = name of a sage

Pose Dedicated to Visvamitra

Flying Warrior

Heart of Pose

  • Arm Balance
  • Hip Stretch

Introduction

Simple Actions Put Together in a Complex Way

Visvamitrasana (Pose Dedicated to Visvamitra) seems like one of those poses. You know, the ones that seem reserved for an elite group of people whose club you’ll never be a member of. The complexity of the pose can look overwhelming and lead to the illusion that it is inaccessible… When you look at it in small increments, you can see it more clearly: The back leg is in a standing pose, the bottom arm is in an arm balance, the torso and top arm are in a sidebend, the abdominals are awake, and the front leg is approaching a split… As you learn to practice this pose, remember that it is a combination of simple actions put together in a complex way. – Jason Crandell, Yoga Journal, Yoga Flight Plan: 5 Steps to Visvamitrasana  link

Begin by Focusing on Separate Parts; Evolve to the Actions Coming Together

Named after an ambitious king who transformed himself into a yogic sage, Visvamitrasana is a complex asana: It’s an arm balance, hip opener, shoulder opener, hamstring stretch, and twist, all in one. As you practice it, you’ll notice—just as I did with surfing—that you start by focusing on separate parts of your body, which inhibits your balance, rhythm, and flow. But with dedication, all of the seemingly separate parts and actions will come together, and the energy of the asana will come alive. – Shiva Rea, Yoga Journal, Shiva Rea’s Twisting + Soaring Visvamitra’s Pose  link

Mythology & The Connection Between Visvamitrasana & Vasisthasana

Originally a king and member of the warrior class, Visvamitra achieved the status of brahmanical sage through his piety and asceticism. Though he earned great status and respected titles, Visvamitra was not satisfied with his ascension to the brahman class until the great sage Vasistha, a priest and author of the Vedas, acknowledged him (Light on Yoga). Visvamitra continued his rigorous penance for many years until finally Vasistha recognized him as his equal (FreeIndia.org). The competitive relationship between these two sages is the subject of many legends. And so the connection between Visvamitrasana and Vasisthasana is revealed: they are different, but equally powerful. Vasisthasana is graceful, simple, and elegant. Visvamitrasana is scrappy and complex. Both will test your strength and sense of balance. – DamnGoodYoga.com, Asana of the Week: Visvamitrasana

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