Open your hips and hamstrings and prepare to fly in this advanced sequence of poses from Andrew Wrenn.
About the sequence
Try these nine steps towards Tittibhasana – Firefly pose. Bear in mind, this is a challenging, advanced sequence and the shape of your poses may look very different to Andrew’s. Watch out for any pulling sensations around your sit bones or sacrum and look for balanced sensations instead. Go steady, keep breathing and respect your body’s boundaries.
1. Bound Angle pose (Baddha Konasana)
Bring the soles of the feet together with the heels just in front of the groin and interlace the fingers around the toes. Soften the shoulders and lift the sternum upwards, lengthening the spine from the tail bone to the crown of the head.
2. Bound Angle forward bend
Start to fold forward, leading with the chest rather than the chin. Try to keep space between the ears and the shoulders. Ground the sit bones, bend from the hip creases and keep length in the spine.
3. Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
Stretch out the legs and with your toes flexed, try to lengthen out from the heels. Press the back of your thighs into the floor and rotate your inner thighs out. As you extend forward, keep the lower belly pulling in and up to protect the lower back.
4. Seated Wide Angle pose (Upavistha Konasana)
Slowly bring the torso upright, continuing to ground into the sit bones, while at the same time lengthening out through the heels and the crown of the head.
5. Butterfly pose with forward fold
Bring the soles of the feet together but this time move the heels away from the groin so that your legs form a diamond shape. Interlace the fingertips around the toes and begin to bring the forehead towards the floor.
6. Turtle pose (Kurmasana) variation
Bring your arms under your calves, turning the palms so that the thumbs face downwards. Begin to snuggle the shoulders under the backs of the legs and bring the back of the hands to your sit bones. If you have the flexibility you could try crossing your ankles.
7. Firefly (Tittibhasana) preparation
Place the palms of your hands on the floor, with your fingers spread. Make sure the entire palm is on the floor, not just the heels of the hands. When the legs begin to lift, keep squeezing them in towards the midline.
Press your palms strongly into the ground and begin lean forwards so that your bottom lifts off the ground. Round the back to fire up the core but at the same time, take the gaze and the chest forward with your collar bones broad. Keep hugging your inner thighs to your upper arms and see if you can extend your legs.
9. Bound Angle pose (Baddha Konasana)
To come out of the pose, bend the knees, rest your bottom (gently!) back on the floor, release the hands and return to Baddha Konasana.