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Shoulder Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana)

With Dr Kiki Morriss

Shoulder Pressing Pose, or Bhujapidasana, is a pose that will help to improve balance, elevate your mood and build strength

Shoulder Pressing Pose has many similarities to Firefly Pose, except your knees are bent and your ankles are crossed.

The benefits of this pose:

  • Strengthens your arms, shoulders, wrists, hands, abdomen and legs.
  • Improves your balance.
  • Increases your hip flexibility.
  • Lifts your mood and increases your confidence.

Cautions and modifications:

  • Avoid Bhujapidasana if you have a shoulder, arm, wrist or lower back injury or issue.
  • Try placing your hands on yoga bricks.

Variations:

  • Try Elephant’s Trunk Pose (Eka Hasta Bhujasana) by stretching out one leg straight forwards.

PREPARATION FOR THE POSE

  • Prepare your hips and lower back muscles in Tortoise Pose.
  • Prepare your back in Standing Forward Bend.
  • Strengthen your arms and wrists in Chaturanga Dandasana.
Shoulder Pressing Pose - Yoga anatomy

COMING INTO THE POSE

  • Stand with your feet a little more than hip width apart.
  • Bend your legs and lean forwards.
  • Reach your arms back between your legs.
  • Place the palms of your hands outside your feet.
  • Rest the backs of your thighs as high as possible on your upper arms.
  • Keep leaning forwards and cross your left foot over your right foot.
  • On an exhalation, press your hands onto the ground and lift your feet.
  • Lift your upper body and straighten your arms.

FOCUS YOUR GAZE

  • Your dristi (focal point) is at the tip of your nose or at a fixed point straight ahead of you. Keep your gaze soft.

FIND YOUR FOUNDATION

  • Maintain your foundation in your hands and keep them flat on your mat.
  • Keep your wrists firm.
Shoulder Pressing Pose - Yoga anatomy

LOCK YOUR FEET

  • To lock your feet, activate the tibialis anterior muscles to bring the tops of your feet towards your shins.

LIFT UPWARDS

  • Lift your body upwards by using your triceps to straighten your elbows.
  • Lift up your chest.
  • Lift your sitting bones.
Shoulder Pressing Pose - Yoga anatomy

BROADEN ACROSS YOUR CHEST AND UPPER BACK

  • Broaden across your collarbones.
  • Activate your serratus anterior to protract your shoulder blades away from the midline.

FOCUS ON YOUR BACK

  • Flex your upper body and hips in order to stretch the erector spinae and quadratus lumborum muscles of your back.

FOCUS ON YOUR LEGS

  • Squeeze your legs towards each other.
  • Lift your legs vertically.

BREATHING IN THE POSE

  • Balance in the pose for 5-10 steady breaths.

AFTER THE POSE

  • Uncross your feet and return to a standing position.
  • Repeat with your right foot crossed over your left foot.

Doctor Kiki Morriss is a medical doctor, yoga teacher, yoga therapist and founder of Primrose Hill Yoga, where she teaches adults, children and families. Visit: primrosehillyoga.com or Instagram @kiki.yoga

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