Yoga Poses

Firefly Pose Variation C Titibhasana C

Steps

Firefly Pose Variation C is practiced as part of a fun and flowing sequence practiced the Ashtanga Yoga 2nd series and advanced Vinyasa- Inspired Ashtanga or Power Flow Yoga. Firefly Pose Variation C is the middle part of a flowing transition from firefly pose A to B to C to D. Firefly C is an inverted pose that combines a forward bend with a bind. A more fundamental Hatha pose Utthita Janu Sirasana (standing head between knees pose) may be used as a prep pose or substitution for Firefly C .

From Firefly A lower your feet to the ground. This movement will bring your tail up and head down, as in a standing forward bend. Slowly straighten legs, keeping knees soft, and shoulders behind the thighs. Move to Firefly B, by wrapping one arm and then the other around the back of thighs. The fingertips should be touching in the center of the back, finger tips touching. Walk the feet to the edge of the mat. Fold deeper and clasp hands. To enter Firefly C, keep the knees soft in a micro bend and fold deeper. Clasp the hands together and walk the feet mat-width apart. Eye gaze is behind you, towards back of the room. To take the pose further into Firefly D, fold deeper. Slowly bring the upper body through the legs, eye gaze upward. To exit the pose, reverse all the movements.  Lower the gaze, head, and upper body back to standing forward bend. Release the arm bind, bringing the hands to floor behind the thighs. Return to Firefly A and jump back to Chaturanga or release into squat and transition to next pose.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Ground and root the feet. Imagine your body like a puppet. The feet have been glued onto a wooden base, they are fixed and grounded. The upper body moves at the joints with strings that are attached to the ceiling. To fold forward, hinge at the hips and loosen the strings for head, upper body and arms. Imagine you can pull those strings through the legs, folding in half.

Technical Comments

The key to Firefly pose and all its variations A-D is positioning the shoulders behind the thighs. Make sure you have completed a full warm-up, stretching neck, back, hips and hamstrings. In the final position for Firefly C, the upper body is resting against the top of the thighs. The shoulders are pressing against the back of the thighs with the hands reaching around the back.This position requires the neck, back, hamstrings and shoulders to remain relaxed. Do not strain. Instead, ground the feet and keep the knees slightly bent for stability. Raise the tailbone higher, to fold deeper. Keep working the shoulders further underneath the thighs. This gives you more space to manoeuvre the arms around the thighs and over the back.

Benefit Comments

  • Energises and revitalises mind and body
  • Improves focus, coordination and balance
  • Strengthens legs and shoulders
  • Stimulation of the pancreas
  • Opens hip joints
  • Stretches hips, hamstrings and back muscles
  • Massages spinal nerves

Watch Out For:

  • Shoulders in front of thighs
  • Locked knees
  • Eye gaze looking forward or down
  • Tight shoulders

Contraindications

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Back injury
  • Sciatica

Modifications

  • Standing head between knees pose
  • Place head on block in final position to support neck
  • Use strap to help bind
  • Sit on chair and fold forward, holding chair legs

Variations

  • In Firefly C walk forward and backwards

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Tall mountain pose (Utthita Tadasana)
  • Raised arms pose (Urdhva Hastasana)
  • Sleeping thunderbolt pose (Supta Vajrasana)
  • Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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