Kathryn Budig Challenge Pose: Flying Lizard
If Lizard Pose and Eka Pada Koundinyasana had a Scorpion baby, it would be this weird new arm balance. Get ready for some serious snuggling and hamstring action.
By, Kathryn Budig, YogaJournal.com
I’m always looking out for fun takes on traditional poses and noticed this variation a while ago. I finally threw it into my practice this morning, still unsure of how I was going to enter this new arm balance. Think of it as the result of Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose) and Eka Pada Koundinyasana having a Scorpion baby. Weird, I know—but worth the oddness!
This posture requires a decent dose of shoulder snuggling and a deep engagement of hamstrings in both legs to create the grip of the front leg and lift of the tail. Keep the energetic lines of Lizard and Eka Pada Koundinyasana in your mind as you venture forward into this new challenge pose.
Step 1: Prep your backpack
Start in a long lunge with your left knee stacked over your front heel and your hands on the ground. Straighten your back leg and work on leveling out your hips. Dip your left arm to the inside of your left thigh (you might need to toe-heel your left foot over to the left a few inches to make room) and grab your calf muscle. Push your hand into your calf to snuggle your shoulder behind your leg as if you were putting on a backpack strap. Do a few rounds of snuggling until you feel secure in Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose).
Step 2: Get a grip
Once you have your backpack strap on, place your palms flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. Bend your left knee deeply, as you simultaneously bend your elbows toward Chaturanga. Begin with elbows behind the wrists as in the photo. Sweep your foot off the ground and hug your heel tight toward your buns. Keep your gaze forward, elbows tight to the midline and don’t collapse your shoulders. Extend your sternum and draw your lower trapezius down your back.
Step 3: Flick your tail
Keep the actions of step 2 as you lean forward—big time—into the pose. This leaning action is what picks up your back leg—not just lifting it. Lean until your elbows are stacked over your wrists. Bend your right knee as soon as your foot leaves the ground. Spread your toes and reach them toward the ceiling as you engage your hamstring to draw your heel in. Re-extend your sternum to prevent collapsing in the shoulders.