Bird of Paradise Yoga Pose
overview

Bird of Paradise Yoga Pose is a standing, balance pose that targets the hamstrings and groin and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an advanced level.

muladhara – the root chakra
svadisthana – the sacral chakra
related poses
How To Do Bird of Paradise Yoga Pose
  1. Begin in Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) with the right leg bent and left arm extended up toward the ceiling.
  2. When you feel stable, lower your torso deeper towards your right knee with an exhale. Drop the left hand behind your back by bending the elbow.
  3. Lift the right hand from the floor or ankle, then bring it underneath the right thigh. Reach with both hands behind your back until you can grab the left wrist with the right hand. Keep your left arm as straight as possible. Hold this pose for several breaths, gazing up toward the ceiling.
  4. If you’re ready to move on, turn your gaze back toward the floor. Keeping a strong hold on your bound right leg, step your left foot forward so that it is next to the right foot, just a few inches apart.
  5. Shift your weight onto the unbound left leg and let the heel of the right foot lift off the ground, balancing lightly with the toes or ball of the right foot.
  6. Keeping your neck and spine long and straight, slowly begin lifting your torso to the standing position while holding the bind on the right leg. Your right leg should lift as your torso does. When your grounded left leg is completely extended and your torso is straight, your knee should be between your elbow and shoulder.
  7. After a few breaths, slowly extend your bound right leg directly to the right of your body until it’s straight. Push through the heels, toes or ball of the foot to deepen the stretch in various parts of the leg. Turn your head gently to the left to gaze over the opposite shoulder, or keep the gaze forward if you feel stress in the neck or shoulders.
  8. Hold this pose for several breaths, 10-30 seconds if possible. To come out, slowly lower your bound right leg to the floor, then step the left leg back into the Bound Extended Side Angle pose. Repeat all steps on the other side.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Bird of Paradise is a challenging pose. Do not attempt if you lack flexibility, strength or balance.
  • If you notice that you are continually releasing the bind throughout the pose, stop the attempt as you may throw off your balance or injure yourself.
  • Do not attempt this pose if you have lower back or knee injury.
  • Do not attempt this pose if you are experiencing tightness in the hamstrings.
Tips

If you find that you are continually releasing the bind, try holding a yoga strap with both hands instead of holding the wrist with the opposite hand.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, groin, shoulders

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, groin

Health Benefits of Bird of Paradise Yoga Pose
  • Improves balance and posture.
  • Opens groin.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Svarga Dvidasana

(SHWAR-ga dwi-JAHS-anna)

svarga: Heaven, specifically the heaven presided over by the god Indra, where virtuous souls reside before reincarnation
dvi: two
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?