Thursday, November 17, 2011


Tittibhasana is a challenging asana, requiring an ability to simultaneously expand and contract. The inner thighs and hamstrings need to be open and supple, while the abdominals, hip flexors, and serratus anterior (responsible for spreading the shoulder blades apart) all need to be on call and ready to act. This pose gives us an opportunity to practice the balance between two opposing forces, teaching us that when we connect to our center, we gain the stability to fly off into boundless space.

Component Parts:
inner thighs

protraction of scapulae
flexion of spine/hips
adduction of thighs (squeezing thighs into shoulders)
extension of leg at knee

Prep Poses:
Supine Knee Extensions - hold block behind thigh, press thigh forward into block and extend heel to ceiling to straighten knee
Supta Padangusthasana 1 + 2
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana
Cat pose into Chaturangasana
Garudasana arms
Downdog into Updog 3x - block between ankles, roll over toes
Downdog knee-to-nose, Downdog knee-to-outer arm
Parsvakonasana variation - hand on block inside foot, press knee/shoulder together
Standing vinyasa - Prasarita Padottanasana (concave spine) into Parsvottanasana into Lunge variation - both hands inside foot, press knee/shoulder together, lower back knee, option to lower forearms to blocks/floor. Repeat other side.
Rolling Vinyasa (cover mat with blanket) - Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Utkatasana, Malasana (arms reaching forward/inside thighs), roll on spine into Halasana (arms above head), roll up into Navasana, roll back into Halasana (arms above head), roll up into Utkatasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Tadasana
Marichyasana A
Baddha Konasana
Upavistha Konasana
Happy Baby + Half Happy Baby

Wrist, shoulder, hamstring, or groin injuries. Sciatica or spinal herniations.

Blocks under hands for tight groins/upper back.

Stand in Tadasana with feet slightly wider than outer hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips, coming into Uttanasana. Weave the right hand through both legs and place it on the back of the right calf. It's helpful to create the shape of a "V" with your hand by separating the thumb and index finger. Use this hand position to press forward into the calf, leveraging the right shoulder behind the right thigh. Repeat with the left hand. Breathe well, using your exhales to continue shimmying your shoulders more and more behind your knees.

Strongly hug your shoulders with your thighs, allowing you to release your hands from your calves. Place your hands on the floor (or blocks) behind your feet. Slowly begin to shift the weight into your hands and "sit" on your arms. Push your hands into the floor and draw your abdomen in and up. Walk the feet towards one another and cross one ankle over the other. Continue to broaden your upper back as you simultaneously spread your collar bones. Pull the feet against each other and continue squeezing your thighs strongly into your arms. This is Bhujapidasana.

Concentrate on the feeling you had in the preparatory pose where you held the block behind your thigh, resisting yourself as you extended your heel up towards the ceiling. From Bhujapidasana, press your thighs down into your arms, as if they were the blocks, and extend your heels forward, straightening your knees. Hold for a few breaths and observe the play between drawing in towards yourself while expanding your chest and legs.

To release the body after the pose, try these counter postures:
Restorative Bridge
Supta Baddha Konasana


  1. Thank you, Chrissy!!!! Isn't this such a fun, liberating pose?? My Iyengar teacher brought me into Bhujapidasana last week & it was very exciting (for the few brief moments I was in the pose) because I'd never been able to do it before!! I really want to try it again and I tried to jot down the sequence we followed and it was something like this: Virasana, AMS, Uttanasana, Vrksasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Ardha Chandrasana, Dandasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, Bhujapidasana, Svasana).
    I am going to try it on my own... (well, really with YOU, through your wonderful explanation) and I'll let you know later if I can do it again :) Namaste xoxo

  2. Hi Lynn! Definitely let me know how it goes. I think Trikonasana and Ardha Chandrasana are great additions because they both open the inner thighs and hamstrings. It's A LOT of work for the hip flexors and upper back.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with me!

  3. Thanks Chrissy, this is so cool.
    I am always studying (and plagiarizing) your sequencing, hoping to someday have an approach with equal elegance and logic.
    I wont be in class tomorrow but I look forward to returning on Wednesday.
    Grateful for so much dynamism and learning.

  4. Eliza, I'm always inspired by your devotion to learning. Keep it up my dear!