Tittibhasana or Firefly Pose is a posture that requires strength of the upper body and hamstrings that are flexible. However, even if you have not mastered these two, you can still practice this challenging posture. Firefly Pose probably requires less arm strength than most arm balancing poses, but does demand a certain degree of flexibility in the hips and hamstrings.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Avoid this pose if you have a lower back injury, elbow and wrist injury, or shoulder injury. As this pose actively involves the shoulder, wrist, elbow and lower back, injury to these parts could be made worse with the performance. To support the wrists during this pose you could keep your hands on a sponge ball that is cut in half or on a yoga mat that is rolled up.
How To Do The Tittibhasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- Begin in Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana). Stay here for a few breaths to stretch out the hamstrings and open up through the backs of the legs, which is actually a key ingredient in this arm balancing pose.
- From your Forward Fold, take the feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Slightly bend the knees and begin to work your shoulders behind your legs, tucking the torso between the inner thighs. Use your hands around the backs of the ankles to help snuggle the shoulders behind the knees.
- Place your hands on the floor just behind your heels, with the fingers pointed forward towards the feet. Bend the knees deeply and drop the hips down toward the ground. Ensure the fingers are spread wide and the palms are not cupped.
- Carefully begin to shift your center of gravity as if you’re sitting back into a chair. Use your arms as a “ledge” to support your body as the weight moves off your feet and into your hands—the backs of the thighs will rest on the upper arms.
- On an inhale, begin to extend the legs as much as you can, perhaps one at a time. Straighten the arms as much as possible, and keep the chest lifted and the gaze forward.
- Spread the toes and smile! You’re flying!
- Gently release the feet to the floor on an exhale and make your way back to Uttanasana.
- Crow Pose is a great preparatory pose for fledgling flyers. Feel free to play around with the feeling of balancing on your hands with cushions and pillows as crash pads before attempting Firefly.
- The full extension of the legs is probably the most difficult part of this pose. Work on getting comfortable with the balance first, even if the legs are just hanging out, and then build the pose by opening up and extending the legs.
- Imagine a line drawn down the center of your body. The more firmly and actively you hug this midline—squeezing the legs into the arms and engaging the core—the more stability and height you’ll be able to find in this pose.
- Stretching out the hips, legs, and shoulders are good preparatory actions for Firefly Pose. Try Eagle Pose (Garudasana), Low Squat (Malasana), Happy Baby, Forward Fold (Uttanasana), and Butterfly (Baddha Konasana).
- If at first it’s difficult to get the palms of the hands fully on the floor, continue working on developing openness and flexibility in the groin and hips before attempting the full expression of this pose to protect the wrists.
You can approximate this pose by sitting on the floor, legs spread to a ninety-degree angle, elevating each heel on a block, and pressing your palms into the floor between your legs.
Modifications & Variations
- One variation is to bend your knees and let the soles of your feet touch each other
- You could also try sitting on the ground and letting your heels rest on yoga blocks, as mentioned in the Beginner’s tip section.
Benefits Of The Tittibhasana
- The Firefly Pose focuses on strengthening the wrists.
- Increases the strength of the arms.
- It tightens and tones the area of the belly.
- Stretches the inner groins, hamstrings, and back torso.
- It strengthens the core.
- Like most of the yoga poses, the therapeutic applications of the Firefly Pose is in calming the mind and bringing relief from anxiety, stress, and tension.
- The pose also helps in bringing an overall sense of balance and improves core strength.
Determination, confidence, and the ability to let go can help lift you into tittibhasana, the challenging firefly pose. This is an arm balancing posture that incorporates the legs flexibility with core strength. When the lower body is raised from the mat, the pose strengthens the shoulders and wrists further.