July: Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a very strong arm balance that requires a lot of openness in the hips and spine. Make sure you are warmed up before you attempt this pose. Pigeon is a great way to get the hips to open as well as a spine twist to warm up for the deep twist you will be required to do for grasshopper. This pose will benefit your practice by stretching your hips and wrists while building your upper body strength. If grasshopper is out of reach for you, then stick to baby grasshopper. It is a great stepping stone and will assist in opening your hips before you advance.

Here’s how to approach getting into grasshopper:

  1. Standing on your mat, pace your left ankle just above your right knee and begin to bend your right knee as if you are going into chairpose.
  2. Find your balance and begin the twist. Bring your palms together in front of your chest and twist to the right bringing your left tricep to the sole of your left foot. Make sure you are fully twisting by pulling your right shoulder back as far as you can.
  3. Bend your right knee all the way down so you can place your palms on the mat shoulder width apart. make sure you keep your arm to the sole of your foot. Tighten your core so everything stays in place.
  4. Move your weight forward into your hands with your fingers spread wide for balance. You want most of the weight off of your leg and into your arms while you squeeze them tight for stabilization.
  5. Once you feel balance and strong, grip the mat tight and begin to lift your right leg off the ground and straighten your knee so your leg is completely parallel to the mat.
  6. Remember to breathe and keep your core in tight!

If this is too much for you, try practicing Baby Grasshopper:

  1. Sit on your mat with your legs out in front of you. Place your left foot over your right knee.
  2. Twist your body over your left leg to the right and place both palms on the mat shoulder width apart.
  3. Lean your body forward and bend your elbows to bring your left arm halfway down the front of your left shin.
  4. Keep your right palm under your right elbow and your right arm touching the right slide of your rib cage.
  5. Grab your right foot with your left hand front underneath (outside edge of the foot).
  6. Lean your weight forward into your right hand, keep your core tight and your butt will lift off the ground as well as your leg!
  7. If you have to bend the right knee to lift and then straighten the leg, that’s okay too!

Remember to practice on both sides.

No two sides are alike and if one side is too tight, the other side might be more open!