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Scorpion pose variant with one leg bent
A similar pose, Ganda Bherundasana, which uses hand rather than forearm balance

Vrschikasana (Sanskrit: वृश्चिकासन) or scorpion pose is an asana in hatha yoga. It is an inverted posture consisting of a forearm balance and backbend,[1][2] a variant of the headstand pose (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) and part of a headstand cycle in some yoga traditions.[3][4]

The name of this pose is from Sanskrit वृश्चिक "vrschika", "scorpion", and आसन "asana", "posture" or "seat".[3] Because it requires strength, balance, and flexibility it is described as an advanced posture:[3][5] Light on Yoga grades it as level 32 out of 60.[6] In the basic pose, the body is balanced as in headstand, but the legs are bent and the back is lightly arched, and the head is lifted from the ground so the body is supported only by the forearms.[3][4][7] A more advanced variant has the back arched further so the feet touch the top of the head.[3][8] A second advanced variant has the legs held straight out horizontally above the head and arms, resembling the scorpion's tail stretched in a threat posture forwards over its body.[3] The pose can also be executed in a variant with straight arms.[9][10] Whether resting on forearms (as in Piñcha Mayūrāsana) or with arms in handstand, the asana can be worked towards with the use of a chair to support the feet.[11]

Light on Yoga distinguishes Vrschikasana I (forearm balance, feet on head, plates 536 and 537) and Vrschikasana II (handstand, feet on head, plate 538), describing the second as an "extremely difficult" balance. The placing of the feet on the head is stated to indicate an attempt to subjugate the ego with its "deadly" scorpionlike emotions.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vrschikasana". Yogapedia. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  2. ^ Sherman, Diane. "mastering the scorpion pose - 6 easy steps to vrschikasana". Yogi Times. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lidell, Lucy; The Sivananda Yoga Centre (1983). The book of yoga. London: Ebury. pp. 104–105, 162–163. ISBN 978-0-85223-297-2. OCLC 12457963.
  4. ^ a b YJ Editors; Budig, Kathryn (1 October 2012). "Kathryn Budig Challenge Pose: Scorpion in Forearm Balance". Yoga Journal.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Pryke, Louise M. (2016). Scorpion. Reaktion Books. pp. 141–142. ISBN 978-1-78023-625-4.
  6. ^ a b Iyengar, B. K. S. (1991). Light on Yoga. London: Thorsons. pp. 386–388. ISBN 978-0-00-714516-4. OCLC 51315708.
  7. ^ "Scorpion Pose | Vrschikasana". Vashistha Yoga. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Vrschikasana". iHanuman. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. ^ Gaia Staff (25 September 2013). "Beginner's Guide to Scorpion Pose". Gaia. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  10. ^ Beisecker, Ling (2018). "11 Yoga Poses to Prepare for Scorpion Pose". Do You Yoga. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^ Stennard, Rod (31 July 2018). "Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose) – Iyengar Yoga". Yoga Selection. Retrieved 14 November 2018.

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