Baby Grasshopper Pose, Bala Parsva Bhuja Dandasana, (bala-pa-aar-sva-bhu-jaa-dan-dahs-anna)
bala (baby) + parsva (side) + bhuja (arms) + danda (stick) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Baby Hopper
Play, twist, and balance with this funky yoga pose.
Baby Grasshopper Pose Fundamentals
Play on the mat and challenge yourself to try something new with this fun and accessible arm balance pose.
Baby Grasshopper is a beginner-friendly variation of the Grasshopper Pose.
In Grasshopper Pose, you are balancing both legs in the air, while you’re still keeping one leg on the floor in this version. The shape is still similar, which makes this asana one of the best preparations you can do if you are working towards the full expression of the pose.
Although Baby Grasshopper doesn’t require as much arm strength or balancing skills as some other yoga arm balances, it is still challenging. It is a deep hip opener and requires a good level of twisting flexibility. Make sure you always warm up and perform other stretches prior to trying Baby Grasshopper, to make it safer and easier.
After you’re warmed up and ready – you might be surprised how quickly you’re able to reach the pose – or your version of it.
Although the shape looks complex, and you need to have some flexibility, once your body is prepared, and you nail the steps, this pose actually becomes quite easy to achieve. That can empower you to try some other positions that seemed too difficult at a first glance.
If you are looking for an intention that can guide your thoughts when practicing, you can think about the symbolism of the Grasshopper.
This graceful insect symbolizes courage, balance, freedom, stability, and luck. These values may guide you when practicing – you need courage and freedom to try the pose, a bit of luck to nail it – and stability and balance when you are attempting to hold it for time.
The pose also aids in calming the nervous system and brings a sense of inner calmness. To reach that calm space within – try to release any ideas of perfection, and practice in a more lighthearted way.
Just like a child will continue playing soon after they fall, you can also get back up and try again if you don’t achieve Baby Grasshopper on the first try.
Baby Grasshopper Pose Chakras
On the other hand, you may also think about the energetic aspect of the pose, especially if you want to work on opening your chakras in your yoga practice.
Baby Grasshopper Pose stimulates the Sacral Chakra and the Solar Plexus Chakra.
Opening these chakras can help you feel more creative, more open to receiving pleasure in life, become more compassionate, experience your inner power and live true to your authentic self.
Baby Grasshopper Pose Benefits
- Strengthens the shoulders, wrists, arms, ankles, hips, knee joints, and core.
- Stretches and lengthens the outer hips, hamstrings, lower back, and spine.
- Allows the rib cage to open, which may help you breathe more deeply. This improves the functioning of the respiratory system in general, but also helps you immediately, as it will be much easier to hold the pose and calm your mind when you control your breath.
- Compresses the groin region, increasing the blood flow in this area and helping to stimulate and nourish the reproductive organs.
- The twist and the contraction of the abdominal region stimulate the internal organs of the stomach, which may help boost your metabolism and digestion.
- Prepares the body for the Full Grasshopper Pose and other arm balances which include a twist, such as Side Crow.
- By lengthening the back muscles, it can release tension in the lower back and reduce pain in this area.
- Opening the shoulders and chest doesn’t only release physical tension, but may also reduce anxiety and boost your mood.
- It may help those with diabetes by stimulating the pancreas gland.
How To Do Baby Grasshopper Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Begin sitting with your legs extended in front of you in Staff Pose. Flex your feet, engage your core and keep your spine long. Keep your arms on the mat beside your hips.
2. Now bend the left leg, and place the left foot on the outside of your right leg, slightly above the right knee.
3. Point the left toes away from your body and twist your torso to the right.
4. Place the right hand on the floor, keeping it in the same line as your shoulder and the left foot. Face the palm away from your body and spread your fingers wide.
5. Open your left arm towards the sky, then maintain the same length when you reach forward. At the same time, lean forward with your torso.
6. Shift your weight onto the outer side of your right leg and your right hip. When you do so, the right foot will point towards the wider edge of your mat.
7. Reach for your right foot with your left hand. If you’re not able to hold the foot, use a strap. Regardless of the option you go for, keep the right foot flexed.
8. Engage your core, and lift the right foot off the mat with the help of your left hand. Your right elbow should be close to your chest.
9. Now lean forward as you would for Chaturanga pose. Manage your weight between your left foot and your right hand, and lift your hips off the mat.
10. Ideally, your right leg will be straight and your elbows will be in the same line.
11. Hold for 3-5 breaths and release. Return to Staff Pose, and rest for a moment in a Seated Forward Bend before you go through the same steps on the other side.
Tips And Tricks:
- The pose will become much easier if you try to push most of your weight into the standing foot. To do so, make sure you engage your leg muscles and core and strongly push the foot into the ground.
- Keep the lifted foot flexed. This will not only protect the knee but will also help you when you lift off the mat.
- Keep the palm of the arm that’s on the floor close to your body. This allows you to keep the elbow close to the ribs.
- Spread the fingers of the bottom arm to help you with stability.
- Avoid bending the lifted leg. If you’re not able to keep the leg long when you grasp the foot, use a strap to extend your reach.
- If you’re afraid you will fall, place a cushion in front of your head to protect you.
Baby Grasshopper Pose Variation:
Baby Grasshopper Pose Variation: Starting From A Stand
The final result of this variation is the same as the one we described in the steps above. The main difference is in how you enter the pose. Some yoga students find it easier to begin from Mountain Pose because you’re lowering down instead of lifting. So, if you’re not able to achieve the pose from sitting, or it’s too confusing, you can try this variation instead.
1. From Mountain Pose, fold forward into the Standing Forward Bend Pose. Bend your knees slightly so you can place your palms on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width. Keep your sit bones lifted and gaze down.
2. Shift your weight into your left foot and step your right foot back and to the left. Grab the right foot with your left palm, while keeping the other hand on the floor.
3. Bend your left knee and lower your hips, simultaneously extending your right leg towards the left. Engage your core, keep your spine long and adjust the placement of the right palm if needed.
4. Lower all the way down to Baby Grasshopper, bending the right arm in Chaturanga position and aligning the shoulder with the elbow. Adjust the position to feel good for you, just as you would if you were starting from a seat.
Baby Grasshopper Pose Variation: Mating Grasshopper Pose
If you’d like to challenge yourself more, try the unusual variation of the pose called Mating Grasshopper.
In this variation, you will manage your weight on both arms. With your arms in the Chaturanga position, you will bend the right knee and place the thigh in front of the left arm. The shape will be similar as it is in Bound Angle Pose.
The left leg is also bent, and you will place the foot on top of the left arm, just above the elbow. Keep squeezing the elbows towards each other to aid you with balance.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Loosening the extended foot. Avoid relaxing the lifted foot when you take off – you should always keep it flexed to help you with stability.
Not engaging the core. Baby Grasshopper relies a lot on core strength, so make sure you consciously activate your abdominal muscles before you lift your leg.
Avoid the pose if you have an injury in the shoulders, elbows, or wrists. It may also be difficult to practice with an injury in the hips or legs, so it might be best to refrain from the pose too, especially if the injury is recent or severe. Also avoid if you have any issues with the stomach or internal organs, as the pose places a lot of pressure on the abdominal region.
Eight Angle Pose
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