Transcript below of: How to do bhujapidasana - Are my shins too long?
Hey everybody! Welcome to another question of the month. As you know, I answer a question every month on video. You can submit a question if you like by going to yoganatomy.com/myquestion. This month’s question comes from Elizabeth. She asks about how to do bhujapidasana.
She says, “I cannot wiggle my feet together or pick them up in bhujapidasana. [DK: that’s a common problem by the way] I can bind in marichyasana C, modify marichyasana D. [DK: those two are not that related — or being able to bind them is not so related to bhujapidasana, but okay] I am strong enough for bakasana [DK: that’s good], but bhujapidasana eludes me. I end up always falling out of the pose and on my butt! It feels as if my shins are too long. Why can’t I do it? If it’s not a question of bone structure, what can I do to get better at it?”
How to do bhujapidasana eludes lots of people. It’s good that you’re strong enough for bakasana. That is always helpful and I’m glad that you pointed it out. It means you’ve got enough arm strength to lift yourself up and hold your body weight, which is important.
The most common restriction in bhujapidasana is the inability to get the shoulders under the legs enough. So, if you have really tight hips, and I’m going to guess that you do — your hips are on the tight side. If that’s true, then what that means is your shoulders aren’t in deep enough. So, step number one, as far as how to do bhujapidasana, is always to get the shoulders in as deep as possible, especially in the beginning of it.
The second step then, is to squeeze the knees into the shoulders to help hold them there. That’s going to change when you get to the next part of it, but just looking at the front part of it, you squeeze those in and then the next step is basically treating it like bakasana. Remember in bakasana you have to lean forward. If you’re always falling backwards, then it means there’s not enough weight in front of your hands.
So, after you get the legs in and squeeze the knees in, all that stuff, then the next step is to push the floor away, which lifts your body up, and treat that like bakasana. Make sure you’re holding your head up. Forget the tilting part. Don’t even go there yet. Once you’ve lifted up as high as you can, then try to move your feet. If you’re holding weight in your feet, it’s harder to move them. If there’s weight in your feet then you’re not going to be able to lift them up, so you want to lift everything up before you try to do any other movement.
I have to admit that it’s possible that you have really long tibias and that’s the restriction, but I seriously doubt that. Focus on the first part. Do the lifting. Lift up first, then try to cross the feet. That’s the technique that I apply to students who are having the same problem as you, and it usually brings them forward. If you want to do a little extra, you could always use small blocks for under your hands. That will give you a little bit more lift. From there, cross your feet just to work on the technique temporarily.
Alright, I hope that helps. Everyone else, if you’ve got a question you want me to answer on camera, no problem. Go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion.
Join thousands of yogis when you sign up to our monthly newsletter
Check out our Online Courses and Workshops
David explains why over-stretching connective tissue along the spine might contribute to feeling a burning sensation in the lower back after forward bending.
David explains why a tight psoas muscle might contribute to feeling like you can’t stand up straight after forward bending.