Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have a favorite season. Much like a mom with kids, you love them with an equal amount of fervor, but for different reasons. I’ve been somewhat successful, but truth be told, I have my favorite. (Season that is.)
I love the crunch and vibrant colors of fall. All things pumpkin grace the senses. The smell of new school supplies and the excitement of a new year. The collecting of friends and family for football games. I love the bundling in winter. Enjoying warm mugs of tea and nourishing soups. The flush of cheeks when you come in from the cold. The respite of a snow day. I love the promise of spring. New life fighting to break through the earth. The cleansing of rain. Welcoming in a fresh breeze through open windows.
But most of all, I love summer. Kids playing, running a muck around the neighborhood. The smell of chlorine after a long day at the pool. The draw of s’mores and a fire pit. The fireflies of June. In Nebraska, for a few short weeks, Mother Nature works her magic and sprinkles the night sky with the glitter and twinkle of fireflies. It’s magical. They immediately bring out child-like wonder when you see them. This same magic is embodied in the posture Tittibhāsana or Firefly pose.
Over the last month, the work with Kūrmāsana, Bhujapīdāsana, and Upaviṣṭha Koṇāsana have been leading us to Firefly. When the season is right in your practice and you’ve cultivated open hips, open hamstrings, a strong base, and uḍḍiyāna bandha, this pose can take flight.
Try these variations to find a little magic and flight:
Option 1 – Seated Expansion. From a seated posture, bend the knees and take the feet just wider than hips. Snuggle the shoulders behind the knees. Place the hands on the floor, just outside of and forward of the the hips. Walk the feet closer together if possible. Press into the hands, shift weight back slightly, so you are balancing just behind the sits bones. Keeping the elbows hugging toward the legs, slowly extend one or both legs. Lift and hug the belly to cultivate the energetic uḍḍiyāna bandha lift.
Option 2 – Balancing on Blocks. From standing, take the feet just wider than the hips and forward fold. Soften the knees and snuggle the shoulders behind the knees. Walk the feet closer together if possible. Reach between the legs, taking the hands to blocks about a foot or so behind you. The hands and blocks should be about shoulder width. Bend the elbows directly behind you to create a shelf with your triceps. Sit back on the shelf, lifting the belly and hugging the knees. Lift the toes away from the floor to hover.
Option 3 – One Leg Extended. Maintaining the lift of the belly and hug of the knees, slowly begin to extend one leg. Keep working until you can extend the leg completely. Take a few breaths and then try the other side. If you notice one side is more difficult to extend, practice that side again to begin to create symmetry and balance.
Option 4 – Tittibhāsana. From the forward fold, using the blocks or placing the hands directly on the floor, sit the hips back while lifting the belly and reaching the heart. Hug the knees to the midline and begin to extend the legs. You can start with the ankles crossed like Bhujapīdāsana to help the hugging action before expansion. The pose can be held with the heart and legs parallel to the floor or you can lower the hips, reaching the feet skyward. To exit, return to the forward fold or sweep the feet behind you to come into Bakāsana.
Find a playful, summertime attitude as you practice these variations. A smile and a laugh can really lighten and lift the pose. Follow this #PowerPose challenge @suzannewrightyoga on Instagram or at Suzanne Wright Yoga on Facebook. If you post your pictures or about your experience be sure to tag #PowerPose and @suzannewrightyoga.