Bird of Paradise was probably the first advanced pose I conquered near the beginning of my practice! I have had a few “quick, somebody take my picture” moments associated with this pose. So, needless to say, I have a loving, prideful feeling tied to this Power Yoga Canada -Pose of the Month.
Bird of Paradise in the non-yoga world can either refer to a flower or an actual bird! Both of which are beautiful and kind of funky!! Seriously, check out this feathery friends!!!
The flower is beautiful and strong and fully expresses the elegance of this pose. The B.O.P. flower stands strong on one lovely, long and powerful stalk which truthfully represents the strength needed in your stationary leg and core to properly pull off this pose. It usually has bold petals that mimic the final stance of the Yoga pose. It is definitely not a flower that can sneak by unnoticed. Because the pose incorporates a full bind upon completion that opens up your chest, it really comes across as bold and powerful as the flower.
The Sanskrit name for this pose is Svarga Dvidasanas. Dvija means “twice born” and refers both to the bird (born once as an egg and again as the bird itself) and the pose, which requires two poses to reach a proper Bird of Paradise posture. Svarga means Paradise referring to the bird’s origin in New Guinea – in case you were wondering!
When I was researching this pose, the Sanskrit name really resonated with me. This advanced pose requires several steps to successfully come into and out of properly. Check out Kinndli’s video to see what I am talking about. I find this pose has two distinct stages or births. Moving from your extended side angle to a full bind is one transformation and then using that plateau to step forward and rise into a full Bird of Paradise definitely feels like a second birth or “coming into yourself”. The end product is a fabulous photo opportunity to impress your friends and fellow yogis and I dare you to strike this pose and not smile!
Physiologically it is a hip and chest opener AND it is a great way to stretch and strengthen your hamstrings! Finding that combination is quite rare in yoga and it really does feel like you are cracking out of your shell and emerging as that beautiful flower.
Bird of Paradise is a pose that invokes pride and elegance and can really enhance the benefits of your practice. Check out your studios Facebook page and upload your Bird of Paradise to the Facebook pages for your chances at free workshops and classes.
Good Luck and let your Birds of Paradise soar,