Visvamitrasana is, as my friend puts it, a “bear” of a pose. Like a lot of advanced poses, this one requires balance, strength, flexibility, and strength within flexibility.
I’m just starting to learn how to get into this pose, and I thought I’d share some tips on how I’ve made progress so far. To start, come into a low-lunge with the back foot pivoted down (like in Warrior I). Then, get your shoulder under your knee like this:
Next, plant one hand on the ground, and with the other hand, grab the lunged foot. Roll the weight onto the planted hand, open the chest to the side, extend the front foot straight, and come into the full pose. To get that front leg straight, the trick, I’ve discovered, is to rotate the leg so that the heel of the lifted foot is pointing straight down and the toes of the lifted foot aim straight at the ceiling. For the longest time, I was unable to get my lifted leg straight because I didn’t think to make this small adjustment.
The finished pose will look something like this:
I’ve faced three main problems in getting into this pose. First, my front leg tends to slide down my arm once I lift it off the ground. Second, I need to rotate my top shoulder open more. Lastly, I need to do a better job of keeping my back foot planted on the ground. I imagine that anyone else trying to do this pose will want to think about these three things as well. If anyone has any additional tips, I’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: I am not a certified yoga instructor, and the ideas and opinions expressed here are not intended to be formal instruction on yoga poses. If you plan to start up a yoga practice, or if you have one and plan to do any of the yoga poses described in this blog, please seek out an experienced, living, breathing yoga teacher to guide you with hands-on instruction.