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Bird of Paradise - Yoga Pose

Bird of Paradise, an advanced yoga pose, helps increase strength, flexibility, and balance in your body. Read the story to learn how to do this pose properly.
Sheetal Mandora
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Yoga is an age-old practice of traditional physical and mental disciplines from India. Although there is no physical evidence that can claim how long the principles of yoga have existed, early archaeological evidence depicts that the stone seals of yoga asanas (or poses) have been around 3,000 B.C.; quite fascinating, isn't it?
In today's world, yoga has made the journey across the world, and earned its glory. Many western cultures have adopted yoga as a part of their daily physical regime, and reaped the benefits as well.
Bird of Paradise, or Svarga-dvijasana, is one of the more advanced poses performed to increase flexibility and strength in the body while flushing out toxins, increasing lubrication in joints, ligaments and tendons, massaging all the organs, toning the muscles, and much more.

How the Pose is Done

This pose is not for beginners as it is taught when a person reaches the advanced levels of yoga. If you are someone who has had some practice and has studied different postures for some time, only then you should attempt it. Before we begin, you'll need a yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and a strap for the bind.

Step #1:
 While doing this pose, make sure you don't hold your breath in; instead, breathe normally.
Place the yoga mat on the floor and stand with your feet as far apart as you possibly can (wider than shoulder-width). Turn your feet outward, and bend from right knee while turning it outward. Keep your right thigh parallel to the floor, and the knee doesn't go beyond the right foot.

Step #2

Place the right elbow on the right knee, and left arm stretched out and over your head. Breathe as deeply as you can because it helps you stretch properly. Now take the bind in your right hand and bring the left arm behind you, towards the back. The right arm (which has the bind) will meet the left arm from between your legs. Hold the bind with both ends.

Step #3

Point the right shoulder towards the floor while the left shoulder opens up. Gaze over the left shoulder towards the ceiling. Both the hands will keep hold the bind tightly, and only the lower body will change position.
Bring your right leg in, while placing the left leg firm on the yoga mat. Slowly make the transition and try not to lose your balance, or let go of the bind. Keep the right hand between your legs, and switch between the legs.

Step #4

Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and lift the right heel up (keeping ball of your right foot on the floor). Breathe normally and slowly lift right leg off the yoga mat. Try to balance your body weight on the left leg. With your hands holding the bind, lift your right leg as high as you can. Straighten the right leg towards right side, and hold the pose.
Step #5: Keep your knees straight and relax your shoulders. Stand as tall as you can, and keep breathing normally. Slowly bring your right leg down and let go of the bind. Voila, you have successfully completed the pose. Now it's time to perform the same steps for the other leg.
While you're executing this pose, make sure you plant both the feet on the mat at the time of the transition. Each step requires you to balance your body along with helping it become flexible. As I mentioned earlier, this is an advanced pose that requires precision and guidance from an experienced yoga instructor.