One of the things I love most about yoga is that the practice has so many different styles and poses to choose from. All yoga poses offer a variety of benefits, which is why trying many kinds of poses is the best way to maximize the effects of the yoga practice.
Scorpion Pose in yoga is one that’s advanced, as well as intimidating. While there are several ways for you to practice Scorpion Pose in yoga, please note that all options are meant for those of you who already have a strong practice. Also, don’t forget that this pose is best done towards the end of a full practice to ensure your body is adequately warmed up.
This post is dedicated specifically to the Handstand Scorpion yoga pose, and how to do it properly. Remember, there’s a big difference between feeling physically challenged, and being in pain trying to achieve a pose. Make sure you’re fully warmed up before trying on my tips below!
Also, if you’re more interested in learning about the Pincha Mayurasana (forearm stand) version of Scorpion, then make sure to check out my Heart Medicine Series. You can also find this same series on my app.
Handstand Scorpion Yoga Pose Guide
Before we jump onto our mat to give Handstand Scorpion pose a try, let’s first go over a full guide on what Handstand Scorpion is, and what the benefits are. Then we’ll learn how to do it.
Yay…this is going to be fun!
What Is a Handstand Scorpion Pose?
Handstand Scorpion Pose is different from the more traditional understanding of Scorpion Pose, in that we’re balancing on our hands instead of doing a forearm balance. While both variations are extremely challenging, most people consider Handstand Scorpion to be a more advanced asana due to the smaller surface area from which you’re balancing.
Handstand Scorpion is an inversion, hand balance, and a backbend all in one. Now you can understand why this pose is often considered so tough!
Because there’s a lot going on in this posture, you can imagine that many different muscles are firing here. Due to the hand balancing nature of the pose, your wrists and shoulders are going to strengthen a lot. Like many backbending poses, Handstand Scorpion opens the chest and shoulders, while strengthening the muscles around the spine, glutes and hamstrings. And, lastly, the inversion component of the pose helps to boost circulation and increases blood flow.
I’d recommend this pose to anyone looking to step up their practice and challenge themselves. Ideally, you don’t have any wrist pain or issues, and your low back is pain free. It helps to have a strong understanding of backbend postures before trying such a big shape, so make sure to check out this post. It’s also helpful to already have a strong Handstand without the wall, so that you can control your movements when you’re upside down.
Avoid this pose if you’re prone to high blood pressure, vertigo, or newly pregnant and have never attempted the pose before.
Handstand Scorpion Pose Benefits
Handstand Scorpion is truly a full body experience. Everything from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes will be working, so prepare to challenge yourself! However, like all yoga poses, the benefits of Scorpion extend beyond the physical, as well.
- Shoulder strength
- Wrist mobility
- Increased balance
- Enhanced focus
- Improves blood flow
- Core strength
- Chest opening
- Glute and hamstring strength
- Boosts circulation
- Increased confidence
- Self love
How To Do Scorpion Yoga Pose
Now we get to actually play around with this fun and challenging posture! Don’t forget to make sure you’re fully warmed up before you practice this pose. If it ever feels like too much, back off, or use the wall as support.
One of the most common mistakes for this pose is simply not being warmed up enough before trying it, and then hurting the low back. Your yoga practice is meant to be loving above all else, so make sure you’re moving from a loving place even when you play.
Some of my favorite poses and sequences for warming up are:
- Sun Salutation A
- Sun Salutation B
- Long holding Forward Fold
- Urdhva Dhanurasana
- Camel Pose
- Dolphin Pose
- Dolphin push ups
Start in a straight handstand. Remember to keep your gaze fixed at the horizon of your finger tips, and continue to breathe here while you find your center of gravity with core engagement.
Bend your knees while continuing to maintain core engagement. If you lose control easily, bend one knee at a time. Keep your gaze forward, and continue to breathe.
With the knees bent, lift your gaze to lift your head. Start to scoop your chest through your shoulders here to counterbalance the weight of the feet going overhead.
Continue to lift your head as much as you draw your toes towards the crown of your head. Remember to continually draw your upper body, particularly the chest, through the shoulders to avoid falling over into Wheel Pose.
Pause and breathe in your deepest variation for 3 – 5 breaths.
You did it! You did your first Handstand Scorpion! I’m so proud of you.
Have the best time playing around with this one, my friends.