Challenge Yourself With This 6-Step Grasshopper (Dragonfly) Pose Tutorial

Tonya Wetzel
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Grasshopper Pose (also known as Dragonfly Pose, Parsva Bhuja Dandasana, or Maksikanagasana) is a fun and challenging asana for your body and mind. It combines a deep twist, hip opener, AND an arm balance all in one.

There’s a lot going on in Grasshopper Pose, so it’s important to warm up with several Sun Salutations first.

You also want to practice deep twists like Revolved Side Angle Pose, Revolved Triangle Pose, Half-Lord of the Fishes Pose, along with hip openers like Yogi Squat, Butterfly, Fire Log (Agnistambhasana), and an arm balance of your choice to properly prepare your body.

Try these 6 Yoga Poses To Help You Learn Arm Balances

You should be comfortable and stable with other arm balances such as Crow Pose, Eight-Angle Pose, and Baby Grasshopper Pose before trying this pose.

Finally, be sure to have a sense of humor and playful spirit the first several times you try this pose.
 
 

Ready? Let’s Practice This 6-Step Grasshopper Pose Tutorial:

 

1. Start in Figure 4 Pose (Eka Pada Utkatasna)

grasshopper-step-1

Let’s try it:

  • From Mountain Pose, shift your weight into your left foot
  • Bend and lift your right leg, externally rotate at your hip, and cross your right ankle over your left thigh just above your knee
  • Flex your right foot to keep your right knee happy
  • Bring your hands to prayer at heart center
  • Bend your left leg as if sitting down into a chair
  • Engage your core, keep your back straight, chest lifted, and shoulders down
  • Find a focus (drishti) point and breathe for 3-5 breaths

 
 

 
 

2. Let’s Add a Twist (Parivrtta Eka Pada Utkatasna)

grasshopper-step-2

Let’s try it:

  • Keeping your hands in prayer, begin to twist to the left like you would in revolved Chair Pose
  • Bring the back of your right arm to the arch of your right foot
  • Hint: the further up the arm towards your armpit/shoulder you can place your foot, the more stable you will feel once you get into Grasshopper Pose
  • Press your palms into each other to broaden across the chest and deepen the twist
  • Keep your bandhas engaged
  • Find a drishti point on your mat in front of your left foot to help with stability and breathe for 3-5 breaths

 

3. Now . . . Plant Your Hands

grasshopper-step-3

Let’s try it:

  • Separate your hands and place them roughly shoulder-width apart on the mat outside your left foot, bending deeper into your left leg if needed
  • Spread your fingers wide and grip the floor with your fingertips
  • Move your drishti point to the ground past your fingertips
  • Begin to lean into your arms, keeping your elbows bent and core lifted
  • Your right foot should still be on the back of your right arm, and your right knee will begin to point towards the sky
  • Your left hip can rest on your left elbow for support if needed (similar to Side Crow Pose), but the full version of this pose has your hip lifted

 

4. Lift Your Left Foot

grasshopper-step-4

Let’s try it:

  • Strongly press your right foot into your right arm
  • Engage and lift your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine and up towards the ceiling
  • Lift the left foot off the floor, you can try a few small hovers first
  • Your left leg can stay bent here while you find your balance
  • Keep your drishti point on the ground past your fingertips and find stability before moving on

 

5. Extend Your Left Leg

grasshopper-step-5

Let’s try it:

  • Straighten your left leg towards the right side of your mat
  • Flex strongly through your left foot to help with stability
  • Keep both shoulders as level as possible and lifting away from the floor
  • Keep your drishti point to the ground past your fingertips and your core engaged

 

6. Celebrate and Adjust Your Gaze

grasshopper-step-6

Let’s try it:

  • Stay here for 3-5 strong breaths and enjoy the pose
  • If you are stable, you may want to try gazing out towards your right flexed foot
  • When you are ready, slowly come out of the pose by tucking your left leg back in, releasing your left foot to the floor, shifting your weight back into your left foot and unwinding
  • Find a gentle counter twist to release and reset

Don’t forget to repeat on side 2!
 
 

Congratulations, You Just Practiced Grasshopper Pose!

Like many other yoga poses, you might find one side more accessible than the other, so don’t forget to try the left side too.

This can be a challenging pose to get into, so keep that in mind and enjoy all the face plants (you can always place a pillow or cushion beneath you to catch your fall!) or otherwise awkward tumbles that you may experience along the way as you challenge yourself to learn something new with Grasshopper Pose.

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Tonya Wetzel

Tonya is a RYT-200 yoga teacher at Loft Yoga, BSL in Bay St Louis, Mississippi. She loves that she gets to share the joy and healing that yoga brought to her life. In addition to teaching yoga, she flips houses with her husband. Outside of work, Tonya is a travel enthusiast who loves the outdoors and adventure, spending time at the local beach, good wine, geocaching, and playing with her three dogs.

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