Put on Your Wings | Flying Lizard Tutorial

posted by Nancy Nelson

As a kid, I had a recurring and very vivid dream that I could fly. Every morning after this dream, though I knew actual lift off was unlikely – I would catch myself constantly daydreaming about that sensation I felt so strongly in my dream. The release of gravity, the lightness, the freedom! Years later, when I found myself growing in my yoga practice, I began to love practicing arm balances. Though I don’t necessarily feel “light and free” all the time in these poses, the fact that I can learn to lift my feet off the earth is a pretty magical thing for my inner kiddo.

Superhero kid

Today’s arm balance: flying lizard pose!

Here are 3 reasons you should give it a try…

  1. Strengthens and tones the arms, legs and core.
  2. You’re only a few inches from the earth, making falling not so scary. This fact also makes flying lizard easy to come in and out of several times. If at first…or second…or third you don’t succeed… try, try again!
  3. It’s not the most common of arm balances so it’s a good one to get you thinking and aware of body mechanics including the importance of deep breaths. Practicing awareness like this is always a good idea!

Let’s get to it! 

Warm-up | Several rounds of Sun Salutations are recommended before hopping into a pose as deep as this. Move through some warrior 1 poses and add on a humble warrior to help release tension in the hips before trying out this pose.

Time to fly!

Come to lizard pose with the right leg forward. Walk both hands to the inside of the foot and walk the foot over so you have plenty of space for your shoulders. Begin to lower deeper as you breathe into this, maintaining a firm connection between the right shoulder and knee. Hold for 1 minute.
Come to lizard pose with the right leg forward. Walk both hands to the inside of the foot and walk the foot over so you have plenty of space for your shoulders. Begin to lower deeper as you breathe into this, maintaining a firm connection between the right shoulder and knee. Hold for 1 minute.
If you are able to go deeper, begin to tuck the right shoulder behind the right calf so that the shoulder sits under the hamstring. Swing your right hand around your leg and rest it on your back. Your left hand can stay as a support on the ground or begin to lean slightly to the right and find the full bind, interlacing the hands behind your back.
If you are able to go deeper, begin to tuck the right shoulder behind the right calf so that the shoulder blade sits under the hamstring. Swing your right hand around your leg and rest it on your back. Your left hand can stay as a support on the ground or begin to lean slightly to the right and find the full bind, interlacing the hands behind your back. Hold for 1 minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can stay as you are and just work the prep for this pose today. If you are ready to try the arm balance…

Hold onto the half bind over the right shoulder and place the hands down about shoulder width apart (as you would for plank pose). Begin to bend the elbows (like caturanga) and lift the right heel. Start leaning forward until your chin is just above the ground and scoop your right heel in toward the right glute. The further you lean, the lighter your back leg will feel here. Finally, launch off of the back foot and squeeze the core in strongly as you breathe! Stay a few breaths.
Hold onto the half bind over the right shoulder and place the hands down about shoulder width apart (as you would for plank pose). Begin to bend the elbows (like caturanga) and lift the right heel. Start leaning forward until your chin is just above the ground and scoop your right heel in toward the right glute. The further you lean, the lighter your back leg will feel here. Finally, launch off of the back foot and squeeze the core in strongly as you breathe! Stay a few breaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter Poses | Transition through a vinyasa flow and then be sure to do the other side. After you have tried the pose on both right and left sides, take a few moments in a seated position with some neck stretches and perhaps take a reclined hero pose to release the hip flexors and stretch the core.

Neck Stretches
Neck Stretches
Reclined Hero Pose
Reclined Hero Pose

Wife, daughter, sister, and friend. Not to mention world adventurer, dreamer, yogi, and diy obsessed. In the past few years I have gotten married and become a full-timer in the yoga world. A big turning point in my life was a few years ago when I lost a very dear friend of mine. He was 24 years old at the time. I learned a lot during that season, but one thing that I took away for sure is that life is precious, moments are precious, and even the seemingly ordinary moments are beautiful and brilliant. So I'm here to share as it seems fit. Connect with me. I'd love to hear from you!

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