Heron Pose - Intermediate Seated Posture
This posture is a combination of half hero's pose (ardha virasana)also known as triangular facing western intense stretch (triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana) and upward facing western intense stretch pose (urdhva mukha paschimottanasana). The combination of these two seemingly opposing postures gives us a complex asymmetrical pose that stretches the entirety of the lower extremities, engages the core and strengthens the spine.
This posture presents itself in the ashtanga yoga intermediate series as developed by Pattabhi Jois. It is the second pose in the intermediate series and has the addition of a flow (vinyasa) before the pose, between the sides, and after the second side. Iyengar, in “light on yoga” lists this posture immediately following triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana as it is easier to bow forward over the extended leg than it is to reach down and draw the leg upward towards the sky.
Krouncha means heron. The name is also the name of a mountain in India and Indian mythology claims that Krouncha is the grandson of Himalaya. The Himalayas are a mountain rage that hosts some of the world's highest peaks, including the famous Mount Everest.
In some other instances krounchasana has been used to describe another posture or another name has been used to describe the same shape. The references are much more obscure and not used in the west so we will leave it as is for consistency. The most common traditions practiced in the USA stem from teachers such as Pattabhi Jois and Iyengar who learned from the same master teacher, Krishnamacharya and therefore use the same names for the postures which makes for easier comparisons between their stylistic differences.
How to do krounchasana
Common pitfalls and contraindications
About Chris Loebsack
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