The bound dancer’s pose can be found in our advanced level I syllabus. I first ran across this variation in an old-school A. Sidersky video filmed in the Ukraine. At first blush the pose doesn’t look too terribly challenging. However, actually getting both palms all the way to the back of the head requires a high degree of openness in the hip flexors and shoulders and a really solid sense of balance, which is why I haven’t included it in our beginning or intermediate level training paradigms.
I’ve seen more than one intrepid yogi/yogini topple over while trying this one in the middle of a class, so move slowly and keep your eyes glued to something solid when you try it! Lest you should be afraid though, know that the fall isn’t that bad if you topple out of the pose…typically, you just sort of spin off to the side after a bit of wobbling and land on both feet.
Practice note: If you wish to stabilize your balance, allow the standing leg foot to turn out very slightly. Doing this will create a more stable relationship between the femur and the hip socket and make the balance much easier to accomplish. Iconoclastic you say? Indeed it is, but the idea is strongly grounded in sound mechanical principles. For more information on this and other fascinating topics, be sure to check out “Yoga Body: Anatomy, Kinesiology and Asana” by Judith Hanson Lasater.
Want to practice with this guy? Check out an advanced PranaVayu practice with Kevan at Wanderlust Vermont!