• Exhale as you bend your knees and move your hips back as if you were sitting down on a chair. Draw your lower abdomen in and up to support your lower back.
• Send your hips back, rather than your knees forward, so that you can still see your toes.
• Inhale as you raise your arms up around your ears and soften your shoulders.
• Keep reaching higher, as you sink the pelvis lower, for 5 to 10 breaths.
• To come back into in Mountain Pose, exhale, as you press your feet down to straighten your legs and then bring your arms down to your sides.
Beginners tips • Think about squeezing your legs together as if they are one to make them stronger. You can use a block or rolled up towel to practice this - imagine you are squeezing it and also trying to shoot it out behind you as you internally rotate the thighs.
• An option is to bring your feet wider apart to make your base a little more stable if you need to.
• Press firmly through the feet to create more lift in the upper body. Keep the weight evenly distributed between the heels and the balls of the feet.
• Practice the action in the legs first with your hands on your hips.
• Strengthens and stabilises the legs, ankles and feet.
• Strengthens the abdominal muscles and lower back.
• Opens and stretches the chest and shoulders.
• Improves confidence and focus.
• Fierce Pose is a great pose to explore Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha. They can help to create a sense of lightness as well as tone the pelvic floor muscles and lower abdomen.
Watch out for...
• Make sure your lower belly is drawn back to the spine to protect your lower back. Try not to overarch the lumbar spine.
• Protect your knees: Double check that they don’t come forward over the line of the toes. You should be able to see the toes.
• If you have discomfort in your shoulders or neck, bring your arms wider apart and/or lower. They can be pointing straight out in front of you or down to the floor. Alternatively you could bend the elbows and point the fingertips upwards.
• Bring your legs together and squeeze them into each other if you want to work on your leg strength - you can also squeeze a block or towel if it's more comfortable.
• Practise the pose with your feet hip-width apart or wider to create a more stable base, this is also a good variation to use if you are pregnant or if you have a larger body.
• Experiment with the arms in different positions: Clasp your hands behind your back for a shoulder stretch and then move dynamically into a forward fold (hands still clasped) and back again into Fierce Pose.
• You can bring your palms together into Prayer Position (Anjali Mudra), thumbs to chest) preparing for Revolved Fierce Pose/ Parivrtta Utkatasana.
Alternative Pose Boat Pose Paripurna Navasana
Beginner Option Half Standing Forward Bend Ardha Uttanasana
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