Bhekasana is an intermediate-to-advanced level yoga pose, but this doesn’t mean that beginners shouldn’t try it.
By following this detailed guide, we can help you build strength and flexibility so you can perform Bhekasana flawlessly.
Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Bhekasana
Activate your core, legs, and lower back muscles with the following warm-up poses:
1. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) - Get into a kneeling position, with your knees, ankles, and toes touching the ground. Place your palms on your kneecaps, and gaze in front by keeping your spine straight.
Close your eyes, breathe in and out 10 to 15 times and focus on your breathing throughout the practice. This pose helps to activate your quads, front thighs, abdomen, glutes, and calf muscles.
2. Salabhasana (Locust Pose) - Lie down on your stomach and place your chin on the floor. Make a fist of your palms and place them underneath your groin area. Breathe in with some momentum and lift your legs off the mat as high as possible, keeping your legs straight and feet touching.
Hold this pose here for 30 to 60 seconds for a few rounds, and feel your tailbone area gently opening. Regular practice of this pose will help you build flexibility in your lower back and increase your core strength as well.
Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Bhekasana
The following are steps to practice Frog pose:
Step 1- Lie down on your stomach and extend your legs straight back. Take a few deep breaths here.
Step 2- Inhale and exhale, bend your right knee, reach back with your arm to hold your right foot, and gently pull your foot forward.
Step 3- While pulling your right foot forward, make sure your body doesn’t start to drift sideways. Keep your foot moving forward right beside your glute.
Step 4- If you could pull your foot forward easily and feel flexible enough, gently rotate your shoulder forward while keeping your elbow pointing toward the sky.
Step 5- Inhale deep, lift and open your chest as you would do in Cobra pose.
Step 6- Simultaneously, pull your foot down toward the ground while feeling an intense flex in your quad and front thigh.
Step 7- Stay here for a few deep breaths, exhale and release your right leg.
Step 8- Perform this stretch individually on each leg for 2 to 3 rounds, and once you feel loose and warmed up, you can now flex both legs together in Bhekasana.
Step 9- While flexing both legs, hold the pose until it feels comfortable and then relax.
Inhale & Exhale - Before starting the practice and while bending your legs.
Inhale - When your chest needs to lift up and expand, and when your back arches into a backbend.
Exhale - While releasing Bhekasana posture.
Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold Frog pose for 15 to 30 seconds.
Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold Frog pose for 60 to 90 seconds.
Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind
Beware of the following pose cues before you get started with Frog pose:
Focus on breath control: Try not to hold your breath anywhere throughout the Bhekasana practice. This is a very energy-draining pose, and you need to breathe to sustain your energy for a longer duration in order to get a deep stretch.
Do not overarch your lower back: Maintain a flat back with a firm and engaged core. This helps prevent your lower back from overarching or overextending.
Do not overextend your legs: While pulling your legs close to the ground, if you feel any knee pain, exit the pose right immediately. Make sure nothing in your upper legs, quads, or knees hurts while you sink deeper into the pose.
Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Bhekasana
Relax your back, legs, and spine in the following counterpose sequence to prevent injury:
1. Makarasana (Crocodile Pose) - Lie on your yoga mat with your chin, chest, and abdomen touching the ground. Stretch out your legs together at full length. Bring one hand beneath your opposing shoulder and grip the shoulder firmly.
Repeat the same on the other side. Spread both legs wide apart and rest your chin on your upper arms. Hold this pose for 10 to 15 deep breaths until your spine and legs return to a neutral position.
2. Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) - Begin seated with your knees hip distance apart. Bring the top of your head down close to your knees as much as possible. Now, cup your heels behind your back back with your palms and lift your glutes toward the ceiling.
Feel your neck, spine, and glutes relaxing in this counter pose and hold it until the tension from your body is completely released. When you’re ready to release, bring your glutes down and sit straight in Thunderbolt pose.