This is a revised version of a piece that originally appeared on Vinyasa En Su Casa.
The Super Bowl and yoga practice have more in common than you may originally think. Both take work, coaching, strength, and total belief.
Here are some poses to get your game on.
1. Chaturanga or Low Push Up
Yogis have a love/hate relationship with chaturanga. Shoulders forward of wrists, stomach in, elbows in, HOVER! It is one pose that I see most people attempting to do but unfortunately do wrong. Knees, chest, chin until you perfect the darn thing. Think of it as the playoffs. Your back will thank you for sure.
2. Virabhadrasana II or Warrior II
Fierce pose. There is a lot going on here, especially confidence. In most studios this is one pose you face the mirrors looking at your reflection. You could either fight it or embrace your image opponent. Arms parallel, bent leg is parallel to the mat, and the straight leg heel is down. Super Bowl competitors will avoid the offsides flag by not moving and staying focused in this pose.
3. Padangustasana or Toe Stand
Believe. Believe that your 100+ pound body will be able to balance on all 5 toes. That is all.
4. Urdhva Dhanurasana or Upward Bow/Wheel
Backbends are terrifying for most. We are always bending forward but rarely in life to we bend backwards. The ones that face the fear, lift the chest, and raise the hips with steady breath will be ready for the biggest challenges of their lives. Stadium roaring, fireworks shooting, Guns and Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" is blasting. F-Yea!
5. Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand
Remember when I said believe that you can balance your whole body on five toes? You can get even deeper than that. Believe that you will balance your whole body on your hands—and voila: The first step toward being able to do so. It’s like throwing that perfect touchdown pass into the end zone. Once you envision it, it will happen. I'm still at the envisioning stage here!
6. Malasana or Squatting
Omaha! Omaha! Pressure is on. Seat down, heels down, hands calmly still in namaste over the heart. Just like what you need as center. Getting down low and concentrating, passing the ball to the quarterback successfully where ultimately it is thrown into the end zone.
7. Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose
My what goes where? This is a Super Bowl Commercial for sure. As seen on Instagram, Snapchat and yoga tunes album covers, this pose is pretty epic. Like the 1984 Apple commercial or Mean Joe Green.
8. Tittibhasana or Firefly
First and Goal pose! Requiring super yogi power of will, flexibility and arm strength. There are many precursors to this pose, but mastering the true art of firefly is certainly a top Super Bowl moment. A great one like Namath taking the underdog Jets to win... Not a Jackson-wardrobe-malfunction moment.
9. Vrscikasana or Scorpion
We are getting close to the Holy Grail and confetti is in hands. Blood is rushing to the head, feet are touching the very tip of the forehead, and balance is “tee up” perfect. The effort it takes to perfect this pose is on a whole ‘nother level. Labeled “the hardest” pose, scorpion is sooooo close to number one. And achieving it can take you to number one with more ease. This is the work and all of its exhaustion, for the most important pose… Savasana.
10. Savasana or Corpse
Reaching Samahdi or blissful state is understanding yoga to its fullest. Stop everything. Stop your mind, stop your fidgeting. Clear your mind of it all. Congratulations! You are now awarded the Vince Lombardi trophy. Go to that happy place and have a big quiet party in your head.
You just won the Super Bowl of Yoga.