What is the meaning of Vyaghrasana

  • This asana is so called because it emulates the stretching movement as practice by a tiger.
  • A tiger and other many animals, stretches its limbs in a similar way to the movements of the asana, especially after awakening from deep sleep.
  • Vyaghrasana, Vyaghra means ‘tiger’, is an excellent yoga pose for exercising the digestive, eliminative and reproductive organs and the entire spine from top to bottom.
  • We will discuss here in details about Tiger Pose Yoga (Vyaghrasana’s) modifications, variations, the easy steps of doing it, precautions and contraindications.

How to do Tiger Pose Yoga (Vyaghrasana)?

The easy steps of practicing tiger yoga are being given below.

  • Kneel on the floor, feet and knees slightly separated.
  • Lean forwards and place both hands flat on the floor, palms downwards.
  • Adjust the position of the hands so that they are slightly apart and when your trunk is parallel with the ground the arms and thighs are vertical.
  • The hands should be directly below the shoulders.
  • Relax your whole body.
  • Slowly bend the right leg and swing the thigh up to the chest.
  • Simultaneously arch your back upwards and bend your head towards the upcoming knee while breathing out.
  • The right foot should not touch the floor.
  • At the end of this movement tries to bring your chin or nose in contact with the right knee while pressing the right thigh against the chest.
  • Hold your breath.
  • Try to bring the back of the head as near as possible to the right toes. Continue to hold your breath and straighten your right leg so that it points backwards again.
  • This is 1 round. Do a few more rounds.
  • Then perform the same actions with the left leg, keeping the right leg fixed on the ground.


  • Exhale while bringing the knee and thigh towards the chest.
  • Hold the breath while pressing the thigh to the chest and the knee to the chin or nose. Inhale while swinging the knee backwards and stretching the leg.
  • Hold the breath and simultaneously bend the leg so that the foot points to the back of the head.

Time of practice

This asana can be done at almost any time of the day except after meals and at any stage during your asana program.

Benefits of tiger pose yoga

  • It is a useful practice for stretching the muscles and stimulating the blood circulation.
  • Vyaghrasana flexes and loosens the entire spine by bending it alternately in both directions – backwards and forwards, thus tones the associated spinal nerves.
  • It massages the lower organs of the body concerned with digestion, elimination and reproduction.
  • It loosens up the legs and generally prepares the body for normal functioning, especially after sleep.
  • Women who suffer from sexual ailments like leucorrhoea should do this asana on a regular basis. It is very helpful, especially when supplemented by other asanas, in rectifying this type of problem.
  • Women who have just completed childbirth should also do this asana to bring about normality and firmness in the relevant areas.
  • Sufferers of sciatica have obtained some relief from the asana, but it should be performed in the presence of a yoga expert.

Variations and Modifications

  • There are the practitioners, who experience difficulty while bending leg towards the head. In such case, it is better to perform the pose by keeping the leg straight.
  • One may keep the folded blanket below the knees to protect them from pressure and stress.
  • The pose can be performed without curving the back down. Do it with straight spine.


It shouldn’t be performed in case of the following conditions.

  • Back injury
  • Knee problems
  • Hip issues
  • Shoulder problems
  • Sciatica
  • Slipped disc
  • Pregnancy


  • One shouldn’t make more effort making the spine curve so much down.
  • More stretch shouldn’t be exerting making the knees to touch the chin or nose.
  • The upward leg should bring towards the head as per one’s comfort and capability.

Muscles involvement

  • Biceps and Triceps
  • Core
  • Gluteus
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back
  • Arms & Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Neck
  • Pelvic
  • Psoas
  • Quadriceps

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