The Formidable Face Pose
Ganda Bherundasana or Formidable Face Pose is an advanced Yoga backbend that strengthens the upper back, arms and shoulders. It also opens the chest, stretches the whole front of the body and tones the abdominal muscles.
This posture can be detrimental to the neck especially when performed without proper guidance. Placing your weight on your arms and chest while avoiding any strain on your neck, bending your back and reaching your feet up to your head, is not an easy movement. Formidable Face Pose lengthens the spine, but when done without mastering the foundations of Yoga and a proper approach, this pose can be harmful to the body.
Safely Rounding Back
Before you approach the full Formidable Face Pose, preparing the body for the intense movements is very important. Do not hop into any Yoga pose without warming up your body. Flow smoothly to heat your core and activate all muscles you’ll need for a specific pose.
Yoga Push-Up/Chaturanga Dandasana: This version of push-up effectively strengthens the arms and core, which is necessary for supporting your weight.
- How To Do The Pose: Start in a plank pose. Make sure that your hands are parallel to your shoulders and spread your fingers in order to have a wider balancing area. Push away from the floor to activate your back muscles. Engage your core by sucking your belly in, tightening your gluteus and legs against each other. To lower yourself on the floor, take a breath in, then exhale. As you exhale, bend your elbows, keeping them close to your ribcage. Maintain a straight line on your body, keeping it parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for five breaths.
Cobra Pose/Bhujangasana. This pose is a gentle chest opener and backbend. Cobra Pose effectively warms up the spine and stretches the muscles at the front of your legs. Though you must avoid any mistakes while taking it casually.
- How To Do The Pose: Lie on your stomach with your feet together. Place your hands beneath your shoulders and your elbows beside your ribcage. Take a breath in as you slowly push away from the floor, extending your spine up and back, pressing your pubic bone down. Keep pressing until your arms are fully extended. Make sure that your shoulders are drawn away from the ear. Hold the pose for five breaths.
Lunge/Warrior I: Performing Warrior I gently opens the hips, back and chest. It also stretches the quads, strengthens the legs and lengthens the spine.
- How To Do The Pose: Start in a plank position. Inhale and extend your right leg up in the sky, then exhale, bring it between your hands. Turn your back leg 45 degrees outwards and slowly stand, keeping your right knee on a 90-degree angle. Push your hips forward to maintain your weight on your right foot. Bring your hands in prayer, and then extend your arms up as you inhale. Hold the pose for five breaths and do the same process on the other leg.
Formidable Face Pose/ Ganda Bherundasana: If you’re trying the pose for the first time, it is recommended to practice under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher. Be patient and always listen to your body.
- How to do the pose: Begin on all fours, knees and elbows planted on the ground. Spread your fingers, and then bring your shoulders above to your wrists. Keep in mind to keep your elbows close to your ribs. After that, extend your left leg back on the floor, and then lift your right foot up to the sky. Point your right foot’s toes. Soften your spine while keeping your arms activated. Inhale, and then press the ball of your left foot away from the ground to fully lift your right leg, followed by the left. Don’t collapse your shoulders and always make sure that your core and gluteus are activated to avoid putting any strain on your chin or neck. Slowly reach your toes down to your forehead. Stay in this position for five breaths. To release, lower your legs back down with control. Rest on Child’s Pose.
You may not be able to do the full pose though you have mastered the basic foundations. Learning requires patience and an open mind. Regularly practice with good intentions, and you’ll surely be curving smoothly soon.
As you advance to your practice, you may find some of your favorite Yoga pants are fading, starting to wear off or becoming loose. Having durable and comfortable workout clothes is very important especially if you move intensely. Advanced poses such as Formidable Face Pose can cause damage to your leggings if they aren’t well crafted or overused. Have a look at this amazing legging for women you’ll surely love!
Splendid French Terry Legging: These Yoga pants are ultra-soft and very cozy. Made of 4% spandex, 48% modal and 48% pima cotton, these mid-rise waisted leggings fit perfectly to the body and emphasize the curves. Unlike most leggings for women out in the market today, Splendid French Terry Leggings are not see-through.
Sometimes, even the thought of learning this pose is already intimidating. Great things often times have scary beginnings. You may not be able to control the process of progress, but you can control your thoughts. Always be patient with your journey and approach the challenges with composure. Practice safely and most importantly, have fun!