If you approach the balance in Tittibhasan (Firefly pose) consciously, you can develop a number of qualities inherent in whole people: confidence, integrity of character and inner strength.
Tittibhasana is unique. It helps to achieve a state of harmony, creating a relationship between the mind and body. This is not easy to achieve, because the entrance to Tittibhasana itself is associated with conflicting movements: on the physical level, you need to press your hands to the floor and keep your legs up, and on the mental level, plunge into the calm and softness of the tilt, and then focus and soar above the ground.
The preparatory asanas of the complex give a consistent view of the working mechanisms of Tittibhasana. Moving from pose to pose, we borrow from each of the basic details - and so on until we combine the newfound skills in the final balance. In this complex, Balasana (the pose of the Child) teaches calmness, Vasishthasana (the pose of the Sage Vasishtha) develops the strength of the arms and legs, Gomukhasana (the pose of the Head of the cow) creates space in the sacral region, Garudasana (the pose of the King of the Eagles) gives flexibility to the wrists, and Pratasarita (Leaning forward with legs wide apart) reveals the pelvic area. Before you start practicing, open your mind. Sit on the floor and cross your legs. Inhale, counting to six, then exhale as long. Repeat breathing cycles up to 10 times. Complete the three series of Surya Namaskar (Salutations to the Sun). Then do two more cycles of Surya Namaskar, including Virabhadrasana I and II (the pose of the Warrior I and II).
1. Balasana (Child's pose)
Roll a thin blanket into a roll and place it on the mat next to you. Sit in Vaj Rasana (Lightning Bolt pose) with your shins and knees connected. Lower your hands on the upper thighs and press the base of the palms against it. Start pushing your hands on the front of your thighs. Repeat the movement several times, following from the upper thigh down to the knee and back. This exercise releases apana, the energy of the body, tending downward, creating the effect of grounding. Put the folded blanket in the groin. Spread your knees shoulder-width apart. With one hand, lift your stomach up. Grab the ends of the blankets with both hands, pull them back and, while inhaling, lean into the Baby's pose.
If your head does not fall to the floor, place a pillow under your forehead. Lower your shoulders down and stretch forward so that the rib cage is concave and the back is rounded. Hold this position for several breathing cycles. Watch your breath. Watch the mind. Let thoughts appear and disappear like clouds.
Enter the pose. Drop your shoulders to the floor. Turn your palms towards the ceiling and relax your fingers. As the mind is freed from the hustle and bustle of the day, observe the space within you. Release your stomach. Relax your face.
2. Vasishthasana (pose of the Sage Vasishtha)
From the Baby's pose, slowly rise. Remove the blanket and stand on all fours. Hold your palms to the floor and maximize the shoulders and armpits outward, extending the side sections of the ribs. Straighten your legs and enter the Planck position. Move your feet closer together and activate your leg muscles. Work with them as if fastening them with a zipper. Feel how strong legs support the spine.
Hold your posture for one to two breathing cycles. Do not perform asana with the muscles of the back or front of the body. Move the front and back of the hips toward each other. Point your abdominal muscles toward the ceiling, and lower your shoulder blades toward the floor.
Shift your body weight to your right arm and outer edge of your right foot. Lay your left foot right on your right foot, as if you were standing in Tadasan. “Fasten” the inner surface of the legs with an imaginary zipper, as you did in the Planck position. Lift the inside of your right thigh up. Notice how the pelvis rises after this movement. Look at the fingers of your left hand. If they are spread out or clenched into a fist, then you are counteracting all the work that you did in the Child's pose. You will lose touch with your center if you take this effort to the extreme. Therefore, expand the space between the fingers and feel the upward movement that originates in the left shoulder blade.
Having established the connection between the wrists and armpits, the inner thighs and the spine, the front and back of the body, try to relax the mind. Hold in the asana for several breathing cycles. Returning to the Planck posture, try to maintain the integrity of the work performed.
Make sure that the whole body is involved. Retract and lift up the muscles of the supporting arm, thereby removing the load from the wrist. Work your feet properly. To activate the inner thighs, push the pads under the big toes.
3. Gomukhasana in Garudasan (pose of the Head of a cow, variation of hands in the pose of the King of eagles)
Standing on all fours, get your left foot behind your right. Cross the tops of the thighs and sit on the floor so that the feet are parallel to the outside of the pelvis. If your sciatic bones do not touch the floor, place a blanket or brick under them. (If it is not possible to cross the legs in this position, straighten the left leg or perform an asana while lying on your back.)
Sitting in Gomukhasan, place your thumbs in the groin area and open them to create space. Stretch your feet with such force as if you were still in Vasishthasan. Press your palms to the soles and the soles to your palms. Stretch your arms in front of you and twist them into Garudasana so that your left shoulder is on top of your right. If your palms, wrists, or fingers are squeezed excessively, untangle your wrists and place the back of your hands against each other. Direct your breathing to your lower back. As you exhale, soften your stomach, chest, throat, face, and eyes.
Do not pinch fingers and toes too tightly. Relax your face, throat and jaw. Performing a variation of Gomukhasana in the pose of the King of the Eagles, consciously direct the exhalations into the shoulder joints, wrists, and pelvic area. It is impossible to achieve such a disclosure in jerks, so align yourself properly and be patient.
4. Prazarita Padottanasana (Leaning forward standing with legs wide apart)
From a standing position, place your feet 130 cm apart. Place your thumbs in the groin area, creating a space along the front surface of the pelvis. Stretch the spine and bring it into a position parallel to the floor. Lower your fingertips onto the floor or onto bricks.
On inspiration, bend your knees slightly, with your pubic bone pointing back. This creates a feeling of slight deflection. As you exhale, straighten both legs, allowing the tailbone to fall toward the pubic bone. Repeat this movement several times. As you inhale, stretch your pubic bone up towards the coccyx, and as you exhale, pull the coccyx slightly towards the pubic bone. This dialogue between the coccyx and the pubis stimulates the pelvic floor.
On the next exhale, bend fully to your feet. At the same time, the shoulders and forearms should be bent at a right angle - as in Chaturanga Dandasan (the pose of the Staff on four supports). Let the head hang down and, if it does not touch the floor, place a brick under it. In this position, the spine is slightly rounded. However, lift the shoulder blades off the floor so that the neck remains free. Although your legs are wide apart, remember how you zipped the inner surfaces of your legs in Vasishthasan and made the same movement. Pay attention to how the forward tilt deepens. Stay in this position for several breathing cycles. Then exit the pose and only at this stage repeat the entire sequence, changing the right side to the left in Vasishthasan and the variation of the pose of the King of the Eagles in Gomukhasan. Finally, connect your feet and lower yourself to the floor, relaxing in the Baby's pose.
Align the inside and outside of the legs. A strong inner part of the legs is the key to doing tittibhasana. If it’s difficult to reach the floor, lower your palms on the bricks. The crown can also be placed on a support. Hold your palms firmly against the floor, lifting your shoulders up and extending your neck.
5. Tittibhasana (Firefly pose)
After completing the Prazarita Padottanasana, slightly bend your knees and place your feet closer to each other. Once your feet are shoulder width apart, sit down deeper. Move your right shoulder under the right knee and hold in this position for a couple of deep breathing cycles. Release your shoulder, returning to the slope with legs bent at the knees. Move your left shoulder under your left knee and take a few breaths. Come out. Sit down for a second and rest. If, while pushing your shoulders under your knees, you feel tension, lay the bricks on the floor right behind your feet. Bend over again and bend your knees. Make sure the feet remain shoulder width apart. Pull your right shoulder over your right knee and lower your palm to the floor under your shoulder. Do the same with your left hand. If your palms do not fall to the floor, press them against the bricks. Bend your arms at your elbows and point them under your hips so that your legs move along your arms to your shoulders. In the process, the back will begin to round, as in the pose of the Child. Put the weight in your hands: press the inner edge of the wrists to the floor, and, on the contrary, lift the inside of the armpits up. Do not lower your head. Look in front of you. Breathe calmly.
Slowly move the pelvis back while sitting on the inside of the shoulders. In this case, the pelvis becomes massive and heavy. It may even seem that it is impossible to take your feet off the ground and balance on your hands in this position. The feeling of heaviness is partly due to the fact that the tailbone is tight. To get off the ground, you need to re-balance the position of the pelvis, moving the pubic bone back between the hips. At this point, simply repeat the “dialogue” between the pubis and tailbone, as you did in Prazarita Padottanasana. At some point - today or a year later - you will find that the pubic bone stretches back, creating a small deflection, and the ischial bones rush to the ceiling. This will naturally lighten your load and the pelvis will begin to rise.
Distribute the weight evenly between the inside and outside of the wrists. Press your fingers to the floor. “Hug” your hands with your feet, intensely including the inner surface of the thighs. Stretch your toes forward, and direct your pubic bone back. Despite the fact that the spine is rounded, expand the area of the clavicle and look forward, relaxing the face.
At the end of the practice, do a variation of Jathar Parivartanasana (Twisting Belly Poses). Lie on your back. Extend your arms to the sides and bring your knees to your chest. Lower your knees to the left and turn your stomach to the right. Hold in this position for five cycles of breathing, then do the pose to the right. Lower your feet to the floor, aligning the heels in line with the pelvis. Stretch your arms along the body and enter the simplified variation of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Posture of Building a Bridge). After five cycles of breathing, go down.
Return to the Bridge Construction posture by placing a brick under the sacrum. Bring your knees to your chest one at a time, then straighten your legs to the ceiling, doing a variation of the Salamb Sarvang Asana (Stands on the shoulders with support). Hold the pose for one minute, then bring your knees to your chest and lower your feet to the floor. Lift the basin, remove the brick and lie down in Shavasana (Dead man's pose). Release all joints, muscles and skin. Lying in silence, observe how the mind relaxes after the body.