Frog Pose

Our focus pose this month is frog pose (mandukasana).  There are no fancy, tricky variations.  There are degrees of depth in terms of the width of your base, but the ultimate depth is duration.  Hold frog pose until all resistance melts away and you enter a state of freedom from the tyranny of mind.

How to do Frog pose:

  • Kneel on your mat facing the long edge with the short edges either side of you.
  • Separate your knees as wide apart as you can manage.
  • Separate your feet as wide apart as your knees.
  • Flex your feet towards your shins (dorsiflex) to stabilise your ankles.
  • Align your hips on the same line as your knees. Do not drop your hips back towards your heels as you would for child’s pose.  Do not spill your hips forward of the line of your knees as this reduces the intensity of the pose.
  • Elongate your torso and rest on your forearms.
  • Tilt your tailbone upwards slightly and allow a gentle inward curve to be present in your low back.
  • Relax your neck. You may be comfortable hanging your head or you may choose to rest your forehead on the back of your hands or on a block.
  • As you progress with frog pose you may be able to deepen the pose in several ways. One is to widen the space at your knees.
  • Another is to separate your elbows wider apart and lower your chest to the floor. If you do this, it will be more comfortable for you to turn your head to one side and rest on the side of your head.  During the time you are in the pose it is best to turn your head both ways for a roughly even time each way.
  • Breathe long and deep through your nose. Make your time in frog pose a meditation.  You could fuss about the pressure at your inner knees.  You could squirm to try to take the stretch out of your inner thighs.  Or you can relax with the sensations of the pose and adopt an enlightened perspective and choose to be still rather than restless both in your body and your mind.
  • There are multiple options to come out of frog. Ultimately, your method is the right method, whatever that method may be if it feels right to you.  Whichever you choose, take it slowly and carefully.  One is to lower your hips forward to the floor and then gently bring your legs back together.
  • Another is to come up onto your hands and step your knees in towards one another.
  • A third exit is to draw your feet close together, brace your hands at the floor and draw your hips upward into a species of downward facing dog.
Frog pose with Apollo Power Yoga Christchurch yoga studio
Margo Perpick of Apollo Power Yoga teaching a class of students in frog pose

Spiritual Focus in Frog pose:

Frog is an amazing opportunity to adopt a critical distance from your circumstances.  In World War 2 Jewish people hid in attics and wall spaces and had to remain still and silent for prolonged periods of time as a matter of life and death.  How hard can it really be for you to be still in frog for 5, 10 or 15 minutes?  Be dispassionate.  Do not over-dramatise the situation.

In my first ever frog pose we were held there for nearly 20 minutes.  Part-way through my mind and body were so restless I lifted my head hoping to see other people having come out of the pose.  I saw a sea of my peers in frog pose.  I followed their example, lowered my head and settled in.  Your capacity to sit with frog is greater than your mind would allow you to be believe.  Be more than the most fragile limits of your mind.

For more, click here.

For some items of a philosophical bent, click here.