Updated: Jul 11, 2020
By Allison Ray Jeraci
Photo by Andrea Killam
To start with, kapinjalasana (partridge pose) is really fun to say. Secondly, it is an incredibly difficult pose, requiring 100 percent attention, 100 percent of the time. And lastly, it is comprised of two seemingly contrary pose categories—an arm balance and a backbend. Kapinjalasana is part of the vasisthasana (side plank) family, and I often picture it as a fallen-dancer pose.
Whether you intend to practice kapinjalasana at home or teach it in class, it can be challenging to come up with a preparatory sequence for it. Do you focus on backbending? Arm balancing? And isn’t there some rule that says you shouldn’t practice backbending and arm balancing together? (At least that’s what I learned in my teacher training.1 ) These are important questions to ask when preparing to practice or teach this pose. To understand how to sequence kapinjalasana, you first must understand how to deconstruct it (and perhaps be okay with breaking some of the “rules” you learned along the way!). Teasing out its elements will help you construct a safe and satisfying sequence that prepares your body for the challenge it’s about to undertake.