The Secret to Mastering the Overhand Grip in Yoga Poses | Two Fit Moms - Yoga Journal

The Overhand-Grip Secret You're Probably Missing

Masumi Goldman reveals the trick to mastering the overhand grip in Dancer and One-Legged King Pigeon Poses is often in (surprise!) the psoas.
King Pigeon

Two Fit Moms' Masumi Goldman reveals the surprising secret to this tricky hand position in Dancer Pose and One-Legged King Pigeon.

It’s no secret that flexibility across the chest and shoulders is a requirement if you want to master the overhand grip that you see in the full expression of Lord of the Dance Pose or One-Legged King Pigeon PoseHeart and shoulder openers crack the door to the possibility of overhand-grip poses and we at Two Fit Moms highly encourage you to incorporate these amazing stretches into your daily practice. But what you might not realize is that the chest and shoulders are not the only body parts that need love and attention in order to progress and eventually grab your foot with an overhand grip.

I practiced chest and shoulder openers for quite a while without any noticeable change in my quest for the overhand grip. My foot felt miles away, and I couldn’t imagine how I would ever be able to reach it. It wasn’t until I saw a photo of myself in Pigeon Pose a couple of years ago that it all clicked. My shoulder/chest flexibility was just fine -- I had been practicing heart openers diligently for months. That wasn’t the problem at all. It was my tight psoas muscles (the hip flexors connecting the torso and the leg) that were preventing me from grabbing my foot. Once I had a reasonable amount of chest and shoulder flexibility, the secret to being able to grab my foot with an overhand grip was all in the psoas muscles. Learn more below.

Also see Kathryn Budig's Challenge Pose: Flip the Grip

How To Master the Overhand Grip