Sayanasana (Repose Posture) registers as 15* on BKS Iyengar’s 60* scale of difficulty in Light on Yoga.
This yoga pose is similar to Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) except for one crucial detail: your hands hold your face. Yes, you heard that right. In Sayanasana, you balance exclusively on your elbows. Say what?!
As with all challenging yoga poses, work up to Sayanasana gradually. First, take Pincha Mayurasana near the wall. Then, angle your left forearm about 15 degrees inward. Flip your right forearm onto it’s edge so that your fingers are shooting forward, off the ground. Slowly begin to bend your right elbow, pressing your left forearm firmly into the mat. When you reach your right hand to your right cheek, either replace your right forearm and repeat the pose from the left side, or try lifting your left arm in the same fashion as you did on the right.
Iyengar says that Sayanasana “is difficult, but by determined and regular practice one can achieve it.” Perhaps, someday, with great effort and continued practice, this yoga pose may feel like a “Repose Posture”. For now, I’m still working on getting that second hand off the ground.