During these weeks of practicing with scorpion pose, we will explore variations that do not require one to do a forearm stand. Sometimes we will use props and sometimes we will play with a posture we call Earth Scorpion and another called Egyptian Scorpion.
The Earth Scorpion more closely resembles the scorpion you would find crawling around. To do this posture, find yourself in the yoga pose similar to locust then bend your knees and hold up the arms like big claws. It gives the same benefits to strengthen the back as locust does.
Now, a story about the Egyptian Scorpion pose:
Serqet was an ancient Egyptian scorpion goddess. She was generally viewed as a protective goddess, but also had her darker side. Serqet was thought to have power over venomous snakes and scorpions. It was thought that she could protect a person from venomous bites, and also that she could send snakes and scorpions to meet out punishment to those of whom she disapproved.
One story goes that the goddess Isis went into hiding in the marshes to protect herself and her unborn son Horus from Set – who is considered the evil dark character in Egyptian mythology. Just for context – Horus is the Christ or Moses figure in Egyptian mythology and this story of mother protecting her son is comparable to the Moses in the reeds or Mary, Joseph and Jesus going to Egypt.
Serqet sends 7 scorpions to accompany Isis in this journey. Isis, who is in disguise stops for help at a rich woman’s house but is sent away and refused. Then she finds help, food and shelter at a poor fisher girl’s door. The accompanying scorpions are not happy with the treatment of Isis by the rich woman so they combine their poison together and sting the rich woman’s son as punishment.
The rich woman can find no help for her son from the town where she runs for help but her cries brings out the compassion of the goddess Isis and Isis calls back all of the scorpions along with the poison and the son is restored to health. When the rich woman realized she had refused and snubbed the goddess Isis, she made amends by giving of her riches to the poor fisher girl.
I guess it is Isis and Serqet working together to bring justice and balance into this story because Serqet is known as the goddess of death, rebirth, healing, scorpion stings, and more. She was associated with the western cardinal point (the west was associated with death and rebirth). Yet, she was closely associated with the breath of life. Her enemies would have their breath literally taken away by the effect of a poisonous bite, but she also gave the justified dead the breath of life in the afterworld.
Another longer translation of her name means – “She Who Lets Throats Breathe”, or conversely “she who stiffens (paralyzes) the throat. Story source
The posture of the Egyptian Scorpion is similar to the Sphinx pose with the knees bent and feet lifting like the tail of the scorpion. It might make it more comfortable for some to put a folded blanket or bolster under the pelvis before bending the knees. Play with arms bent or more straight. And to bring in the theme of the goddess Serqet, add the ujayi breath that is heard at the back of the throat.