Formidable Face Pose - Ganda Bherundasana

Formidable Face Pose - YanvaYoga


Formidable Face Pose or Ganda Bherundasana is an advanced, intense backbend that stretches the front of the body and should only be attempted after more basic and intermediate backbends have been mastered. The term comes from the Sanskrit, ganda, which refers to the cheek or face; bherunda, which means “terrible,” “formidable” or “frightening”; and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.”
This posture is an arm balance, inversion & backbend combined. In chinstand the chin rest lightly on the ground, hands are by the sides, elbows tucked into the ribcage, hands underneath the elbows and the legs are above the torso as the legs hug the midline of your body.
Ganda Bherundasana is a challenging pose that requires a lot of practice to master. It is important to warm up your body thoroughly before attempting this pose, and to listen to your body and move slowly and carefully to avoid injury. This pose can help to build strength in your arms, legs, and core, as well as improve your balance and flexibility.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start by sitting in Thunderbolt Pose - Vajrasana. Take a moment to relax both your body and mind, allowing yourself to settle into a state of calm before progressing into a deeper backbend. Take a few conscious breaths to center yourself.
Step 2
As you inhale, transition into Table Top Pose, tucking your toes under. Place your palms directly under your shoulders, spreading your fingers wide. Rotate your elbows inward, pointing them backward. This adjustment helps bring the elbows closer together.
Step 3
Exhale and lower yourself down, bending at the elbows until they align with your ribs. Place your chin on the ground, creating a connection between your forearms and the floor.
Step 4
Lift your knees off the ground and begin to walk your feet forward, creating a V-shape with your upper body and lower body.
Step 5
Shift your weight onto your toes, lifting your heels high. Inhale and raise one leg towards the sky. When you feel ready, transfer your weight forward, pressing your palms firmly into the ground and keeping your chin in contact with the floor. Use your core, arms, and shoulders to maintain balance as you kick or extend the other leg upward, reaching towards the ceiling.
Step 6
Once you have achieved balance, gradually exhale and bend your knees, bringing your toes to touch your head.
Step 7
Remain in this position, known as Formidable Face Pose, utilizing the strength of your arms and shoulders to prevent strain in your neck. Stay in this pose for as long as it remains comfortable, but not exceeding 3 minutes.
Step 8
To release the pose, lift your feet away from your head, straighten your legs, and slowly lower them down while maintaining your balance. Extend your body and relax in Makarasana, also known as Crocodile Pose. Stay in this posture for five breaths.
Step 9
Finally, release and relax in Balasana, also known as Child's Pose, allowing yourself to unwind and let go of any remaining tension.

Benefits and Contraindications


Helps to reduce mental stress and physical strain

Stretches the hips and waist region

Improves balance and flexibility of the back

Strengthens back, hips, pelvis and legs

Helps to tone the spine and the abdominal organs

Gives much strength to neck region


Back, neck or shoulder problems

Internal injuries


Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Use a block: Place a block under your chest to raise your upper body, which can make it easier to lift your legs off the ground.
  • Practice with a partner: A partner can help you lift your legs off the ground by holding your ankles or feet. This can be especially helpful if you’re struggling to lift your legs on your own.
  • Yoga strap: Use a yoga strap around your ankles or feet to help you lift your legs off the ground.

Useful Tips

  • Before attempting Formidable Face Pose, warm up your body with poses that help you build strength and flexibility.
  • Engage your core: To lift your legs off the ground, you need to engage your core muscles. Focus on drawing your navel in toward your spine and squeezing your.
  • Focus on alignment: Keep your hips level and squared to the front of the mat. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and your gaze forward.
  • Don’t rush into the pose. Take your time and work on building strength and flexibility over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Formidable Face Pose suitable for beginners?

No, Formidable Face Pose is an advanced yoga pose and is not suitable for beginners. It requires a high level of strength, flexibility, and balance, and should only be attempted by experienced practitioners under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when practicing Formidable Face Pose?

Some common mistakes to avoid when practicing Formidable Face Pose include forcing the backbend too deeply, collapsing the chest and shoulders, and using too much momentum to get into the pose. It’s important to approach the pose slowly and mindfully, and to listen to your body and respect its limits.

Who should avoid Formidable Face Pose?

People with wrist or shoulder injuries, high blood pressure, or heart problems should avoid Formidable Face Pose. Pregnant women should also avoid this pose.

How long should I hold Formidable Face Pose?

You should hold Formidable Face Pose for 5-10 breaths or as long as you can maintain the pose with proper alignment and without straining or overexerting yourself.

What should I do if I cannot do Formidable Face Pose?

If you cannot do Formidable Face Pose, you can work on building strength and flexibility through other yoga poses and exercises. You can also seek the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher or therapist to help you progress towards the pose safely and gradually.


Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.