Arm Balances

Arm Balances

Definition

In arm balances, that belong to the balancing poses, we hold parts of our body or our whole body with our arms. Therefore, arm balances require quite some strength and stability in the body, a focused mind and a bit of daring. Arm balances – although held with our arms – are mainly initiated from our core.

Tips & Tricks

  • To build confidence slowly and reduce the fear of falling, place a pillow in front of you (e.g. for crow pose, side crow) – so even if you should fall, you won’t hurt yourself.
  • Use props to support you body until you have enough strength to lift up yourself, e.g. blocks under feet for crow pose, use your knees in Chaturanga if your arms and shoulders can not hold the weight yet, use a low chair or bench under your hips in side plank.

Benefits

  • Building strength in arms, hands, shoulders, neck and core (!).
  • Arm balances allow us to face and overcome fears and build confidence. The moment where you dare to lift up, despite the fear of falling (on your face :-)) is a very uplifting and liberating moment.
  • Support bone density and can help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Since many arm balances are also inversions, they activate circulation.

Watch-Outs

  • Contraindications: Shoulder, ellbow and wrist injuries or inflammations
  • Careful: Before practicing arm balances, learn how to place and engage your hands and wrists safely on the mat (Hast Bandha)
  • Keep your neck long

Examples

Firefly pose

Tittibhasana

…and scales pose, flying pigeon, eight angle pose,…

Crow pose

Bakasana

…and side crow, grasshopper, peacock pose,…

Low Plank

Chaturanga Dandasana

…and high plank, side plank, Eka Pada Koundinasana,…

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