Practicing yoga has reached the highest admiration over the past few years. At the very beginning of civilization, yoga had been a practice promoted and preserved by the great yoga masters only. But, now, day by day people of all ages regardless of any fitness level is getting used to practicing yoga to maintain a healthier lifestyle and stress-less mind as well.
What is Yoga Arm Balance?
We usually use our legs and feet to carry our body weight. But, yoga arm balances is such a practice where only the arms and palms bear the whole weight of the body. Sounds impossible, right? But, don’t you worry. But, having a strong determination and deep concentration, you can overcome it easily. Arm balances increase our core strength, make the bones stronger, and help to improve mental discipline.
There are many different kinds of yoga arm balances. It varies from yogi to yogi based on their experience levels in this sector. Yoga masters recommend the simple yoga postures for those who are starting new. The experienced ones are recommended to do some tough and difficult practices. In this article, we are going to discuss the varieties of this yoga arm balances.
Before starting to know about the names of the arm-balance poses and how to practice the exercises, let’s discuss some key facts which will make it easy for us to obtain the movements.
Pushing the yoga mat or the surface as hard as you can is the very first key to any arm-balancing pose. You should round your back while spreading your fingers wide. Just round the thoracic spine your back a bit more, keep breathing, and keep pushing the surface away from you.
Hollowing your stomach is the next thing to do. For this, you have to place your hands on your knees and sit on your heels. After that, you should lean forward a little bit and stuck the naval in and out while exhaling.
In this case, sitting on your heels, your hands should be placed straight on the yoga mats/surface area just in front of your knees. Lean forward a bit and lift the buttocks while pulling knees towards your chest. Finally, release the knees back onto the surface.
Different Yoga Arm Balance Poses
1) Crane/Crow pose (Bakasana)
Beginners are encouraged to start yoga arm balance with this pose. It gives them an idea about their current strength or ability to move forward. It helps to stretch and strengthen inner thighs. This yoga posture builds mental focus. It also lowers the back pain.
Keeping the knees wide apart, squat with the feet together. Tilt the torso a bit forward so that the shoulders fit perfectly between the knees. After that, place the palms together in front of the sternum and grip the outer shoulders with the knees. Then extend the sternum away from the navel area while dropping the tailbone towards the floor.
Place your hands on the floor. Lift your feet on your toes and go forward with your hands until these stack over the wrists. At the same time, try to reach the chest forward and lift the heels upwards. Now, roll the heads of the upper arms back and up away from the floor. Knees can grip the outer shoulders. Push the ground with your arms as straight while bringing the feet and buttocks towards each other. Hold for 6-7 breaths and then either release the feet to the floor and exhale.
2) Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana)
It is an advanced version of the Crow pose that we have already discussed above. Practicing this Pose helps us to improve the sense of balance. It also made us strengthen our arms, shoulders, and abdominal muscles. Also, it is very beneficial for a toned belly and spine as well. It is also known for the improvements in digestion and detoxification of our bodies.
Begin in a chair pose with your hands together at the heart center. While exhaling, twist to the right by hooking your left elbow far around your right thigh. Slowly bring down your hips to heels. Now you are on your front of the toes with the twist. Then pull your left arm down toward the ground such a way that your armpit and right thigh remain closer. Place the palm of your left hand on the surface just outside the right foot, and your right hand about the shoulder-width distance away. Lean your weight into the left arm and slowly replace weight onto your hands.
Now, play with lifting your left foot off the ground, then your right. If your feet lift off the ground, keep your feet together and bend your feet. Try to hug your belly up and in, and breathe! Hold this posture up to 30-seconds or more. At last, lower the feet down to your mat on an exhalation. Come back to stand at the top of the ground, then repeat on the other side.
3) Eight Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)
This yoga is a practice of a balance that includes arms and legs in a non-symmetrical position. Just like the side crow pose, this yoga arm balance also helps to strengthen the wrists and tone the abdominal muscles. It’s a challenging task to complete. That is why masters consider it as an Intermediate level arm balance for yogis. It is beneficial for reducing stress and mild depression.
Stand on the ground and place your feet a bit wider than usual. Exhale and bend forward; press your hands to the floor outside your feet, knees slightly bent. Put your right arm inside and place it behind your right leg. Now, press the palms on the surface outside your right foot. Work on your right arm across the back of the right knee, until the back of your right shoulder is under the knee. Attach the shoulder against the knee and slide left foot to the right.
Now, cross the ankles, left one over the right one. Lean a little bit to the left. Take more weight on your left arm. Now, begin to lift your feet a few inches off the floor.
Exhale and bend your elbows with the right leg supported on the shoulder. Shift your torso a bit forward. Also, bring it down in a parallel with to the ground. At the same time, straighten your knees and lengthen the legs out to the right, parallel to the surface. Let your thighs squeeze the upper right arm. Use this pressure to help to twist the torso to the left. Keep the elbows and torso close enough and look at the ground. Maintain this position for about30-60 seconds. Slowly place on the surface.
4) Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
This yoga pose is famous for encouraging and helping people to overcome fear when something unusual happens in their life. After practicing for some days, people will feel their bodies a lot lighter and more well-shaped than before.
Stand on the ground facing a wall so that the distance between you and the wall is not more than 6-7 inches. Now, make a move like the downward-facing dog with your hands. Take your feet very close to your hands and shift your torso forward. Try to bring the shoulders over your wrists and the weight on your arms. Now, bend one knee and lift the other foot off the ground. Take a few hops here, jumping off from the bent leg and raising the straight leg vertically. Try to touch the wall with both of your heels to over the head. Keep the head down between upper arms and look downward. Try to balance yourself and take your heels off the wall. Now, strongly engage your legs and reach up through the heels. Bring your gaze to the floor. Finally, bring one leg down at a time and rest before trying to kick up with the opposite leg for balance.
5) Shoulder Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana)
This arm balancing yoga pose enhances confidence in us. Yoga masters also recommend it for the beginner level yogis like the Crane pose. It boosts metabolism. This posture helps to have better control over our nervous system. It improves our deep concentration on something and blood circulation inside the body.
Starting in a squatting position, take all your weight forward. Reaching around, step on your hands by lifting your hips upwards. Now reach the calf muscles all-around your shoulders. Step on this position until your wrists are placed flat on the ground. Now, bend your lower arms with the upper arms creating a shelf. After that, begin to cross your feet over each other and hook them slowly on the floor. Now, press your hands on the ground to come fully into a balance. Once you feel balanced, place your head on the ground so that you don’t lose your control for a long time. Now point the toes bending your arms leaning forward. Hold this posture about 30-40 seconds. With an exhale, bend your elbows and lightly release your feet back to the floor. Try to repeat the whole procedure 2-3 times.
Other Yoga Arm balances Poses
There are many other poses like- Firefly pose (Tittibhasana), Four-limbed staff pose (Chaturanga Dandasana), Peacock pose (Mayurasana), Scale pose (Tolasana), Side plank pose (Vasisthasana), Wild thing pose (Camatkarasana), and a lot more.
No one can be an expert on arm-balancing yoga poses overnight. It needs time and a lot of practice. Also, patience is a must for this purpose. With strong will power and mental set up, it becomes easier to practice this yoga arm balances. So, start today!