Yoga is a wonderful way to relax, reduce stress and work on our physical fitness. Arm balance poses present an additional layer of challenge and can add a dynamic element to your yoga practice. Here are a few of our top picks for some beginner friendly arm balance poses.
Side Crane Pose
Side crane pose is a great option for those looking to start working on arm balances. This pose will focus strength and balance on the arms and core as you lean in to the pose. Simply, begin in a low squat, with feet together and toes pointed outward. Place hands on the ground, and start to lift gently off the floor, setting weight into the hands and arms to bring the body off of the mat. This can be modified by positioning the hands closer together, or adding blocks to provide a bit more stability while developing the arm strength.
Dolphin pose is great for beginners or those looking to navigate their way into more advanced arm balances. Start in a four-point plank position, with arms straight and shoulders in line with the wrists. Slowly, lower down onto the forearms, pressing weight into the arms and core to create an ‘upward bow’ shape. Begin to shift weight forward onto the hands, lifting the hips and resting the head flat on the floor. Hold in the pose for a few moments, and think about allowing the body to stay light and relaxed in the pose.
Crow pose helps to build core and arm strength. Begin standing, and place the hands together at the center of the mat. Now shift your weight forward, pressing down into the hands while gracefully pressing the knees onto the backs of the arms so that the shins rest inside the elbow creases. Keep the gaze focused ahead and inhale, lifting the chest and pressing through the arms to lighten the weight from the feet and onto the arms. This is a great starting point for crow, as you can modify by adding blocks for additional support as needed.
Firefly pose helps to increase the strength and flexibility in the arms and wrists which can make it easier to practice more advanced arm balances. Begin in a low squat or a four-point pose. Place hands on the ground, and press the knuckles against the floor. Next, begin to walk out a few steps with the hands, beginning to lift off of the ground as the hands move outward. As the feet move further away from the hands, the arms start to bend, pressing elbows towards one another. Lean weight into the bent arms and begin to lift the feet off of the floor to find the balancing point in the pose.
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-legged king pigeon is a great option for those looking to add an arm balance to their practice. Start in a vowel or low lunge, and place the hands on the ground to one side of the front foot. Bring the shoulders just in front of the right thigh, and lightly lean into the hands, pressing weight into the arms to begin to lift the upper body upwards. Keep the chest pressed forward slightly, and extend the left arm upward to find the balance. If you’d like to add even more of an arm balance element, extend both arms up toward the ceiling.
We hope these arm balance options inspire you to find a way to add some balance to your yoga