10 Tips When Practicing Arm Balances

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Arm balancesArm balances such as crow, side crow, peacock, flying pigeon, and eight angle (just to name a few), are a group of yoga poses that can be challenging, but they can also be fun! Floating or flying up into an arm balance doesn’t happen overnight, so always follow the modifications your yoga teacher provides, and remember, Rome was not built in a day! Here are a few tips to remember when practicing arm balances with or without modifications.

By Gabrielle DeFusco MyYogaOnline 22/5/13

1. Practice, practice some more, be patient, and breathe.

2. Let go of the outcome.

3. Set a limit as to how many times you’ll practice (whether at home or at the studio) the arm balance pose at the moment, otherwise you may begin to develop fatigue, especially in the wrists.

4. Avoid placing hands on a soft surface, even if your mat is a bit cushy. Soft surfaces strain your wrists by hyperextending them (bringing them forward) and out of alignment. Wrists should be stacked under elbows. Practice on a firm surface.

5. Ground your hands evenly and spread your fingers wide. The weight of your body should mostly be pressing into the fleshy mounds of the hands.

6. Use blocks or a wedge to support your wrists if you feel strain.

7. Engage your navel up and in towards your spine (uddiyana bhanda) and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles(mula bhanda) when you’re ready to take flight.

8. If you fear falling over and want to protect your head, place a pillow or stacked blankets in front of you.

9. If you tumble in the process, maintain a sense a humor and laugh at yourself.

10.  Once you’re done, rest your wrists and give them a good squeeze, clockwise and counter clockwise with opposite hands. Smile, take a deep breath in, and exhale as you move on.

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