I’ve put together a short list of arm balances that are awesome options to start to bring flight into your practice! It’s important to have a strong base built up in your practice as arm balances can often be intense shapes for the wrists, shoulders, core, as well as other areas of the body. Arm balances look beautiful and strong yogis make them look easy, but that is often the furthest thing from the truth. These can sometimes take years of strength building and flexibility to achieve, but when you’re ready, they can be a fun and challenging direction to take your yoga practice in. Remember to warm up before you begin working on these!
Eka Pada Koundinyasana I: One Legged Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya 1- (This pose is sometimes called Side Crow in different yoga circles, but technically if you are balancing on both arms, it is One Legged Koundinya Pose. Side crow using one arm is called Parsva Bakasana). Here is a video that shows how to get into it pretty well. If you click the pictures below the first video, they show it from different angles which we found so helpful!
Bhujapidasana: Shoulder Pressing Pose - Lets just say there are a lot of mediocre how-to videos out there! Thankfully, I found one that I really like. This video also goes into another pose that you can transition into easily (meaning the transition is easy, not the pose itself haha!) from Bhujapidasana, Tittibhasana: Firefly Pose.
Baby Bakasana/Bala Kakasana: Baby Crow - Possibly the silliest pose you’ve ever seen. I could watch this video all day!
Astavakrasana: Eight Angle Pose - So for this pose, I’ve attached two video links. The first one follows instructions more traditionally taught to get into 8 angle, the second video shows a different way to get into it, with the assist of some blocks. I definitely recommend watching and giving both variations a try!
Eka Pada Koundinyasana II: One Legged Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya 2/ Flying Splits - The second Variation of Eka Pada Koundinyasana. Honestly it’s a bit hard to find a How To video of this pose that doesn’t make it seem like it’s easy to get into. This is a hard pose! Sometimes yoga teachers forget how complicated some of these poses can be as well as how many aspects go into making them possible. This video is a bit long, but pretty thorough. She starts getting into the actual pose around 7minutes 30seconds. She also addresses using the second arm as a support vs. not using the second arm as support and why.
(L-Shaped) or 1/2 Adho Mukha Vrksasana: (L-Shaped) or 1/2 Handstand - An awesome introduction pose to handstand. This video has a good beginning, but instead of starting with the legs high up the wall, she starts with them at the bottom and walks them up to the 90 degree angle. I’ve been taught to start with a shallow down down, stepping both legs up the wall, and then walking them down to the 90 degree angle while looking at the wall and drawing the hips above the shoulders and wrists. I love seeing this poses from a different perspective!
Hope you enjoy working on these poses, feel free to comment and reach out with any questions or suggestions!