The sun is perfect and you woke this morning. You have enough language in your mouth to be understood. You have a name, and someone wants to call it. Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it. If we just start there, every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible. If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world.
If you’re like me, you see pictures like the ones above and have one of two reactions. The first is, “Oh my god, I wish I could do that!” And the second one is, “..yeah, there’s no way I can do that.” Whatever reaction you may have, I’m here to tell you that you CAN do that. Arm balances are the most difficult of yoga poses, but are more than possible for anyone to do. The four keys to being able to do arm balances are strength, flexibility, mental discipline and practice. Let’s go over all of these points individually.
Strength: You wanna start with the basics here. Plank pose, Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Chaturanga Dandasana, and Boat Pose (Navasana). Arm balances require two kinds of strength, upper body/arm strength, and core strength. All of these poses will help you build that strength up. Start with regular practice of Plank and Downward Facing Dog. These poses put weight on the arms and shoulders, and build up isometric strength your pectoral muscles (chest), deltoids (cap of your shoulder) and triceps (back of your upper arm). When you’re feeling like you’ve built some strength and have been practicing these poses enough, it’s time to move onto some Chatarungas and Vinyasa flows. Push-ups can also help you with this process of building strength. For abdominal and core strength, try Boat pose.
Flexibility: Flexibility is a huge factor in any yoga practice, and regular practice of yoga will help you build up your flexibility. Basic poses like Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) and (Mountain Pose) can help with your flexibility. Any forward folds and twists will help you achieve the flexibility needed to get safely into these complicated arm balances.
Mental Discipline: This is one of the biggest parts of arm balances and inversions. So may of us are afraid of falling. And you know what? You might fall. You probably will on your first few tries. But you have to keep going. You have to have the mental strength and courage to deal with failure, and keep trying. Going upside down is something that scares a lot of people, but mind over matter comes into play here. Again, what’s the worse that could happen? You’ll fall? True strength comes from falling, but getting up and trying again.
Practice: The key to being good at anything and everything is practice. Daily practice of yoga will help with your health - mentally and physically. Practicing arm balances daily will help you perfect them until you can get up and into them without a second thought.
Good luck, love and light to you all! Namaste.
(photo sources are unknown, found via google search. please let me know if you know any of these amazing ladies so I can link to their blogs!)
Some leg progress🍩🍰🍪
Irish boxing champion Elsie Connor, August 5, 1931 in New York City