This One yoga pose will help you conquer arm balances

Have you been dreaming of integrating Astavakrasana (Figure 8 Pose) or Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose) into your practice but do not know where to start? Do your arms feel like they could never support you, and you’re afraid you’re going to fall? You are not alone! Welcome to the world of yogis just trying their best and playing around with arm balances, one faceplant at a time.

We challenge ourselves as yogis to think bigger, love better, and try these funky arm balances. It’s time to master ONE yoga posture to conquer the rest. Here, we will go through the steps of getting Kakasana. You will be surprised at how simple it is to perform other arm balances once you’ve got Kakasana.

Wrist Flexion stretches and arm strengthening exercises: Building the base

Warming up your body is important. Begin your practice by performing three to five Surya Namaskars A and B.

Surya Namaskars can be a great way to warm up the entire body. However, most of the time, the hands are in wrist extension. You can increase your range of motion and mobility by counter-stretching the wrists. This will also improve blood flow to your hands. The increased blood flow will warm the ligaments and muscles, reducing the risk of wrist injury. Padahastasana is the traditional way to stretch the hands.

You can try planks with your wrists in flexion if you have flexible and healthy wrists. To protect your wrists, keep the shoulders aligned over the wrists.

Toe Lifts and Head Dips: Learn to Fly with Head Lifts & Toe Lifts

It takes courage, strength, and balance to build up to Kakasana. These practices will challenge your core, change your balance, and make you fly outside of your comfort zone.

Toe Lifts

As you lower your hands, gently shift the weight to the arms. Lift your feet alternately, aiming to bring the toes together with the bottom. As you lift your feet, add more weight to the components. One day, both of your feet will be able to lift at once. To build balance and arm strength, you can start by practicing with a small block under your head.

Face Dips

Fear of falling flat on your face is one of the most frightening and limiting beliefs about arm balances. This exercise allows you to fall and get back up intentionally. To cushion the landing, I use a yoga bolster. A yoga block can be placed under your feet for extra height and to provide more arm space.

Tape your crown to the floor with little or no weight. Avoid lifting or over-tucking your chin, as this can cause neck injury. Use your core and back strength to raise yourself back up.

Kakasana is the Winner

You are now ready to experiment with Kakasana. Place the hands under the shoulders in Malasana, the Squat Pose. Bend the arms gently. Start by shifting weight from your legs to your components. Draw your belly button upwards, lengthen your spine, and send energy forward through the sternum.

Lift in Kakasana while forming a tight ball. Hold this arm balance slowly for 5-10 slow breaths. (When you first learn, use a block or two blocks to balance your shoulders and head).

The Next Steps and Alternative Preparatory Pose

You might notice that your arms are stronger after playing with Kakasana. This allows you to straighten them and move into Bakasana or another arm balance, like Eka Pada Bakasana I (One-Legged Crane Pose). You might choose to focus on the core. For example, you could do Navasana for balance and Vrksasana for strength.

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