How to do Shoulder Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana)

Arm balances are super challenging. We’re used to supporting our weight with our feet, not our hands. And Bhujapidasana, or Shoulder Pressing Pose, is definitely up there with the best of them. But with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be lifting off in no time.

A busy mind is one of the biggest challenges in arm balances. Instead of playing the “I cannot” or “I am scared,” play the “I will try” game.

Do not let your mind dictate to your body what it can do. Jacqueline Buchanan

Try it out, and you will find that it is easier than you expected. However, it may be more difficult for your body and yourself than other arm balances.

Believe you can because you can. It might just take some work and a positive attitude to get you there.


The arm balance is a great way to tone your abs, arms, and shoulders. It also helps you strengthen your back. These balances are great for developing flexibility in our shoulders and balance on an area of our bodies we don’t normally use — our hands. Bhujapidasana also opens the hips.

Step by Step

Start in Malasana or Garland Pose.

Place your palms on the floor behind your ankles. Fingers face forward.

Raise your upper arm under the knees as high as you can. Bend the elbows to create a shelf.

Engage Uddiyana bhanda.

Play by lifting your feet off the mat, one at a time.

Cross your ankles if you can.

There are many restrictions, tips, tricks, and other things to consider.

Focus on the area where your inner thighs and upper arms touch. Press your arms against your thighs while also pressing your thighs against your arms. You will be able to maintain your balance and the pose longer.

When I do arm balances, I like to consciously reflect and say, “My feet are my legs, my hands are my arms.”

Distribute the weight equally between both hands and balance them.

Look up and not at your feet.

Remember to be patient. Some arm balances, like Bhujapidasana, can take many years of practice. You are meant to be wherever you are, in both this pose and your practice.

Avoid this difficult arm balance if your shoulder, wrist, or back are sensitive.

Warm up your hips before you attempt this pose. Consider poses such asĀ Eagle, which opens up the hips and shoulders. This pose is also a great peak pose to do between the standing series and the floor sequence. This will prepare the body and mind for the challenge. Another warm-up pose is the bound angle, which we discussed last week. Cradle Rocking and, of course, Malasana, or Garland Pose, are also great.

This pose can be followed with Upward Facing Dog, or you can flow through Chaturanga and Upward Facing Dog. Then, take some nourishing breaths while in Downward Facing Dog. Have fun!

Yoga isn’t serious. If you fail, just laugh and smile, and then try again. What are you waiting for? This advanced arm balance will challenge you to roll out your mat, warm up, and get ready!

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