Some of the most difficult poses in yoga are “arm balance poses,” in which you prop your body up into various positions by using the strength and stability of your arms — including crane pose, plank pose, firefly pose and more.
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But what if we told you that you didn’t have to be an advanced yogi to do an arm balance?
Prepare for your mind to be blown. Just follow these top six tips, and you’ll be on your hands in no time.
1. Start With Wrist Flexibility
This may come as no shock to you, but your wrists weren’t exactly built for arm balance poses, so you’ll have to improve the flexibility of this joint, according to Yoga Journal. Warm up your wrists for about five minutes, working on the full range of motion (forward, back, side to side). You can do this by making circle motions and/or get into tabletop position leaning forward and back with your hands turned in and out.
2. Think Step-By-Step
The reason arm balances are so intimidating is because we just focus on the final part of the move – what appears to be bodyweight floating on the hands. But Yogabasics.com says it’s much easier to “demystify a challenging pose by looking at its major components for clues on how to prepare or modify.” It’s like anything you learn – you have to break it down into steps and reach your goal with baby steps.
3. Find Your Centre Of Balance
Just jumping onto your hands isn’t going to cut it. If you’ve tried and failed, it’s likely because you put your weight on the heels of your hand. That’s the wrong way to go about it. That will make it easy for you to fall back. Instead, push your weight onto the tops of your palms and the base of your fingers. That’s the sweet balancing spot.
4. Engage Your Core
It’s all about the core, according to Rachelyoga.com. Think about when you’re in a plank; it holds your body tight. “Core strength means finding the connection from your big toes through the inner seams of your legs, through the pelvis floor and into the deepest layer of your abdominals.” This will help you to keep still, strong and balanced.
5. Do More Push-Ups
Get your upper body prepped for arm balances with push-ups, says Popsugar.com. Poses lie Crow require a strong upper body, making push-ups the perfect training exercise. You can modify, starting on your knees or against the wall, but it’s important to progress.
6. Get A Spotter
Grab a partner. You’re going to need them, especially if this is your first attempt at an arm balance. They can help lift you up into position, recommends Fitknitchick.com. But if you’re learning to do handstands, you can use a wall for support.