Arm Balances

This arm balance yoga class combines the core strength and perspective challenges of inversions with the focus and feedback of the standing balance poses - all while balancing your body weight on your arms!

Arm balances are not only a further challenge to your focus and concentration, but also beneficial for your shoulders, elbows and wrists, when performed with proper alignment. Remember to keep the shoulder joint integrated and your arm muscles engaged. When the bones of a limb stack properly and are supported by 360 degree muscular engagement, they form a solid foundation for the entire body.

Finally, if you experience fatigue in your wrists, you can support the heels of your hands on the edge of a blanket or a wedge until you build strength and flexibility in your wrists. Remember that muscular engagement extends to your hands as well. While you don’t want a gripping contact with the ground, you do want your weight evenly distributed and all your fingers awake and your finger pads pressing into the ground. More than any other set of yoga poses, arm balances give the feeling of taking flight. So get ready to soar!

Things you might want to have handy: Yoga Mat, Yoga Towel or Blanket, Yoga Block, Yoga Wedge

It is recommended to perform the warm-up before starting this arm balance yoga class.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 1: Downward Facing Dog

Duration: exhale
Pose Review: Downward Facing Dog

Engage your core and lower bandhas, lifting your belly up and under your ribcage, feeling the support of your core. Firm your upper arms toward one another.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 2: Plank Yoga Pose
Duration: inhale
Pose Review: Plank Pose

Wave your spine forward by lifting strongly through your belly and sliding your heart forward between your shoulders


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 3: Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose
Duration: exhale
Arm Balance Yoga Pose Review: Upward Facing Dog

Rolling over your toes, draw your sternum forward and lengthen your tailbone toward your heels while maintaining space between ears and shoulders.

Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 4:
Repeat Steps 1-3
Duration: 10x

Move fluidly between Down Dog and Plank and Up Dog with the breath, building awareness as you move from your core and warming up your shoulders and neck.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 5: Warrior 1 Yoga Pose
Duration: 12 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Warrior 1

From Down Dog, Step forward to a high lunge, lower your back foot to the ground, angled out and bend your front knee. Lift your rib cage equally from your pelvis and lift your arms with easy shoulders. Focus on the opening in your hips.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 6: Repeat on other side

        
Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 7: Warrior 2 Yoga Pose
Duration: 12 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Warrior 2

From Mountain, step back to face the long side of your mat, bend your forward knee and reach your finger tips out at shoulder height. Center your rib cage over your hips. Focus on the sensations in your hips


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 8: Repeat on other side

    
Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 9: Squat Yoga Pose
Duration: 12 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Squat Yoga Pose

From Mountain, lower your hips until your buttocks are on or near your shins. Bring your elbows inside your knees and lift your pelvic floor and heart.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 10: Crow Yoga Pose
Duration: 10x
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Crow Yoga Pose

Place your hands on the ground between your knees, directly under your shoulders while hugging your knees into your upper arms transfer your weight onto your hands while lifting up through your navel strongly. You may lift one foot at first, or do this with your back to a wall and walk your feet up the wall. Keep your neck in neutral alignment. Your back will be rounded like a bee.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 11: Side Plank Yoga Pose
Duration: 12 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Side Plank Yoga Pose

Lay on one side on your mat with your legs fully engaged and pressing together, the outside of your bottom foot pressing into the floor. Put your bottom hand directly under your shoulder and, for now, rest your top hand on your hip. On an exhale lift your hips in line between your heels and head and reach your top hand up. You may take your great toe of the top foot in yoga toe lock and extend both top arm and leg.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 12: Repeat on the other side, transitioning through Plank Yoga Pose


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 13: Lotus Yoga Pose
Duration:1-2 minutes
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Lotus Yoga Pose

Sit in Staff Yoga Pose and draw one foot up to the opposite groin, sole up. You may stop here in half lotus, or repeat the same procedure with the other foot.  If this is not accessible today for any reason, simply take Easy Yoga Pose.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 14: Scale Yoga Pose
Duration: 5-12 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Scale Yoga Pose

From Lotus, press your hands into the ground beside you and strongly draw up through your pelvic floor and core, lifting off.  If Lotus is not accessible or to gain strength, you may sit on your feet and lift off to the extent of your ability.  You may also use blocks under your hands at first to find the extension required to lift off.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 15: Shoulder Stand
Duration: 5-25 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Shoulder Stand

From a supine position, press your elbows into the ground, draw your knees in and extend your legs up and overhead. Bring your hands to your low back and support it until your breath stabilizes. Reaching up through your toes, slowly bring your hips over your shoulders until your shoulders, hips and toes are in a line perpendicular to the ground. Breathe with your chest, keeping your core muscles fully engaged.


Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 16: Plow Yoga Pose
Duration: 5-25 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Plow Yoga Pose

Lower your feet behind your head without lowering your hips toward your chest. Maintain long side bodies. Reach your hands behind you and bring your hand together with straight arms.

    
Arm Balance Yoga Class Step 17: Fish Yoga Pose
Duration 5 breaths
Arm Balance Yoga Class Yoga Pose Review: Fish Yoga Pose

Unfurl through your core until your hips are on the ground. Bend your knees and bring your toes to the ground. Pressing your elbows into the ground, lift your heart up until you are balanced on your sitting bones and sacrum and reach the top of your head back to the ground. Reach your arms up.


Perform the relaxation sequence to complete this arm balance yoga class.


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