Step by Step
Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists. Firmly press your palms together and your forearms into the floor.
Curl your toes under, then exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the kneesslightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
Continue to press the forearms actively into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widenthem away from the spine and draw them toward the tailbone. Hold your head between the upper arms; don't let it hang or press heavily against the floor.
You can straighten your knees if you like, but if your upper back rounds it's best to keep them bent. Continue to lengthen your tailbone away from the pelvis and lift the top of your sternum away from the floor.
Stay between 30 seconds to oneminute. Then release your knees to the floor with an exhale.
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* Upper back
* Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
* Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and arches
* Strengthens the arms and legs
* Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause* Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
* Helps prevent osteoporosis
* Improves digestion
* Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
* Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica
Contraindications and Cautions
Shoulder or neck injuries, keep knees bent
Open your shoulders by liftingyour elbows on a rolled-up sticky mat and pressing your inner wrists firmly to the floor.
* Plank Pose
* Gomukhasana (arms only)
* Salabhasana (arms only)
Bakasana (Crane Pose)
A compact arm balance, Crane Pose tones and strengthens the abdominal organs and arms.
This pose is named in honor of Astavakra (literally, "eight curves"), a sage born, because of his father's curse, with deformed limbs, later made straight after bathing in the Samanga river.
Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)
This arm balance requires more core strength than arm strength.
Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)
In Hindu lore, the peacock is a symbol of immortality andlove.
Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I)
Eka Pada Koundinyasana I is a twist, but it's one in which the legs go in separate ways.
Tolasana (Scale Pose)
The head, torso, and legs hang from and balance on the hands like the pans of an old-fashioned scale.
Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose)
The key to Parsva Bakasana istwisting enough to place the outer edge of one upper arm far around the outside of the opposite thigh.
Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
Purvottanasana counteracts the effects of Chaturanga by stretching the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and anterior deltoids.
Dolphin Plank Pose
A modification of Plank Pose, Dolphin Plank Pose strengthens and tones the core, thighs, andarms.
Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)
This pose is also commonly called Forearm or Elbow Balance.
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
The challenging yoga push-up frequently practiced as part of the traditional Sun Salutation sequence.
Plank Pose is a good precursor to more challenging arm balances.
Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II...