Last week we were speaking about playing our edge in way of Trying Easy instead of Trying Hard. This week I’d like to bring that concept into Balance poses as well as a challenging arm balance called Lolasana.
The histories of poses like Padmasana (Lotus Pose) are long forgotten, but we do know something about Lolasana's past. It was once known as jhula ("to swing" in Hindi) and belonged to a system of Indian gymnastics described in the early text "Light on Exercise" (Vyayama Dipika). The Mysore Palace's yoga teacher, T. Krishnamacharya, used the classic and elevated some of the exercises to asana status changing the face of traditional yoga forever.
As we move through our practice, keep in mind your “edge” and how you are approaching that point. Watch your alignment as it will definitely help you to keep your balance. Finally, use your breath to create the pose in a soft “repose”. If we approach balance poses with hardness rather that fluidity, the pose will lack that inner sweetness and juice that keeps it alive!
- 3 part breath either laying down or sitting up
- Nadhi Sodhana Breathing
Anusara Balance Vinyasa by Desiree Rumbaugh
- Supta Paddangusthasana Reclined Hand to Big Toe
- Uttanasana on Toes - Upward Salute on Toe - Squat on Toes
- 5 Sun Salutations
- Handstand – Integrate the Action of your Arms
- Triangle Trikonasana
- Extended Side Angle
- Seated Forward Bend Paschimottanasana
- Head to Knee Janu Sirsasana
1. Legs Up – Lower 1 or Both at a time
2. Sacrum Raises Legs Straight Up
3. Side Plank
- All 4’s – Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Cobra Bhujangasana
- Tadasana – Vrksasana Tree Pose
- Virabhadrasana 3 Warrior 3
- Ardha Chandrasana Half Moon
- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose Standing
- Parsvottanasana Intense Side Stretch
- Garudasana Eagle Pose
- Dog to Wild Thing
- Vasisthasana Side Plank with Top Leg Raised
- All 4’s – Left leg under Right
- Sit back in Gomukhasana Legs
- Up to feet and Revolve to Parsvottanasana
- Into Prasarita Padottanasana
- Parsvottanasana on other side
- Down to Gomukhasana Legs
- Marichyasana Twist – Continue to other side
Balance Poses on a Block: Core strength and balance
- Utthita Eko Padonttanasana,
Lolasana - How to come into the Pose: 2 Blankets and 2 Blocks
- Neutral tabletop position, round your back again by spreading your scapulas into the resistance of your outer arms. Imagine energy running down your outer arms from your shoulders to the floor (earth anchor), its counterpart flowing up your inner arms to your torso (Sky).
- The belly is the secret. Round your back by pulling your navel toward your spine and closing the space between your pubis and sternum. Counter the lift of your navel by pressing your index finger bases deep into the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, release, take a few breaths, and repeat a few times more.
- If you have a long torso and short arms you’ll definitely need a
On an inhalation, lengthen your front torso. On an exhalation, ball your torso up, lift your knees away from the floor but keep your feet on the ground. This modified Lolasana, with the feet still on the floor, can substitute for the full version for now. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds with your head in a neutral position. Release your knees to the floor, take a few breaths, recross your ankles, and repeat.
- Full Pose - try to lift the shins away from the floor as you lift your knees on the exhalation. Here's one more secret (assuming the right ankle is crossed below the left): In the ready position, lift your left knee off the floor, then when you exhale into your ball, push that knee downward, using the right ankle as a fulcrum, and squeeze your right shin firmly up. The left leg will act like a lever to lift the ball of your body away from the floor.
- Shoulder Stand Sarvangasana
- Plow Halasana
- Cross from Down Dog
- Jathara Parivartanasana
Balance and Breath by Cyndi Lee
Riding balance, being on the threshold of a doorway, does not require making a fixed choice, but allows us to be more than one thing. When we explore balance, we are expanding our options. This is yoga-finding the relationship between apparent opposites…….Learning to ride the movement of balance is a way to gain the confidence to make new choices, to expand the choices, to learn how to rest in the gray areas.