Arm balances. Yes, the poses you see in yoga magazines and get all bent out of shape over (mentally). Or maybe your jaw drops slightly in wonder. Perhaps you just turn the page and pretend you didnt see that. And then if you're like me, you flip back to it because you never turn down a challenge.
If I've learned anything in the past years of practicing yoga, it's that life is about balance. I know- I'm a writing cliche today but just bear with me. Arm balances require general strength but well, they are really about balance. Practicing these asanas has brought me back to my body and the present moment time and time again. My awareness is acutely focused and I am able to make minute modifications to my body position that result in balance. I don't swing my legs wildly or jump off my heels into crow. I assess what needs to be done and take small steps to accomplish it. And if I fall over- guess what? I just try again!
Now onto this pose...
1. Squat low to the ground with your knees spread wide.
2. Place your palms on the ground so the outsides of your arms are touching the inside of your knees. Hug your arms a bit with your knees for balance. Your feet should be close together if not together, still touching the ground.
3. Gently take your chest parallel to the ground by lifting your hips up. Your elbows should be stacked over your wrists.
4. Bend your elbows and lift your feet up off the ground. You can practice lifting one foot at a time until you are comfortable.
Simple as that, right? Give yourself a break and practice. It's not always easy but it does get easier! Once you get the hang of it, you may want to try straightening your arms. Regardless, arm balances are fun asanas to play with so go enjoy your yoga practice!