Arm Balances: Five Reasons to Kick Your Feet Up!

Embodying lightness, balance, and joy

Kick up your feet in arm balances this week! Here's why by Leslie Glenn...

Yoga is a practice, some days more challenging than others, full of ebbs and flows just like our lives. I love all faucets of the practice from the precision of a mindful alignment class, the cadence of breath and movement in a vinyasa sequence to the stillness and self love of yin or restorative.

Although I love it all, arm balances in particular have always held a special place in my heart. The challenging nature of the poses helps us to step into a state of presence on our mat, overcome fears, and embody lightness, balance and joy. They have a unique way of opening us up to the possibilities, building a combination of humility, self confidence and potentiality along the way. There are many reasons to include  arm balances in your practice and today I thought I would share my top five in no particular order.

Five Reasons to Kick Your Feet Up:

  1. Playfulness: Arm Balances bring sense of lightness and playful energy to your practice. Although they can be challenging they are also a lot of fun! A good opportunity to let go of expectations and not take ourselves or our practice to seriously. Entering the poses with a open mind and joyful heart helps us to embody lightness and strike a balance between the effort and ease of the poses.
  2. Grace, inner strength, and beauty: The true beauty of these poses for me is in the subtle grace required to hold and stabilize efficiently. The realization that your don’t need to muscle or force your way into the balance but prepare the body in a mindful way, hone your inner strength and stability and soften into a state of balance.
  3. Presence: Holding an arm balance, even just for a moment takes a deep level of focus and concentration. Even though it may look like a static pose, there is a constant array of micro-adjustments and engagements being made to find the balance point. Remembering to breathe, engaging the deep core stabilizers, pressing the floor away to find buoyancy, shifting the gaze forward all help us to step into a deep state of presence and awareness.
  4. Change in perspective: Kick your feet up with an arm balance, try something new, maybe try a different approach or variation of your favorite pose and see how it makes you feel. Practice radical acceptance by letting go of expectations and see what life has to offer today with an open mind. A shift in perspective can help you to break free from old habits on the yoga mat or off!
  5. Conquering fears: You are capable of more than you know. Arm Balances often help us step out of our comfort zone, to overcome obstacles and self doubt we have unduly build up throughout our live and conquer fears. They can be humbling one day and empowering the next, allowing us the strength and agility to navigate through fear, judgement, mental and physical blocks in a daily way.  Above all it’s a practice to build self love, self confidence and open up the the possibilities and potentiality of life.
Taya Smythe