Today's Daily Tip
The Secret to Better Arm Balances?
BHUJAPIDASANA (Shoulder-Pressing Pose)
Although the balancing point in this pose is very narrow and you're likely to end up on your bum a few times, Bhujapidasana requires less effort to sustain than Bakasana or Parsva Bakasana.
Stand in Tadasana with your feet as wide as your mat. Bend your knees deeply and fold your torso between your inner thighs. Remember tucking the shoulder under the knee in the lunging variation of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana? Well, here goes: Tuck your shoulders between your inner knees as deeply as you can and put your hands on the floor behind your heels. Your fingers should point forward, not to the side or backward. Bend your knees and begin to sit on the backs of your upper arms. If it's still difficult to bring the heels of your hands to the floor, ease off and continue working on the prep poses so you create more flexibility in the hips and groins and protect your wrists. Squeeze your thighs strongly against your upper arms, lean back until your feet lift, and cross your right ankle over your left. Draw your navel toward your spine and extend your arms until they're straight.
Once you've found your narrow threshold of balance, your arm bones will absorb much of your weight and allow your muscles to work less intensely. Let go of any unnecessary tension—particularly in the jaw and eyes—and settle into your breath for as many rounds as you can.
Jason Crandell (jasonyoga.com) is the yoga director for the San Francisco Bay Club. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at studios around the country.!--page-->