fbpx

Arm Balance Yoga Poses

Many people are amazed when they see yogis doing complicated arm balances, and they think:

I could never do that. 

But the truth is….you can! 

It just takes learning the correct alignment, strength, mobility, and balance in order to achieve these wildly wonderful postures. 

While arm strength can seem intimidating at first, I promise that if you take my classes (or retreat) building upper body strength can also be fun.  

I like to teach strength through yoga postures themselves, rather than simply sneaking HIIT-like movements into my classes. Which is why I like to start by introducing beginner arm balances as a great way to train your upper body strength. This can help you to grow into trying more advanced arm balances in the future.

Arm balances provide so much more than physical strength. These postures also help to increase focus, balance, and mobility, as well. Plus, they’re not just about the upper body!

All arm balance poses, whether they’re foundational postures or an advanced arm balancing pose, are actually using the entire body. Sure, your shoulders and wrists need to be strong, but so does your core and your hip flexors. 

Needless to say, there’s a lot of moving parts in each unique arm balance posture. This is why I’m sharing a round up of 11 arm balance yoga poses today with a variety of difficulty levels. I’ll break down how to do each pose, and how you can start practicing these postures safely today.

Try my How To Handstand series to deepen your inversion practice!

Check out this post for an in depth breakdown on dolphin yoga pose

To deepen your hand balance practice, check out this post on scorpion yoga pose

Arm Balance Yoga Poses

11 Arm Balance Yoga Poses

Before we jump into my favorite arm balance yoga poses, I just want to remind you that your breath should always come first when you’re practicing. 

I say this, because oftentimes when we’re doing something new, something challenging, or going upside down- we tend to lose sight of the breath. 

I know it can feel tough not to clench your jaw and hold the breath when you’re facing a challenging new yoga pose. So let this reminder stay with you as you take time to play with these arm balances in your practice!

Practice at home with me for a totally FREE trial

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose is a beginner level arm balance posture that serves as the perfect way to build strength in the shoulders, and to get comfortable getting upside down. 

Start with your forearms on the ground at shoulder width distance (you can interlace your hands, or not). Inhale to tuck your toes so your knees are lifted from the ground, and your hips go skyward. Exhale to Dolphin Pose, walking your toes towards your elbows, and tilting your hips up.

Try my Practice Your Pincha series for more. 

Dolphin Pose

Arm Pressure Pose 

Arm Pressure Pose is another beginner-level arm balance that serves as a great entry point to Crow Pose, and other more advanced postures in the future. 

Start in Malasana (yogi squat), and use an inhale to lift your hips from the ground as you place your hands outside of your feet. Exhale Arm Pressure Pose by stablizing into the hands as you let the hips sink back behind you while staying lifted from the ground. And interlacing your ankles together in front of you.

Keep breathing, pressing your calves into your outer arms and much as you press out outer arms into your calves. 

Try my How To Handstand series to build more upper body strength). 

Elephant Trunk Pose

Elephant Trunk Pose (otherwise known as Eka Hasta Bhujasana) is a moderate level arm balance pose that serves as great prep for Crow Pose, and other more challenging arm balances in the future.

Start seated with your left leg extended in front of you, and your left leg wrapped around your outer right arm or elbow. Both hands are planted at your side. Inhale to lift your hips and feet off the ground by pressing a lot into your hands. And lifting your lower belly up and in. 

Make sure to do both sides.

Try my How To Handstand series to build more strength in your upper arms. 

Crow Pose

Crow Pose Bakasana is moderate level arm balance that really serves as a foundation for all future arm balances that you play with like Single Leg Crow Pose Eka Pada Bakasana

Start by placing your hands on the ground as wide as your shoulders, and looking forward. Make sure you continue to look forward to avoid somersaulting out of the pose. Inhale to bend your arms like Chatarunga arms (hugging elbows in) and place your knees on your tricep or towards your armpit. 

Exhale to Crow Pose by lifting your feet off the mat by hugging your heels towards your bum, and doming your upper back like you would for Cat Pose.

Check out my How To Handstand series to build more hand strength in your arm balances.

Crow Pose

8 Angle Pose

8 Angle Pose Astavakrasana is an intermediate arm balance that builds strength in the upper body, while also demanding flexibility, mobility, and activation in the legs, as well. 

Start like you would for Elephant Trunk Pose, only wrap the foot of your extended leg with the foot of the leg over your arm. Inhale to lift your hips off the ground. Exhale to 8 Angle Pose by shifting weight forward and bending the elbows into Chatarunga arms, as you extend the bound feet out to the side. 

Make sure to do both sides.

Try my How To Handstand series to build upper body strength.

Side Crow

Side Crow Parsva Bakasana is an intermediate level pose that requires shoulder strength, as well as deep core and oblique work in order to stabilize and balance. 

Start in Revolved Toe Stand facing the right side, and place your hands on the ground outside of your right foot. Inhale to bend the elbows into Chatarunga arms while lifting the hips slightly. Exhale to Side Crow by resting your outer right hip on the right elbow, and your outer right knee on your left elbow while lifting your feet off the ground. 

For more of a challenge rest only the right knee on the left elbow while lifting the feet. 

Make sure to do both sides. 

Check out my How To Handstand series to build core strength. 

Flying Pigeon Pose

Flying Pigeon is an intermediate level arm balance that not only uses strength in the upper body, but also requires a lot of flexibility and mobility in the hips, as well. 

Start in Standing Figure 4 Pose with the right ankle on the left left. Inhale to bend the left knee enough that you can place your hands on the ground at shoulder width distance, and look forward. Exhale to Flying Pigeon Pose by compressing through the low belly with the exhalation to lift the left heel towards your bum. 

For more of a challenge, extend your left leg long behind you.

Make sure to do both sides. 

Try my Journey To Splits series to open your hips in your yoga practice.

Flying Lizard Pose

Flying Lizard Pose Eka Pada Koundinyasana is an intermediate to advanced level pose that demands strength of the upper body, and a ton of flexibility, mobility and strength in the hips, as well. 

Start in Low Lizard Pose on the right side, placing your left hand under your shoulder, and your right hand outside of your right foot. Inhale to High Lizard by tucking your back toes, and lifting your back knee, as you bend the elbows into Chatarunga arms and shift your weight forward into your hands. 

Exhale to Flying Lizard by using the compression of the exhalation to lift your right foot off the mat while extending the leg out to the side. For the fullest expression, lift both legs off the mat, and keep your chest lifted. 

Make sure to do both sides. 

Try my Journey To Split series for more hip opening yoga poses.

Firefly Pose

Firefly Pose is an advanced level arm balance that requires upper body activation and strength, while also needing significant hip opening and leg strength. 

Start in Arm Pressure Pose with the bum already lifted. Inhale to unwind your interlaced ankles and work both legs towards straight. Exhale to compress more through the belly to work on lifting your hips higher from the mat while keeping the legs extended. 

Try my Journey To Splits series to build strength and flexibility in the hips.

Grasshopper Pose

Grasshopper Pose is an advanced level posture that requires upper body strength, and hip flexibility and mobility. 

Start in Revolved Standing Figure 4 Pose with the right ankle crossed over the left leg. Inhale place your hands on the ground outside of your left foot and bend into your arms like Chatarunga arms. 

Exhale to Grasshopper Pose by placing all of the weight into your hands while you pull your chest through the center. And stamp your right foot into our right tricep while lifting your left heel towards your bum. 

For the fullest expression, send your left leg long out to the right side. 

Make sure to do both sides. 

Try my Practice Your Pincha series to deepen your arm balance practice in yoga. 

Forearm Stand 

Forearm Stand in an advanced level arm balance that helps to build a ton of upper body strength, while also tonifying the core, improving focus, and balance. 

Start in Dolphin Pose. Inhale to 3 Legged Dolphin by lifting your right leg high, and looking forward between your arms. Exhale to Dolphin Pose by using the compression of the exhalation to hop. And hug your left thigh towards your belly while extending your right leg skyward. 

For the fullest expression, straight both legs overhead, creating a straight line through the spine. 

Make sure to play with hops on both sides. 

Try my Practice Your Pincha series for arm balances in yoga.

There you have it my friends! I hope you enjoyed this round up of all level arm balances that you can start incorporating into your yoga practice today

Arm Balance Yoga Poses - Forearm Stand 

Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments below!

xx, 

K

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top