Sway with the Times, Soar with the Cranes

I think that most yoga students toss aside the arm balances as too difficult or strenuous, thinking, incorrectly, that they require a great deal of arm strength.  When I started as a student, my arms were plenty strong but I couldn’t manage a single arm balance, and it took years to sort out what allowed these poses to “happen.”  And that’s how I view them, as a pleasant result rather than something forced with willpower.  When it goes well, the feeling is one of lightness and ease, as though levitating (one of the yogic “superpowers” in the yoga sutras).  Rather than a feeling of accomplishment, however, I notice (or go for) passivity in the brain while holding the pose.

The following sequence will hopefully give a taste of how to attain this sensation.

One Reply to “Sway with the Times, Soar with the Cranes”

  1. Thank you , Dave!

    In Lolasana I tied my shins to my thighs but never did get my feet of the ground. I tried with higher and higher heights under my hands, too. The highest height was a step stool with a giant foam block on top of that. By then, my knees were so far off the ground that it was obvious I just didn’t know how to get the feet up.

    In Tolasana I took Ardha Padmasana, looped a figure-8 belt around the legs to keep them together, used a step stool under each palm and got up! (both leg crossings) This was a first for me.

    I wonder if I tried Tolasana in Swastikasana, and succeeded, if that would should me what I would need to do in Lolasana, since the leg crossing would be similar.

    I tried Bakasana, had a bit of trouble with dry, slippery skin so my legs wanted to skid off of my arms. Lifting up starting with toes on the ground was a problem, so I tried with height under my toes. I tried with the giant foam blocks to begin, felt that less height would be better, gradually worked my way down and finally had a few small (one second?) flights when I started with my toes on a double fold blanket. These little flights were also a first for me.

    And Sarvangasana really was lovely, with light, strong legs.

    How I *long* for us all to be together again in person!


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