In this workshop we look at the arm balances in the third series of Ashtanga Yoga. Even though these come very late in traditional Ashtanga Yoga they are actually within reach for many practitioner, well at least in their simple state without the entry and exit from tripod headstand. The insights that David gives will be useful for any yoga practitioner seeking to improve or introduce arm balances into their practice.
Our shoulder is a precision instrument that simultaneously has a vast scope in its range of motion. With pinpoint precision we can synchronise our shoulder muscles to maneuver our arm to point our finger precisely at our object of choice – an action that requires the coordinated recruitment of numerous muscles that surround our shoulder joint like a clock.
Arm balancing postures and positions such as the Cataranga Dandasana (the push-up) can be very exhilarating. They can energise you by increasing your circulation and they are also good at developing chest, arm and core strength. When done correctly they can really help relieve and prevent back and neck pain and can give direct stimulation to the heart and lungs.
I remember seeing this image and thinking it looked like Mark was floating. And then I thought about how hard it is to do Mayurasana let alone to balance on one arm like that. So of course when I caught up with Mark in Goa recently I just had to find out how to do it. Knowing is one thing and doing is quite another. Good luck with this one 🙂