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Arm balance sequence

Ignite inner strength and radiance with this arm balance sequence. By Teresa Yap-Young

This arm balance sequence fires the core,  building shoulder strength and hip flexibility. It is ideal for practitioners who want to start incorporating Intermediate arm balances into their practice.

Keep your mind calmly focused, breathe and enjoy the warmth that radiates from the core as the solar plexus (manipura) chakra is opened.

Before attempting this sequence ensure wrists and shoulders are warm. As this sequence involves hip flexibility prepare by taking Firelog Pose (Agni Stambhasana) and Compass Pose (Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana).

To start this sequence:

From a seated position, inhale and lift your left thigh on top of your left shoulder, squeezing it firmly to hold it there. Now lift your left leg and cross the left foot over the right. Placing your hands shoulder-distance apart in front of you, exhale and start to bend at the elbows. As your weight moves forwards stack your shoulders over your hands whilst squeezing your thighs around your arm. Notice that you will start to float off the ground as you push into your hands and straighten your legs to the left coming into Eight Angle pose  (Astravakrasana). Hold for five breaths. (Photo 1)

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Inhale, keep your core activated as you release the cross of your ankles. Exhale wrap your bottom leg around your left forearm whilst on an inhalation lengthen your right leg forward coming into Scissors (Eka Pada Koundinyasana B variation). Notice how with one leg forward, one back, your torso is balanced. Stay for five breaths. (Photo 2)

Arm balance sequence

Keep activating through your core. Inhale and straighten your arms to create space to extend the right leg back. Simultaneously bend your left leg to move it from the outside of your left forearm to inside of it. Exhale and notice how you need to bend your arms now to shift your centre of gravity forwards to keep the back leg floating, coming into Flying Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana). Stay for five breaths. (Photo 3)

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To complete this circuit, push firmly into your arms and bring the back leg through, whilst releasing the front the leg and taking it to the side to once again find Eight Angle Pose.

To finish come into a comfortable seated position, one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly. Notice your breath and allow it to settle. Sense the energy which is radiating from your solar plexus chakra. You may connect to a feeling of vibrancy spreading through every cell in your body once this solar centre has been activated.

Stay and seep in this feeling, perhaps laying down and taking rest in Corpse Pose (Savasana).

Photos by Ness Sherry

Teresa Yap-Young

Bedfordshire based Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga teacher. Teresa has been practicing yoga for over twenty years and teaching for five.