Arm Balances are challenging poses that focus and calm the mind. They simultaneously demand and develop strength in the wrists and arms.
By harnessing stillness of body into stillness of mind, you discover balance and focus that is needed in everyday life.
Strong body, strong mind
Getting into an arm balance takes tremendous strength. Staying there takes determination and practice. This is the connection between physical body and subtle body. Finding balance in daily activities takes strength of character. Staying with that balance demands determination of mind.
Modify if necessary
Arm balances are not necessarily appropriate for everyone:
Individuals with chronic or acute wrist pain or injury should not attempt arm balances. Instead, advise students to press their palms into the mat and apply increasing pressure. This modification will provide the same strengthening attribute of arm balances without the pressure of body weight on the wrists.
Silence the chatter
Arm balances can be a fun and invigorating challenge and require intense concentration. The concentration and mental focus can help quiet unnecessary emotional chatter.
Stay within your limits
There is no “getting there” in yoga poses. Challenging poses are a useful tool to find harmony between breath and movement, but one should not be discouraged if a pose isn’t physically available. Reinforce the principle of ahimsa (non-harming of any being, including the self) – if a pose hurts, don’t do it. There is nothing to be gained from injury during asana.