Arm Balance, Hip Opener
Setup and Key Actions
Begin in dandasana, staff pose. Keep your left leg extended, and bend your right knee, wrapping your hands around your right shin, and drawing the right knee back toward you. Bring your right hand to your right shin and your left hand to your right foot, lifting your foot up off of the floor. Then bring your right arm inside your right leg to work your leg up over your upper arm. Hold onto your right calf with your right hand. Lift your right heel up and move your right thigh back to make space to work your leg up over your upper arm/upper arm under your leg. Keep working with those actions: heel up, thigh back, upper arm under, until your leg is as high up on your arm as it comfortably can be. Hug your leg against your arm to keep it in place as you lower your hands to the floor beside your hips. Lengthen through your spine. Keep your feet flexed. Press your hands into the floor and resist back through your left heel; keeping your heel on the floor, see if you can lift your hips up off of the floor. Keeping your hips lifted, extend out through your left heel and lift your heel off of the floor. Now you’re in eka hasta bhujasana (leg over arm pose).
From here, bend your left knee in toward you and cross your left ankle over your right ankle. Keeping your feet flexed and your ankles crossed, extend your legs straight and off to the right as you bend your elbows (pointing them straight back like chaturanga) and lean your chest forward. Keep the fronts of your shoulders lifted (don’t let them dip forward) and your gaze slightly forward.
To get more height for liftoff, practice with blocks underneath your hands (set up your blocks right beside your hips at their lowest height).