Bakasana is an arm balance so requires strength and poise. But it is as much about stability, courage and successfully playing with your centre of gravity. So have some fun with it!
- Start in Malasana, squatting with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees wide and heels down on the mat if possible.
- Separate your knees wider than your hips and lean the torso forward.
- Stretch your arms forward, bend the elbows and place the hands on the floor with fingers spread wide and the backs of the upper arms against the shins.
- Learn your torso forward and wiggle your knees up towards your shoulders.
- Bending the elbows out to the side, engage your core and squeeze your inner thighs into the upper arms.
- Lift up onto the balls of your feet, learn forward even more and then take one foot, or both off the floor. Balance the torso and legs on the backs of the upper arms. This might be enough!
- As you progress in lifting both feet then and start to straighten the elbows, draw the inner edge of the feet together and have the knees firm to the outer arms, high up near the armpits.
- Keep the head in a neutral position with your eyes looking at the floor, or if your neck in comfortable, lift the head slightly and look forward.
- The next challenge is to jump back out of Bakasana into Chaturanga Dandasana … and then to float into the pose from down dog.
- Not for those who are pregnant, those with carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist / elbow issues.
- Strengthens arms, wrists, shoulders, inner thighs and abdomen. Stretches the upper back and groin. Builds confidence, courage and sense of combating fear.
- For students who are afraid of falling on their face, place a bolster on their mat.
- For those struggling to lift even one foot off the mat, place a block under both their feet to they get the feeling of height and they can lift off one foot at a time.
- For advanced students place a block under the feet and once the student is in the balance instruct them to pick up the block with the inner edges of their feet.
- Really encourage students to connect with their core – and to have fun!