If you want to feel powerful in an arm balance without getting into an inversion, then elephant trunk pose or eka hasta bhujasana (one-leg-over-arm balance) is a great challenge for you!

Benefits: 

Strengthens the arms, shoulders and abdominals, opens hips, and stabilizes the pelvic girdle. Improves balance and coordination. 

How to:

  1. Start in seated staff pose, dandasana
  2. Draw your right knee into your chest, placing your foot onto the mat. Keep your left leg extended. 

Side note: Take time to make sure your hips are nice and open, either stretching before you begin the pose, or easing your way into the pose with longer stretches between each step. With your knee in, for example, you can take the time to open and close the hips in order to create space. 

  1. Thread your right arm underneath your right knee, placing your right hand on the ground. 
  2. Using your left hand, you play around with the position of your right leg, trying to bring it higher up onto your right arm, eventually bringing the bend of your knee to rest on your right triceps. 
  3. Actively engage your right leg so it’s almost hugging your right arm, maintaining its position as high as you are able to take it. If you relax your leg, you’ll notice it sliding down your right arm. 
  4. Making sure your fingers are pointing forward and in the same line with your hips, then press into your palms as you lift your left leg (point your toes!) and then your hips. You can start by alternating, in a sort of rocking motion back and forth with your hips and then your legs lifting off the mat. 
  5. When you’re ready, lift both the hips and the leg and come into the full expression of the pose. 

Modify it:

Try lifting in a cross-legged or lotus position first, so that the flexibility isn’t an issue. Keep either your bottom or your long leg on the mat until you’re ready to lift everything. 

 

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