Tolasana

Tolasana = Scale pose, as the body hangs in balance between the supporting arms. You need to be comfortable in padmasana for this, otherwise use a modification given below.

Instructions

1. From dandasana, fold the legs into padmasana. Spread the fingers wide and place the palms on the ground next to the hips.

tolasana1

2. Modification for tight hips: perform this with legs in sukhasana instead of padmasana.

3. On an exhale, push into the hands, squeeze deep into the pelvic floor to fire up mula bandha and into the core for uddiyana bandha to get a sense of lightness that helps to lift the buttocks and legs up and away from the ground. Keep the spine straight and press into the entire palms through to fingertips to protect the wrists. Gaze softly at the nose tip.

tolasana2

4. Beginner modification: use blocks under the palms to ease the lift-off.

5. Hold for 5 breaths to start, increasing with practice. On an exhale, bend the elbows and lower back to the ground. Release the legs and repeat with a change in the crossing of legs for the same duration.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoycuapHbbQ

Benefits
• Improves concentration and sense of balance
• Strengthens and tones wrists, arms shoulders and abdominal muscles
• Stimulates internal organs
• Calms the mind

Muscles engaged
• Abdominal muscles contract: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis
• Muscles in the arms contract: deltoids, biceps brachii, triceps brachii
• Muscles in the trunk contract: mid and lower trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor
• Muscles in the outer hip stretch: gluteus medius, tensor fascia lata

Contraindications
• Shoulder and wrist injuries or pain
• Knee and ankle injuries or pain – perform with suggested modification
• Tight hips or thighs – perform with suggested modification

Deepening the pose
• Increase the duration of the lift
• While suspended, perform 20 pumps of kapalabhati

by Jasmin, Sep 2014 Weekday YTT