Today we are working on forearm balance, also called Pincha Mayurasana. Watch my video above. I will take you step-by-step through this challenging pose, giving you tips and techniques.
I think forearm balance is the most challenging inversion. It requires open shoulders and upper body strength. Usually, students are already practicing headstand, and maybe handstand, before working on the forearm balance.
Having said that, you can do this! You may not get this one overnight, but you will feel the strength it requires as soon as you start practicing it. The best way to build your upper body strength and keep opening your shoulders is consistency.
I’ve never been a fan of flinging your body into any inversion. Headstand, handstand, or forearm balance. The inner and outer strength and gentle focus is a much better way to achieve a solid inversion.
So here are a few extra tips to achieve this pose.
1. If you feel more comfortable at a wall, please move your mat to a wall. I was at the wall for over a year on this pose!
2. The foundation in this pose is key. Try your best to align your elbows directly behind your wrists; spread your fingers so you can get a good wide foundation with your hands. This will keep your shoulders in alignment.
3. Keep your gaze somewhere in-between your elbow and your wrists: you don’t need to crank your head forward, and you don’t need to look back behind you. Find a comfortable head position; believe it or not, your head is part of the balancing of this pose. It matters how flexible and how tall you are for head placement. You will find a comfortable place to gaze, it should feel like your head is resting.
4. Press down to go up. Use your strength, not momentum to go up. In the beginning, this is the biggest challenge! If you need a tiny hop to get up, take it. Remember, there’s a difference between a tiny hop, and flinging your body. Remember, press down to go up. Eventually, (this was 1 year for me), you will be able to go up with poise and grace; all through the strength, and the head placement.
5. I feel really tall in this pose-through extension. The moment I bend knees, the energy lines break in the body, and I can’t find my balance. Keep reaching up for the sky!
6. Flexibility! As you watch this video, you can see the flexibility in my hamstrings, reaching for the sky, before I ever get air time. The more you reach and lengthen, you are increasing the flexibility in your hamstrings. If you want more flexibility, you can hold the reach for 5 breaths, before you try to go up in the pose. Make sure and do both sides!!
7. Believing you can do this pose, is more important than all the other tips. Stay calm in the mind, be right here, right now, when doing forearm balance. Deep down, know that you will be doing this pose. Visualize yourself getting into it, staying in it, coming out of it. You’ve got this!
Have a beautiful day!
If you would like to work on your forearm balance, you can watch this step by step video where I use a strap. This is how I first learned to do this advanced inversion!