Preparing for Arm Balances

In my personal yoga practice, I am currently working on 8-angle pose, an arm balance posture  that is challenging my arm, core and hip adductor strength.   Arm balances look very challenging, but with enough strength, poses such as 8-angle, crane and peacock are possible.  The key is to build up strength slowly over time, focusing on the arms, scapulae, abdominals and hip muscles.  Here are some more approachable asanas that practiced over time will allow any yoga practitioner to safely build up to arm balances. 

8-Angle Pose



  • Begin on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders
  • Walk the legs back so your knees are straight and your toes are pointed under
  • Pull your shoulder blades in as you lift your thighs up
  • Hold from 15-90 seconds, focusing on widening the shoulder blades, keeping the abdominals pulled in and the thighs active.  Keep the neck relaxed



    • Beginning in plank pose as described above, bend your elbows, keeping them pulled in to hug the ribs, coming down to create no more than a 90° angle.
    • Hold this position for 5-90 seconds, keeping the arms, abdominals and legs active.  Again, the neck should be relaxed. 
    • Either return to plank or drop all the way to the ground to come out of the pose.


  • Begin on the floor with your knees directly under the hips and forearms on the floor, shoulders directly above your wrists. Firmly press your palms together and your forearms into the floor.
  • Curl your toes under, then straighten your knees and lift the hips up, coming into a similar leg position as downward facing dog.
  • Hold the position 15-90 seconds while actively pressing the forearms into the floor, widening the shoulder blades, relaxing the neck and lengthening the tailbone up. 
  • Bring the knees back down to the mat to come out of the pose



  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent, resting your feet on the mat
  • Hold behind your knees and lift the spine
  • Shift your weight slightly back without relaxing the back
  • Slowly lift up the legs and balance, either maintaining the knee bend or straightening them for additional challenge
  • Hold for 10-90 seconds, focusing on keeping the spine long.  To come out of the pose, drop one foot down at a time


 Photo credits: and personal photos


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vancouver buddy
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 00:45:07

    This yoga position you’ve shared here is good but people must be very careful before trying out this kind of arm balances. You don’t wanna get injured.


  2. Jpseed
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 16:00:15

    It is always difficult to get knowledgeable people with this issue, nevertheless, you be understood as you understand exactly what you are posting about! Appreciate it!


  3. Susanna Holtmann
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 22:46:17

    I conceive this web site holds some really great information for everyone. “He is able who thinks he is able.” by Buddha.


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