Hello yogis! In this week’s fun pose friday we’ll take a look at scale pose. In Sanskrit it’s been called tolasana as well as utpluthi.
Scale is an arm balance that requires us to summon our core strength. You can find it in Vinyasa classes, but for sure you’ll visit this posture as the last pose in the Ashtanga Primary Series.
The first step for getting into tolasana is to get yourself into lotus pose, or padmasana. To help protect the knee joints, you can flex your feet while holding lotus.
Next, place your hands on the ground, next to your hips. Spread your fingers to create a firm base and ground into your hands to provide adequate support for your shoulders.
On an exhale, push down into the hands, engage the core and begin to lift the tail bone and legs up off the floor. They may just lift a tiny bit and maybe just for a second– at first, any lift off is great! If you can hold it, make sure to hold the posture, but not your breath. Inhale, exhale, repeat. 🙂
Try to hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds and on an exhale, lower back down. Change the cross of the legs and hold for the same amount of time.
If you are having a hard time lifting up into scale, you can build up toward the pose by engaging the muscles in your hands, arms and abdominal muscles and pushing down into the ground. Placing blocks underneath your hands and doing the pose that way can also be a great way to get into scale if you are unable to lift the body with hands placed on the floor.
Benefits of scale pose include:
• Strengthens the wrists, and the muscles in the arms, shoulder, and abdomen
• Stretches your outer hip and leg muscles.
Not all bodies can support the rotation in the femur bone that lotus calls for. So listen to your body, and don’t force your legs into lotus if they don’t seem to want to go there!
If you can’t access lotus, or have knee issues that make it difficult, the pose can also be performed from lots of other poses/variations: half lotus, or with legs crossed and both feet on the ground, or prep for this pose with lolasana (see photo below for options and preparatory poses).
Having trouble lifting up? Try crossing the shins and just lift up the legs. Now try just lifting your booty. Then attempt lifting the whole package.
tip: a great tip for experimenting with this pose; try using a strap around your legs (see YogaNag below)!
FYI yogis: scale pose is not recommended for those with injuries to the elbow, wrist, or shoulder.
For more information and tips, check out this super helpful link from Gaiam TV and video with Kino MacGregor:
Have a great weekend yogis! See you on the mat!