The arm balancing sequence of postures in Prana Vashya Yoga™ works on strengthening your arms before stretching them to improve flexibility and release tension. Unlike the use of your legs (as we are on our feet for most of the day) your arms need strengthening first.
The pick up
The pick-up (as pictured above) is part of the ‘pick-up and jump back’ transition in Ashtanga Yoga. It is similar to, and a slightly more advanced version of, Tolasana a.k.a “scale pose” - part of the Prana Vashya Yoga™ finishing postures in which you also lift the weight of your body on your hands, albeit with crossed legs - as pictured below. Extending your legs out in-front of you, then, requires additional strength.
With a regular practice of Prana Vashya Yoga™ you can quickly build up the necessary strength for advanced arm balancing postures like Ashtanga’s ‘pick-up and jump back’ routine. The sequence of postures in Prana Vashya Yoga™ increases proprioception; training your muscles to work independently (for example, when you move your shoulder it should not disturb your lower back). This way, your muscles better support your joints. When we talk about strength in yogic terms therefore, we speak about localised strength in a muscle; a muscle being able to take the weight or meet the demand being put on it without using other muscles in the body as well.
Mastering arm balancing, including the pick-up transition, will make you incredibly strong and it increases awareness and confidence.
Contraindications and Cautions
Avoid this posture if you have any shoulder, wrist, elbow, or lower back issues.