Lolasana - Pendant pose
Lolasana (pronounced as low-LA-suh-nuh) Is an arm balancing pose that is known for developing upper strength. This pose is not for the faint of heart and requires people with already strong wrists. The name Lolasana comes from two Sanskrit words lol meaning to dangle or swing and asana meaning pose. The name, therefore, translates to the swing pose.
It is also referred to as the Pendant pose since the yogi becomes compact and swings like a pendant attached to a chain.
Lolasana Step by step
Step 1: Kneel with your thighs and torso perpendicular to the floor. Cross your right ankle under your left ankle. Ensure to inhale as you do this so you can feel the alignment of your body. Place your arms beside you on the floor as wide apart on the shoulder blades as it is comfortable to lift your weight off.
Step 2: Put your arms on blocks placed on the sides. Inhale as you do so to get strength from the core. Exhale as you lengthen your upper torso and push it upwards.
Step 3: Lift your trunk and your feet away from the floor keeping the ankles crossed. If you have chosen the variation where the feet are crossed in the front ensure that you can hold that position. After you have lifted your body off the floor you can hold in position or you can swing back and forth.
Step 4: To leave the position, slowly lower your body after the set time so that your pelvis touches the floor. Now uncross your legs or release the ankles and alternate the legs.
If you have long hands you will not need to have the two blocks to hold on to. You will follow the above steps but without the blocks.
Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), padmasana (lotus pose)
Follow up poses
Really strengthens the arms
Strengthens the upper body (shoulders and chest)
Strengthens the wrists
Strengthens the back muscles
Straightens and stretches the spine
Develops abdominal muscles.
The Lolasana pose has several variations. For a beginner, you can start by lifting your torso off the ground but not completely lifting your feet off. Keep the toes of your feet touching the ground until you have gained enough strength to lift them off in good form. Another variation is one that is done with the body in lotus pose. In the lotus pose your legs are crossed out in front of you. You then lift yourself off the ground with your arms and swing back and forth or maintain the position without swinging.
This pose is known to have once been called Jhula which means swing in Hindi and it belonged to a system of Indian gymnastics. It was then later rechristened and elevated to Asana status.
Arm balancing pose, Core
This is a challenging pose for many beginners. It is therefore essential to ensure that you are confident about your upper body strength before trying.
Start by keeping your feet on the ground while lifting yourself up for less strain on your arms and wrist.