Pendant Pose, Lolasana, (low-LA-suh-nuh)
Lol (dangling) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Swinging Pose, Dangling Pose
Wake up your childlike curiosity and test your strength & perseverance with this fun balance pose.
Lolasana is an arm balance asana that relies on your core, shoulder, and arm strength.
The pose is incorporated into Ashtanga yoga as a transitional pose for jumping through to Chaturanga. So, if you want to master the Ashtanga series – you’ll want to practice this asana on its own first.
“Lol” translates to trembling, fickle, or dangling, so this pose is named Dangling Pose. You will also frequently encounter the name Pendant Pose.
Like every arm balance, this Lolasana isn’t easy, but you can build your strength with patience and consistent practice.
Challenging asanas motivate and encourage you to stay disciplined, as succeeding to do something that seemed impossible before feels like a huge reward and a positive incentive to keep going forward.
Also, you can use Lolasana as a peak pose – prep with other core and arm strengthening poses, sucha as Chaturanga, Plank, and Boat Pose first. In general, it’s best to leave arm balances for a later portion of the class to make sure your body is warm and ready.
This pose is originally not from hatha yoga, but Indian gymnastics, and was first mentioned in a gymnastic instructional book called Vyayama Dipika. Later it was adopted into yoga by Krishnamacharya and his students B.K.S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois.
Energetically, this asana activates the Root and the Solar Plexus chakras. Opening the root chakras will help you feel more stable and grounded, and the Solar Plexus will boost your confidence, motivation, and willpower.
- Stretches and opens the spine and hips
- Strengthens the core, shoulders, arms, and wrists
- Boosts your focus and concentration
- Prepares you for even more advanced asanas such as Crane Pose and Handstand
- Strengthening the wrists can help you combat issues related to jobs in which you need to move your hands in repetitive movements, such as typing, cooking, and art.
- Stretches the connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments in the wrists, spine and knees, which can help support the strength of the muscles and prevent injuries in the long run.
How To Do Lolasana: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
- Sit on your knees in Thunderbolt Pose.
- Place your hands on the floor next to your knees.
- Engage your core, create some space between the shoulder blades, and begin to energetically raise the torso upward.
- Now push your wrists into the ground and combine that with the slight rounding in the back and engagement of the abs to try and lift your shins and feet off the ground.
- Keep the ankles crossed and push the lower ankle up to help with the lift.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can, with time, try to work up to 30 to 60 seconds.
Tips And Tricks:
- This pose requires you to already have a strong core and arms, and a part of achieving it will depend on your anatomy. Some might achieve it in a day and others might need weeks or months – keep trying, and you’ll get it.
- Simply attempting the pose is one of the best preparations for it – you can activate the core and push the wrists into the ground and have an intention of lifting. This will challenge and build your strength even if your feet remain on the ground.
If you want to get into arm balances, blocks are a must-have prop. They are a useful learning tool in virtually all arm-balance poses, including Lolasana.
You can use the blocks in this pose by placing them next to the knees and pushing your hands into the blocks. Extending your reach like this will help you with the lift, and grabbing the blocks may remove some pressure from the wrists, too.
You can work on your strength and prepare for this pose dynamically. This is a great idea if you’re planning to later use it as a transition in Ashtanga yoga.
Begin in Plank Pose, pushing the floor strongly with your hands. Step the right foot behind the left wrist as close as you can, and then place the left foot behind the right wrist.
Cross your shins and keep the knees inside the arms. Try to keep the arms straight.
Then, step back into Plank Pose, one foot at a time. Repeat this motion a couple of times. This exercise will help build core, wrist, and arm strength required for Lolasana, and you can also use it as a warm-up before attempting the pose.
Legs in Lotus
This pose is often also practiced with legs in Lotus. To master this variation, you’ll need to first nail both the basic Lolasana and Lotus.
If you have mastered both of those positions, this variation will be relatively easy.
The only thing you’ll change is your starting position – instead of sitting on your knees, you’ll sit with your legs crossed in Lotus Pose.
Then, press your palms firmly into the ground and engage the core to lift off the ground. You can swing forward and backward for a more playful and dynamic practice.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Practicing too soon. This pose may seem simple at first, so you could be eager to try it before warming up properly or having enough strength in the arms. Always perform it after you’ve already done preparatory positions, and don’t force it – being patient will be much more rewarding in the long run.
Avoid this asana if you have an injury in the shoulders, wrists, back, and neck. Also, refrain from the pose if you are pregnant or have stomach issues as it places a lot of pressure on the abdomen.
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