Getting the Hang of Scale Pose

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Scale Pose, also known as Tolasana, is a fantastic strength builder for the core, arms, and wrists. Yes you can do this pose! All it takes is a little practice... read on for some tips and modifications.
Modifications:
• Traditionally, Tolasana is done from Lotus Pose (Padmasana). However, not all of us are built for Lotus Pose and may lack the hip flexibility to sit in Lotus, or may find it painful for the knees. If Lotus isn't comfortable for you, try it in Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana). I’ve tried it both ways and actually think it’s much more difficult in Half Lotus because it requires more hip flexor strength to lift off due to the bottom leg. If you try this in Half Lotus, you’ll still lift the hips off the floor, but don’t be discouraged if the bottom foot touches the floor. The point is to strengthen in the key areas (core, arms, wrists). Don’t force yourself into any pose. Remember: progress, not perfection.

• If Half Lotus is not comfortable for you, try lifting off from an easy seated/cross legged pose.

• Another great option for getting the hang of this pose (pun intended), is to try it out in Staff Pose. You'll get the same core activation, so this is a great place to learn Scale Pose. This version is  explained at the end.

• Here's a line I hear a lot: "my arms are too short!" If, after trying this for a bit and lift off is not happening, place a block under each hand, or a couple sturdy hardcover books. I'm demonstrating this modification in the above photo (getting little help from Jane Austen).

Pose Breakdown:Definitely take the time to warm up properly (especially if you are going to try Lotus Pose) so that the hips are prepared. Don’t forget to warm up the wrists.

  1. From whatever seated pose you choose from above (exception: Staff, which is explained next), place palms beside your hips, spreading the fingers. Press down firmly throughout the hands (in other words, not sinking all of your body weight onto your wrists) to set a good foundation.
  2. Align and engage your shoulders (pull them down and away from the neck).
  3. Activate the core to lift the hips and legs UP. Think of scooping the abs to lift up into Scale.
  4. Hold for a few seconds, working up to a few breaths over time.
  5. Lower down and switch legs. Do it for the same amount of time.

To work on understanding the pose and practicing the correct activation, try it from Staff Pose.

  1. Start in Staff Pose, with long legs and a long active back.
  2. Place palms beside your hips, spreading the fingers. Press down firmly throughout the hands (in other words, not sinking all of your body weight onto your wrists) to set a good foundation.
  3. Align and engage your shoulders (pull them down and away from the neck).
  4. Point your toes.
  5. Activate the core to lift the hips and legs UP. Think of scooping the abs to lift up, then flex your ankles.
  6. Hold for a few seconds, working up to a few breaths over time.
Over time, you’ll get the hang of it. Just keep practicing. Remember: progress, not perfection. ​Love & Light.

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