How to Do Scale Pose in Yoga (Guide to Tolasana)

Scale Pose is an advanced arm balance that combines hip opening, coordination, and core strength. It’s all about positioning your body in a way that aligns your center of gravity along the same line as your palms. It’s a delicate balance, which is reflected in the name of this asana. Tolasana takes time and consistent practice, but it also brings a great sense of calm into the mind of its practitioner.

“The name of this pose perfectly represents what this asana is about,” says Yoga Answered contributor Cat Harvey. “It’s about bringing every component of the pose, every part of the body, to hang in a perfect balance.”

Scale Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Tolasana
Pose Type: Arm Balance Yoga Poses, Core Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Advanced pose
Targets: Arms, wrists, core, and hips
Benefits: Bringing legs into Lotus Pose opens the hips and groin, simultaneously improving ankle and foot mobility. Balancing on your hands strengthens the wrists, arms, and shoulders. To lift the seat off the floor, you need incredible core strength and control over your own body. The more you practice the Scale Pose, the stronger your core will become. Another area of your body affected by this asana is your chest. The pectoral muscles involved in the pushing motion get stronger while you push the floor away.
Preparatory Poses: Lotus Pose, Fire log Pose, Boat Pose, Crow Pose, Eight-Angle Pose, L-Sit

How to Do Scale Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start in a seated position. One at a time, bend your knees, bringing the ankles into the opposite hip crease. Make sure you are comfortable in Lotus Pose.
  2. Bring your palms slightly further forward than your hips. Press your palms into the floor, with your fingertips facing forward.
  3. Inhale and engage your core muscles. On the exhale, lean forward and bring the weight into your hands. Lift the seat off the floor and pull your shins towards your chest.
  4. Find your balance and focus on the breathing. Stay here for 3-5 breaths, then carefully land your seat back down. Release your legs from Lotus Pose.

Beginner’s Tip

This pose is advanced in more ways than one. Firstly, it requires the practitioner to be able to perform Lotus Pose. Until that feat is achieved, the rest doesn’t matter. Focus on improving flexibility in your hips and pelvis. Once you master the Lotus Pose, you must have sufficient core strength to lift the seat. This can be done with asanas such as Boat Pose, Plank pose, and more. Finally, there is the arm balancing aspect. Not only is it instrumental that your arms and wrists are strong enough to carry the weight of your body, but you also need to learn to find balance through the contact between the hands and the floor. As you advance through your practice, you can start introducing arm-balance poses such as Crow pose, Eight-Angle Pose, or Shoulder-Pressing Pose.

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