Lolasana is one of the most beneficial poses in yoga for developing core awareness and control. It’s an arm balance that helps to develop core, shoulder, and wrist strength, and is part of the jump through and jump back (from Downward Dog to a seat and from a seat back to Chaturanga) found throughout the Ashtanga practice (as well as others). This pose requires some strength, so develop the pose in stages and have patience.
Kneel on the floor and sit back on the heels. Place the hands by the sides of the shins fingers pointing forward. On an inhale, lift the knees up toward the chest, strongly engaging the abdominals to squeeze the knees in. Even as you squeeze in, try to keep the breath steady and even. Once you have mastered keeping the knees lifted off the floor for around 10 to 15 rounds of breath, you can start to lift the feet off the floor as well, crossing the ankles as they lift. Continue practicing until you can keep both knees and feet lifted for 10 to 15 rounds of breath, then begin to add a little bit of a swing forward and back.
Try to swing slowly and in control and keep the arms straight. When taken slowly, the forward swing (which will look something like the picture above) strongly works the shoulders and arms, while the backward swing strongly works the abdominals and muscles of the back. At first, it will be difficult to keep the feet from dragging on the floor as you swing. There are a couple of ways to deal with this. You can practice with blocks under the hands to give you some extra height, and if you have a hardwood floor or similar surface, you can place a blanket under the feet as you swing. The blanket will help your feet glide back and forth as you gain strength and familiarity with the movement. As you get more comfortable and strong in the pose, you can then remove the blanket or blocks to practice the motion without aid.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!