Balancing Stick Bikram Pose or Tuladandasana
This is a post by one of our fab Bikram teachers Vicky...
This posture is one of the most exhilarating, yet challenging postures in the Bikram Series. Just like Standing Head-to-Knee Pose and Standing Bow Pulling Pose, bringing the chest parallel to the floor helps to stimulate and bring strength to the heart, which is exactly why it is also known as “heart attack on a stick posture”! Stimulating and increasing blood flow through the arteries, strengthening the heart and preventing any future cardiac problems. Just like Bikram says, “It’s a heart attack in the hot room, so you never, ever have one outside on the street!”
“Come down absolutely straight, and use your strength immediately”.
“Use your eyes to continue the stretch of the spine, the spine stays straight but the eyes look forward”.
Craig Villani says that your set up will determine how well you will perform your posture. Lean back slightly in the set up to stretch up toward the ceiling. Lifting your chest and as you step into the posture lock and contract everything even before you start, this will improve stability in the posture.
~Stretch your arms forward, lifting your shoulders up above your ears.
~Lock your elbows, lock your knees
~Bring your chest down, chin forward, pumping fresh nutrient rich blood all throughout the body.
Tuladandasana stretches the spine, relieving stress from the total spine, top to bottom. It also builds strength in the upper thighs, glutes, shoulders, abdomen, deltoids and ankles, and at the same time stretches the hip joints and the shoulders.
Rajashree Choudhury says that 300 calories are burned in this 10 second posture. That’s how much internal work your body is doing!
Tips to help improve your Balancing Stick
Breathe slow and even! Because this posture is only 10 seconds long, people often try to hold their breath here.
Stomach, stomach, stomach! Stabilizing your core is key in this posture and will help you balance. Remember dead weight is heavy weight, so keep everything contracted and you’ll feel light as a feather.
Imagine like your body is being used in a game of tug-of-war. Your arms and legs should be stretching each other apart in opposite directions!
Benefits of the Balancing Stick Bikram Pose:
This particular Bikram yoga pose improves balance, increases endurance, increases lung capacity, stimulates the heart and arteries (strengthens the heart), helps to clear blockages from arteries helping to prevent future cardiac issues, helps varicose veins, burns fat, relieves tension spine, improves concentration. Physiologically, this posture stimulates the pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys, and nervous system.