Balancing Table Pose or Firdbird Pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana) with a chair has many benefits including exercising the equilibrium to improve balance, focus, coordination as well as helping to lengthen the spine and build core, leg and upper body strength.
Contraindications/Cautions: Recent or chronic injuries/sensitivities to the back, arms, wrists or shoulders.
Modifications: You can keep both hands on the bottom of the chair the entire time as shown in picture one and just raise each leg up. Or you can place both hands on the back of the chair as shown in picture two and raise each leg up.
To get into the full pose:
- Stand in front of a chair that is facing toward you and inhale both arms up, then exhale, hinging from the hips and bringing both hands to the bottom of the chair, wrists directly under the shoulders (picture 1).
- Begin to take the left leg back, curling the toes under while keeping the hips squared (picture 1). The head and neck are neutral here. Breathe steadily in and out.
- On your next inhale, bring both hands to the top of the back of the chair to get a deeper stretch in the shoulder blades (picture 2)
- Exhale as you lift your left leg up, making sure the hips remain level (so the left hip is NOT opening up to the side but remaining parallel to the floor) (picture 2)
- If you wish to incorporate more balance and enter the fuller pose, lower your left hand back to the bottom of the chair (wrist right under the shoulder) and inhale as you lift your right hand off the back of the chair and straight forward (picture 3) with the left leg still lifted and hips level. Head remains neutral. Continue to breathe gently in and out before lowering both the hand and leg and repeating steps 1-5 on the other side.
- When done, place both feet on the floor and roll up the spine or come up with a straight back to mountain pose, close the eyes and feel the body. Enjoy!