Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

Lolasana (Pendant Pose)


What is Lolasana (Pendant Pose)?

Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

Lolasana, also known as "Pendant Pose," is an arm balance pose that requires strength in the arms, wrists, and core. 

Pendant Pose can be challenging to execute at first, but it's attainable for yogis of all levels with practice and patience. 

This pose resembles a pendant/pendulum suspended mid-air. A practitioner starts by lifting the legs off the mat, folding them close to the chest, and then hanging your whole body weight on your arms. 

Whether you are looking to push your limits or simply explore a new pose, Lolasana is a rewarding and exciting addition to your yoga practice. So let’s see where it takes you.

Lolasana emerges from a few Sanskrit words, 'Lola,' which means hanging or dangling, and 'Asana,' which means pose.

In modern yoga, Lolasana has become a popular pose due to B. K. S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois—who introduced this as an essential arm-balance pose in their yoga book and teaching style. 

However, it is still unclear when this pose was first mentioned in any medieval hatha yoga texts.

Sanskrit Name: लोलासन                Pronunciation: low-la-suh-nuh

Pose Type: Arm Balance               Also known as: Pendant Pose or Swinging Pose

Strengthens: Spine, Wrist, Forearms, Shoulders, Upper Back, and Core

Stretches: Forearms and Wrist

Health Benefits of Lolasana

  • Activates upper back.

  • Improves concentration.

  • Opens the chest muscles. 

  • Tones abdominal muscles.

  • Enhances balance and control.

  • Strengthens arms, wrists, and shoulders.

  • Stimulate the Manipura Chakra (Root Chakra). 

  • Cultivates inner strength and resilience.

  • Increases self-confidence and willpower.

When to Avoid Performing Lolasana

  • Avoid if you have elbow arthritis.

  • Avoid if you got a wrist or arm injury.

  • Avoid if you feel tension in your neck.

  • Avoid if you recently had abdominal surgery.

  • Avoid if suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Avoid temporarily during pregnancy or menstruation.

How to do Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

In this extensive guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about Lolasana—from the warm-up poses that will help you prepare for this challenging asana, step-by-step instructions for the main practice itself, essential safety cues, to the comforting relaxing asana. 

So ready to get started!? Let's jump straight in. 

Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Lolasana

Before the main practice, activate your upper body, core, and spine with the following warm-up poses: 

1. Phalakasana (Plank Pose) -

Plank Pose is an excellent preparatory pose for Lolasana as it helps to strengthen the arms, wrists, and core muscles. Start on all fours with your wrists just below your shoulders. 

Phalakasana (Plank Pose)

Grab onto your mat with wide fingers, gaze in the center of your palms, straighten your knees, and try to make your body resemble a wooden plank. Keep your body straight from your heels to the crown of your head. Engage your core muscles and hold the pose for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) - 

Downward-Facing Dog is another great preparatory pose for Lolasana as it stretches and strengthens the arms, shoulders, and core muscles for your main practice. 

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

Begin on all fours, then lift your hips up, pointing towards the ceiling, and straighten your arms as well as your legs. Press your hands into the mat and lengthen your upper body by pushing your chest close to the ground. Hold the pose for 10 to 20 deep calming breaths.

3. Tolasana (Scale Pose) - 

Scale Pose is a perfect warm-up pose for Lolasana as it helps to build strength in the arms, wrists, and core muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. 

Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Place your hands on the floor behind your hips with your fingers pointing forward. Lift your hips off the ground and bring your feet off the floor, balancing on your hands. Hold the pose for a few deep breaths before releasing your grip and returning back to the floor.

Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Lolasana

The following are steps to practice the pendant pose: 

Step 1-  Start by sitting on the mat with your legs stretched out in front of you in the staff pose. 

Step 2-  Bend your knees and get into the cross-legged Padmasana position. 

Step 3- Next, engage your core, and place the palms beside your thighs. 

Step 4- Keep your elbows bent, close to your hips on the side, inhale, and lift your glutes off the floor. 

Step 5- Slowly shift your weight forward so your body is suspended in the air. 

Step 6- Keep your gaze forward and maintain a straight spine in this position.  

Step 7- Hold the pose for a few breaths here, keeping your core engaged and your arms strong.

Step 8- To release, exhale, slowly lower your feet to the floor, and sit back down in the lotus position.

Breath Awareness: 

  • Inhale - Take a deep breath before lifting your feet off the ground. 

  • Exhale - Exhale as you release your grip and sit back on the mat in the lotus pose.

  • Inhale & Exhale - Keep taking deep and steady breaths as you hold the pose.

Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold the pendant pose for 10-20 seconds.

Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold the pendant pose for 30-60 seconds. 

Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind

For a safe practice of the pendant pose, make sure you are mindful of these posture cues: 

  • Be mindful of your grip & placement of hands - Make sure your palms are flat on the ground, and your fingers are spread wide to create a strong foundation. Avoid gripping too tightly, as it can cause tension in your shoulders and elbow joints. 

  • Maintain a lengthened spine - Keep your back straight and avoid rounding or arching your spine. This helps to engage your core muscles better and maintain a stable posture.

  • Keep the gaze focused: Looking forward will help you maintain your balance and avoid tilting forward or backward. Hence, avoid shifting your gaze extremely down or up. 

Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Lolasana

1. Balasana (The Child’s Pose) - After the Lolasana pose, get into the tabletop position, sit back your glutes, and stretch your upper body with straight arms in front. Make sure you are continuously breathing mindfully.  

Balasana (The Child’s Pose)

Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds and release the tension in the lower back, hips, arms, shoulders, and spine. It also soothes the brain and promotes relaxation.  

2. Savasana (Corpe Pose) - Still feeling the tension in your spine and arms, lie down on your back, arms by your side, and legs slightly apart. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, allowing your body to relax completely. 

Savasana (Corpe Pose)

This Nidra (sleep) position helps relieve left-behind signs of stress and fatigue from your lower back, spine, and shoulders by calming the blood flow instantly. 

Lolasana Modifications and Props

Lolasana can be challenging for beginners, and here are a few modifications and props you can use to make the pose more accessible to you within seconds. 

  • Add yoga blocks: If you cannot lift your glutes and core from the mat, the reason could be less space between the ground and your shoulders to push up. So, place yoga blocks under your hands, then elevate your hips.

By placing a block, the practitioner can create more space in the shoulders or hips, making lifting the body into the pendant pose more accessible. 

Additionally, blocks can help those with limited flexibility or strength to gradually build up their practice and work towards achieving the full expression of the pose faster. 

  • Assist with straps & wall: Using a hanged yoga strap against the wall to assist your core with the lift can take the pressure off your arm joints and help you hold the pose for longer while building great core strength. 

Assist with straps & wall

Lolasana Variations to Consider

Once you have mastered the basic pendant pose, you may want to try some other variations to challenge yourself:

1. Bhramacharyasana (Celibate Pose): Once you have become a pro at your pendant pose practice, it’s now time to challenge your core with this variation. 

Bhramacharyasana (Celibate Pose)

In the celibate pose, you straighten your legs in the staff pose and lift your body off the ground with straight legs and stable glutes hovering over the mat. This pose requires an immense amount of stability in your core and strength in your shoulders. 

2. Utthita Padmasana (Elevated Lotus Pose): Mastered both Lolasana and Bhramacharyasana, now it's time to test your core stability combined with leg flexibility. 

Utthita Padmasana (Elevated Lotus Pose)

In this variation, you start in a lotus position and slowly engage your entire core to push into the mat. Once ready, push into your shoulders and then arms, lifting your hips off the mat and balancing Padmasana in the air. 

This yoga pose is more advanced and requires a significant amount of core stability and strength. Plus, it stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, which can be really beneficial for people who spend a lot of time sitting or have tight hip flexors.

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Level-Up Poses After Lolasana for Advanced Yogis

Level-Up Pose 1 - Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Elephant's Trunk Pose) 

Level-Up Pose 2 - Bakasana B (Crane Pose B)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)

Level-Up Pose 4 - Koundinyasana (Sage Kaundinya's Pose)

Level-Up Pose 5 - Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand Pose)

Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Elephant's Trunk Pose)

Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Elephant's Trunk Pose)

Bakasana B (Crane Pose B)

Bakasana B (Crane Pose B)

Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)

Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)

Koundinyasana (Sage Kaundinya's Pose)

Koundinyasana (Sage Kaundinya's Pose)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand Pose)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand Pose)

Similar Arm-Balance Poses like Lolasana

Check out a few more postures to add to your daily yoga routine to improve your arm balance and strength. 

  1. Tolasana (Scale Pose)

  2. Kakasana (Crow Pose)

  3. Bakasana (Crane Pose)

  4. Titibasana (Firefly Pose)

Frequently Asked Questions about Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

Can beginners perform Lolasana?

What is Lolasana good for?

What are the benefits of Lolasana?

What are the different preparatory poses in Lolasana?

What are the different variations in Lolasana?

Who should avoid performing Lolasana?

What are the different stretches in Lolasana?

How long should you hold Lolasana?

Which asana is recommended to be performed after Lolasana?

Articles about Lolasana (Pendant Pose)
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