Tulasana (Scale Pose)

Tulasana (Scale Pose)


What is Tulasana (Scale Pose)?

Tulasana (Scale Pose)

Tulasana is a challenging arm balance that requires higher strength and endurance in one's shoulders, core, and wrist. This yoga posture is also known as Scale Pose, Swing Pose, or Elevated Lotus Pose. In this pose, the practitioner's body is lifted off the ground, and they balance their lotus legs on their arms while performing the asana.

Scale Pose is an intermediate-level yogasana which can be performed by anyone who has been practicing yoga for quite some time and is familiar with the fundamentals of core and arm balance.

The scale pose is regarded as a part of the Ashtanga Yoga primary series.

Due to the fact that this asana is shaped like the shape of a weighing scale, it gets its name from the Sanskrit word 'Tula', meaning scale, and 'Asana', meaning pose.

Hindu mythology or ancient yoga texts do not feature any detailed information about Tulasana. Instead, this pose gets its first mention in the 1960s book 'Light on Yoga' by BKS Iyengar. 

A weighing scale in the spiritual realm represents a mindful alignment between your body, mind, and soul to ensure that the balance of life is always maintained. 

Sanskrit Name: तुलासन           Pronunciation: tu-LAAHS-anna

Pose Type:  Arm Balance      Also known as: Tolasana, Scale Pose, or Swing Pose, 

Strengthens: Arms, Wrists, Core, Shoulders, and Upper Back

Stretches: Traps, Shoulders, and Core

Health Benefits of Tulasana

  • Tones the whole body. 

  • Relieves anxiety and stress. 

  • Increases lower body flexibility. 

  • Enhances focus and awareness. 

  • Stimulates the abdominal organs. 

  • Boosts the flow of Prana (energy). 

  • Improve digestion and relieve constipation.

  • Helps to improve balance and coordination.

  • Strengthens the wrist, core, and upper back muscles.

When to Avoid Performing Tulasana

  • Avoid if you just had any surgery. 

  • Avoid if you have a severe injury. 

  • Avoid if you have elbow or wrist arthritis.

  • Avoid temporarily during pregnancy and menstruation. 

  • Avoid if you have any wrist, shoulder, or upper back pain. 

How to do Tulasana (Scale Pose)

For absolute beginners, Tulasana can be a bit intimidating. We have therefore divided this practice into simple easy-to-follow phases, including warm-up, posture steps, modifications, variations, relax flow, etc. 

Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Tulasana

Before starting the scale pose practice, ensure you've activated your wrist, neck, and shoulders with basic stretching and rotations. Moving forward, you can continue with the following warm-up poses. 

1. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) - This prep pose is an excellent hip-opener that stretches, activates, and strengthens your glutes, inner thighs, and knees for the main posture. Start from staff pose, inhale and bend your knees. 

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Bring the soles of the feet against each other and make the shape of butterfly wings with your legs. Lock both feet with your interlaced fingers and sit with a straight spine in this pose. Practitioners can bend their torso forward for more intensive blood circulation in the lower body. 

2. Padmasana (Lotus Pose) - Start from your legs in the staff pose position. Next, bend your left leg from the knee and bring the left foot over your right thigh. Repeat the same with your right leg. 

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Relax your shoulder, keep the spine straight, close your eyes and place your hands on the knees in Gayan Mudra. Focus on your breath and hold this pose for 5 minutes. 

This warm-up pose will help you build a strong foundation for your leg formation in the scale pose, plus the mindful aspect of this pose will bring you a tremendous amount of mental focus for the arm balance. 

3. Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Elephant's Trunk Pose) - Scale pose can be overwhelming for beginners to balance. Thus, this pose is best for beginners and intermediate-level yogis to gently activate their core muscles. 

Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Elephant's Trunk Pose)

Start from the staff pose and bend your left leg. Next, hook your left leg over your left arm tricep muscle. Grip the mat with your hands on your sides and push your fingers into the mat like you are trying to grab the ground.

Inhale, engage the core such that your ribs curl deep, and round the spine. Finally, lean in slightly forward so as you push into the ground and your resting right leg gets off the ground. 

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

The following are steps to practice the scale pose: 

Step 1- Start in the seated lotus pose, and activate your consciousness by focusing on your breathing. 

Step 2- Grip the yoga mat with wide palms, engage the shoulders, and lengthen your spine. This will help establish a strong arm balance foundation. 

Step 3- Engage your core muscles inwards, so your ribs curl into your hips. 

Step 4- Slowly inhale and gradually straighten your arms. Your hips will lift off the mat first, followed by your knees. 

Step 5- Sit upright, with an engaged upper body, and focus on your breath to maintain this balancing sequence.  

Step 6- Hold the pose for four to five deep breaths and exhale slowly as you bring the louts legs back on the ground. 

Breath Awareness: 

  •  Inhale - While pushing into the yoga mat for the arm balance. 

  • Exhale - When you feel ready to release the pose and exit. 

  • Inhale & Exhale - Before getting into the pose and during the scale pose hold.

Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold the Scale Pose for 15 to 30 seconds. 

Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold the  Scale Pose for 30 to 90 seconds. 

Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind

Trying arm balance for the first time?—To keep your wrist and shoulders safe during Tulasana practice, make sure you’re aware of these posture cues: 

  • Grip the mat: Your grip determines how long you'll be able to balance the scale pose and how safe your practice will be. So, to ensure you gain strength without getting injured, always spread your fingers wide and only then push into the yoga mat for balance. 

As a result, you will have a larger surface area for your arm balance, making the balance sequence safer and more stable.

  • Alignment & posture matters: Always make sure you are not compromising on your spinal alignment. It is normal to feel a slight hinge in your spine when you lift your glutes off your mat, but as your control and balance improves, you may be able to avoid it.

Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Tulasana

Relax your core, spine, shoulders, and arms with these counter yoga poses:

1. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) - Come to a seated position and lengthen your spine straight by extending both legs in front of you. Now inhale deep and simultaneously move your arms overhead. 

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)

Once your arms meet at the top, exhale and bend your torso onto your legs. Finally, rest your head against your knees, holding your feet with your hands. Hold this posture for 3 to 5 minutes and instantly relax your spine, shoulders, and arms. 

2. Makarasana (Crocodile Pose) - To relax your whole body, lie down on your belly. Your feet should be slightly apart, with your toes pointing outwards and heels pointing inwards. 

Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

Take a deep breath and stack both forearms in front of your head. Finally, exhale and rest your head between the gap between your hands and chest. Hold this position for as long as it takes you to re-energize and rejuvenate. 

Tulasana Modifications and Props

Yoga props can help beginners learn balance sequences without exerting too much energy, here's how: 

  • Add a yoga block: Regardless of how strong your core is, if you have too short arms and a big butt, you will not be able to lift your glutes off the mat. For this, all you need is a pair of yoga blocks.

Add a yoga block

Place your blocks lengthwise, close to your glutes on each side, and grip them for the Tulasana balance. As you get more elevation in your arms from the blocks, your glutes get to space, and lifting the legs off the mat becomes easier. 

Tulasana Variations to Consider

If Tulasana is too easy to execute—get into the below-listed quirky variations for something more challenging and fun.

1. Tulasana Arm Variation: Start from the basic seated posture but while sitting in a lotus-legged position, bring your palms inside your legs rather than keeping them outside. Intermediate-level practitioners can hold this variation for a couple of minutes. 

Tulasana Arm Variation

This pose is an advanced variation for a simple reason, the change in the placement of your palms increases the intensity of core balance, making this sequence even more challenging. 

2. Tulasana Leg Variation: Now it’s time to challenge your arms by combining two different yoga postures, the Tulasana and Garbha Pindasana. 

Tulasana Leg Variation

All you need to start with is a seated lotus position, then push your finger into the mat and balance your lotus legs into the scale pose, and at last, with even more control, pull your lotus legs close to the chest to hover in the embryo pose. Hold this variation for 15 to 30 seconds and finally release. 

3. Tulasana Twisting Variation: Feeling even more experimental and stronger?—If yes, then this variation is for you. As you sit in the lotus leg position, rather than placing your hands on the sides, place one hand on one side and the other at the front. 

Tulasana Twisting Variation

This quirky placement of arms will add a challenging twisting motion in your shoulders as well as core muscles. Exchange the arms, repeat the same process, and hold this variation for 1 - 3 minutes on each side. 

You can also add yoga blocks under your palms if you feel this variation feels extremely challenging.

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Level-Up Poses After Tulasana for Advanced Yogis

Get in touch with your physical strength and mental balance while upgrading your practice to the next level with these yoga poses.

Level-Up Pose 1 - Vikasita Kamalasana (Blossoming Lotus Pose)

Level-Up Pose 2 - Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

Level-Up Pose 4 - Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

Vikasita Kamalasana (Blossoming Lotus Pose)

Vikasita Kamalasana (Blossoming Lotus Pose)

Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)

Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)

Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

Similar Arm-Balance Poses like Tulasana

If you are planning an arm balance sequence or yoga flow to challenge your core balance and wrist strength, regularly practice the following pose: 

  1. Bakasana (Crow Pose)

  2. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

  3. Parsva Bakasana (Side-Crow Pose)

  4. Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Frequently Asked Questions about Tulasana (Scale Pose)

Can beginners perform Tulasana?

What is Tulasana good for?

What are the benefits of Tulasana?

What are the different preparatory poses in Tulasana?

Who should avoid performing Tulasana?

What are the different stretches in Tulasana?

How long should you hold Tulasana?

Which asana is recommended to be performed after Tulasana?

Articles about Tulasana (Scale Pose)
Ratings & Reviews
Thank you 🙏 Priyanka

Thu, Mar 14

Always so helpful and makes me feel okay and stabl...Read more

Wed, Mar 13

Excellent class

Wed, Mar 13

Lovely sequence, so so energizing. Thank you Annel...Read more

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The music in class today was a distraction for me.

Fri, Mar 15

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