Balancing Table
DANDAYAMNA BHARMANĀSANA (दन्दयम्न भर्मनसन)
(dan-DAH-yom-na bahr-mon-AHH-sah-nah)

 


‘Danda’= stick, staff, or walking stick, ‘yamna’= balancing, ‘Bharma’= a board for holding or table,
‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Balancing Cat (Utthita Cakravakasana)
Spinal Balance
Bird Dog Pose
Sunbird Pose
Ruddy Goose (Cakravakasana)
Pointing Dog Pose

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Balance / Stretch

1. Start in Table Pose (Bharmanasana), on your hands and knees, with your knees under your hips and your shoulders over your wrists. The tops of your feet flat to the mat.
2. Lengthen the back of your neck to be in line with your spine. Gaze down at a point between the palms.
3. Drawing the navel to the spine, engage your core, and lengthen your back through your spine.
4. Lift and reach your right leg back, making it parallel to the floor, and continuing to engage your core. Try flexing the foot if you can. Keep your knee straight, but not locked.
5. Lift and reach your left arm forward, reaching your fingers out with your palm facing down, and your arm parallel to the floor. Be cautious not to lock your right elbow during this process.
6. Keep your hips squared to the floor. Avoid arching your lower back by keeping your navel drawn in and your abdomen tight. Imagine someone pulling your head forward, and your hips back, to help straighten your back.
7. Breathe and hold the posture for 3-6 seconds minimum. (Hold for 20 seconds to increase flexibility).
8. Release your left arm and right leg slowly, coming back to your hands and knees and into Table Pose (Bharmanasana) position.
9. Repeat on the other side.

Common Adjustments
• Knees and hips / Shoulders and wrists out of alignment
• Arm, back, and leg not straight and level like a board
• Hips not squared to the floor
• Neck strained
• Gazing upwards instead of down towards the mat
• Shoulders hunched
• Loss of balance

Modifications
• For beginners or students with knee injuries, using a soft folded blanket or bolster under the supporting knee is a good option to protect and support the knees from pressure and stress.
• For students who have difficultly balancing in this pose, they can build strength and/or balance by either lifting just one arm or one leg at a time, by keeping the ball of the extended foot on the floor, or by pressing the extended foot or hand against a wall.
• For students with wrist injuries, you can use a folded mat or bolster under the student’s wrists to elevate them and relieve pressure. Using a fist, instead of a flat palm on the floor, is also an option.

Counter Poses
• Cat (Marjaryasana)
• Cow (Bitilasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana)
• Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Anatomy
• Chest• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Upper (Cervical), Middle (Thoracic), and Lower (Lumbar) back and Spine• Biceps and Triceps
• Abdomen (Core)• Hips (Psoas)
• Gluteus Maximus• Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Calf muscles• Knees and Ankles

Benefits
• Improves balance, stability, coordination, and posture by extending and stretching the spine.
• Increases balance and stability by using focus and coordination.
• Increases focus, which helps improve memory.
• Increases awareness through focus. By stretching the leg and the alternate hand at the same time, the student must focus and be aware of the body and alignment, while also coordinating the breath.
• Prepares the body for advance yoga poses that require balance and stability by strengthening the quads, glutes, abs, hamstrings and spine while also stretching the arms, ankles, and legs.

Contraindications
• If you have recent or chronic injury to the knees, wrists, shoulders, arms, back, or hips, practice of this pose should be avoided or modified.
• Avoid if suffering from spondylitis, as the neck is under pressure during this pose, unless proper props are available for use.
• Not to be done at the final stages of pregnancy without guidance and support.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Four:Heart, Love, or Anahata (Unstuck) Chakra. This is the love and equilibrium chakra. Its goals are balance, compassion, and acceptance. Its location is the heart.

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