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Balancing Table Pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana)

Balancing Table Pose, known as Dandayamna Bharmanasana in Sanskrit, is a foundational yoga pose that combines balance, core strength, and coordination. This pose resembles a tabletop, with one arm and the opposite leg extended, creating a straight line from fingertips to toes. It challenges stability while simultaneously engaging multiple muscle groups, making it an excellent posture for building overall body awareness and strength.

Balancing Table Pose

The name "Dandayamna Bharmanasana" translates from Sanskrit as:

  • Dandayamna: Balanced or steady

  • Bharmanasana: Table Pose

Together, it signify the balance and steadiness akin to a table, emphasizing the pose’s focus on stability and alignment.


Dandayamna Bharmanasana is pronounced as:

  • Dandayamna: Dahn-dah-yam-nah

  • Bharmanasana: Bhar-mah-nah-suh-nah


Anatomy of Balancing Table Pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana)

Understanding the anatomy involved in Balancing Table Pose helps in appreciating its physical benefits and alignment cues:

Muscle Groups Engaged

  1. Core: Rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis stabilize the torso.

  2. Shoulders and Arms: Deltoids, triceps, and muscles of the rotator cuff support the extended arm.

  3. Legs: Quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles maintain the lifted leg.


Joint Involvement

  • Shoulders: Stability and strength are required to support the weight of the upper body.

  • Hips: Flexibility and alignment are crucial for extending the lifted leg.

  • Spine: Alignment and strength are maintained throughout the pose.


Balancing Table Pose: Steps / Instructions

  1. Begin in Tabletop Position:

  • Start on your hands and knees with wrists aligned under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

  1. Engage Core and Extend Leg:

  • Inhale, engage your core and extend your right leg straight back behind you. Keep your toes pointed and hip level.

  1. Extend Opposite Arm:

  • Simultaneously extend your left arm straight forward, reaching actively through your fingertips. Your palm should face inward.

  1. Find Balance and Alignment:

  • Balance the extended leg and arm, creating a straight line from your fingertips to your toes.

  1. Hold and Breathe:

  • Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, maintaining steady breathing and focusing on your alignment and stability.

  1. Release and Switch Sides:

  • Exhale as you gently release back to the Tabletop position. Repeat the pose on the opposite side, extending your left leg back and your right arm forward.

Balancing Table Pose

When to do it

Balancing Table Pose can be practiced as part of your yoga routine to enhance balance, core strength, and overall body awareness. It works well as a warm-up pose to activate muscles and prepare for more challenging balances or asanas.


Preparatory Poses

Preparing your body with these poses can help build the strength and flexibility needed for Balancing Table Pose:

  • Cat-Cow Stretch: Warms up the spine and engages core muscles.

  • Bird-Dog Pose: Similar to the Balancing Table Pose, it prepares you to extend opposite limbs while maintaining balance.

  • Downward-Facing Dog: Builds upper body strength and stretches the hamstrings and calves.

  • Plank Pose: Strengthens the core, shoulders, and arms in preparation for weight-bearing poses.


Follow-Up Poses

After practicing the Balancing Table Pose, incorporate these poses to stretch and cool down your muscles:

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana): Stretches the back and shoulders, promoting relaxation.

  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Opens the chest and stretches the abdominal muscles.

  • Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana): Stretches the hamstrings and calms the mind.

  • Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani): Relieves tension in the legs and promotes relaxation.


Chakra

Balancing Table Pose is connected to the Manipura Chakra, also known as the Solar Plexus Chakra. Located in the upper abdomen, this chakra governs self-confidence, personal power, and digestion. Practicing this pose can help balance and energize the Manipura Chakra, fostering a sense of inner strength and courage.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Mantra for this Pose

A suitable mantra to enhance your practice of Balancing Table Pose is: “Ram” (pronounced as Rahm)

Chanting the mantra "Ram" resonates with the qualities of the Solar Plexus Chakra, promoting confidence, willpower, and clarity of purpose.

“Ram”

Alignment Cues

  • Core Engagement: Keep your abdominal muscles engaged to support your lower back and stabilize your torso.

  • Shoulder Alignment: Ensure your shoulders are away from your ears and your shoulder blades are gently drawn toward each other.

  • Hip Level: Maintain your hips level throughout the pose to avoid tilting to one side.

  • Gaze (Drishti): Focus your gaze slightly forward or downward to help maintain balance and concentration.

  • Breathing: Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the pose to calm the mind and maintain focus.


Duration of Hold

Hold the Balancing Table Pose for 5-10 breaths on each side. Gradually increase the duration as you develop strength and stability in the pose.


Drishti

Your drishti (gaze) in Balancing Table Pose can be directed slightly forward or downward. This helps to maintain balance and concentration, enhancing your focus during the pose.


Physical & Spiritual Awareness

Physical Awareness

  • Alignment: Pay attention to the alignment of your extended limbs to maintain a straight line from fingertips to toes.

  • Stability: Engage your core and press firmly into the supporting hand and knee to stabilize your body.

  • Breath: Focus on deep, steady breathing to oxygenate your muscles and calm your mind.


Spiritual Awareness

  • Manipura Chakra Activation: Connect with the energy of the Solar Plexus Chakra to boost self-confidence and personal power.

  • Balance and Harmony: Embrace the balance between strength and flexibility, reflecting on the harmony within your body and mind.

  • Mind-Body Connection: Cultivate mindfulness by integrating your breath with movement, fostering a deeper mind-body connection.


Beginners’ Tips

  • Start Slow: Begin with shorter holds and gradually increase the duration as you gain confidence and strength.

  • Use Props: Place a folded blanket under your supporting knee for added comfort and support.

  • Focus on Alignment: Prioritize proper alignment over extending limbs too far; quality of form is more important than depth of stretch.


Who Should Not Do It

  • Wrist or Shoulder Injuries: Individuals with wrist or shoulder issues should avoid excessive weight-bearing on these joints.

  • Recent Abdominal Surgery: Avoid this pose if you have had recent abdominal surgery or if it causes discomfort.

  • Severe Balance Issues: If you struggle with balance, practice near a wall or with a spotter until you feel more confident.


Who Should Do It

  • Yoga Enthusiasts: Those looking to improve balance, core strength, and overall body awareness.

  • Athletes: Individuals seeking to enhance coordination and stability for sports performance.

  • Desk Workers: Anyone looking to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting and improve posture.


Benefits of Balancing Table Pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana)

Physical Benefits

  • Core Strength: Engages and strengthens the abdominal muscles, improving core stability.

  • Balance and Coordination: Enhances balance and coordination skills by challenging equilibrium.

  • Upper Body Strength: Builds strength in the shoulders, arms, and wrists.

  • Flexibility: Stretches the hip flexors and extends the spine.


Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Focus and Concentration: Requires mental focus, promoting mindfulness and concentration.

  • Stress Relief: Calms the mind and reduces stress levels through mindful breathing.

  • Confidence: Boosts self-confidence and self-awareness as you achieve balance and stability.


Variations of Balancing Table Pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana)

Advanced Variations

  • Extended Leg Variation: Extend the lifted leg higher, parallel to the floor, to increase the challenge.

  • Twisted Table Pose: From the Balancing Table, twist your torso to reach for the lifted foot with the opposite hand.

  • One-Arm Table Pose: Lift one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously for a more challenging balance.

Simplified Variations

  • Supported Table Pose: Place a yoga block under your supporting hand for added stability.

  • Knee Down Variation: Practice with the knee of the supporting leg on the ground to reduce intensity.


Modifications for Balancing Table Pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana)

  • Use of Props: Use yoga blocks under the hands or knees to reduce the distance to the floor and lessen the intensity.

  • Wall Support: Practice near a wall for added stability and confidence, gradually moving away as balance improves.


Common Mistakes

  • Sagging Torso: Maintain a straight line from head to heel; avoid letting your belly drop toward the floor.

  • Arching Back: Keep your spine neutral; avoid overarching the lower back.

  • Lifting Hip: Keep lifting the lifted leg in line with the hip to maintain balance and stability.

  • Collapsed Shoulder: Keep the supporting shoulder strong and avoid sinking into it; engage the muscles to stabilize the shoulder joint.

  • Improper Alignment: Ensure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips in the Tabletop position before extending limbs.


Safety and Precautions

  • Wrist and Shoulder Health: If you have wrist or shoulder injuries, practice with caution or avoid excessive weight-bearing on these joints.

  • Back Issues: Individuals with chronic back pain or injuries should modify the pose or consult with a healthcare provider before attempting.

  • Pregnancy: Modify the pose by practicing with a wider stance and avoiding deep extension to accommodate changes in balance and stability.


Additional Preparation Tips

Direction to Face While Doing This Pose and Why

Face towards the east while practicing the Balancing Table Pose to align with the energy of new beginnings and vitality. Eastward-facing poses are believed to enhance focus and spiritual growth during yoga practice.


What to Wear for This Pose

Wear comfortable, form-fitting clothing that allows for unrestricted movement. Avoid loose clothing that may get in the way or distract you during the pose. Yoga pants or leggings with a fitted top are ideal choices.


Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance

Choose a quiet, clutter-free space with enough room to extend your limbs without obstruction. Consider using calming essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to promote relaxation and focus during your practice.


Music for This Pose

Select soothing instrumental music or nature sounds that help maintain concentration and relaxation. Soft melodies or ambient music can enhance your practice by creating a peaceful atmosphere.


Incorporate this pose into your yoga routine with mindfulness and intention, allowing it to support your journey toward holistic health and self-awareness. As you continue to practice Balancing Table Pose, may you find joy in the journey of self-discovery and embrace the harmony of body, mind, and spirit that yoga brings.



Happy yoga-ing!

Namaste!



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Guest
Jun 29
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Amazing post. This is my favourite pose. I try with alternating hands and it works wonders. Please suggest more similar asanas. Love it

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Replying to

I'm thrilled you like it! You might also enjoy Half-Moon Pose and Warrior III for a similar challenge. Additionally, you could try the Boat Pose for core strength and balance. Namaste 🙏💜

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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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