Tolasana is an advanced asana that creates fire in the body, focus in the mind and brings balance to your practice. When this pose is done with a mindful, steady awareness on the breath, it can bring a deep sense of connection, strength and wisdom. By using the arms to hold oneself up in the air, there is a sense of liberation, control and powerful strength that can be felt by the yogi.
This is an advanced pose that requires plenty of warm up in the wrists, shoulders, hip flexors, feet, ankles and core muscles.
Tolasana creates and encourages deep flexibility in the hip flexors, ankles, and wrists. The pose strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders, chest, hips and legs.
The pose is also highly focused on all areas of the abdominal muscles, including the obliques, which line the sides of the waist. Activating the abdominal muscles in such a deep way creates an internal stimulation for digestion.
Due to the physical challenge in this pose, it is necessary to have mental strength and endurance, developed through a regular meditation practice. Tolasana demonstrates the balance between effort and ease, strength and flexibility, striving and being in the moment.
Tolasana helps to sharpen your mind, and improve concentration as well as body awareness. The pose can also improve the production of beneficial hormones in the body, both during the pose, and after it is released. Because this is an advanced pose, yogis who can achieve it are usually long time practitioners. Studies show that a regular yoga practice can increase levels of seratonin in the body. Seratonin is the “feel good” hormone.
This asana requires the deep, controlled engagement of the Moola and Uudiyana Bandhas in order to achieve the internal lift required in the pose.
Practicing the Scale Pose also stimulates the Root (Muladhara) Chakra, Sacral (Svadhishthana) Chakra and the Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra. These three lower chakras represent the physical elements in our lives, such as survival, safety, personal power, creativity, sexuality, emotions and more. When we can stimulate the chakras through the physical practices of yoga, we both deepen the asana practice, and find deeper connection to the higher self, or the Atman.
Do not practice Tolasana if you have recent injuries to the shoulder, wrist, hip or knees.
Because this pose begins in Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, it is important to ensure that the hips, knees, ankles and feet are free from strain or pain before attempting Tolasana pose.
Be mindful of the flexibility required to perform this pose safely – do not ever force your knee joints into Lotus as you prepare for Tolasana, as this can create major strain and could lead to injuries.
It is also possible to practice Tolasana from Sukhasana, instead of Padmasana, if the hips, ankles or knees prevent the yogi from practicing safely.
If you are struggling to gain height in the pose, try placing blocks beneath your hands.