I recently watched this arm balance prep video at Yoga with Nadine. (And, yes, it’s awesome enough to visit their blog directly.) The video itself is pretty nifty, but what resonated most with me was part of the introduction:
Now, it’s worth pointing out that my wrists do not hate arm balances, but the distinction between can and should still applies to me in these poses. Maybe especially because I do love arm balances so much, and despite how my wrists feel about them, these types of postures do ask a lot of my wrists. If I do more arm balances than I should at any given point, then I can end up feeling it in my wrists.
That said, for me personally, it’s not that arm balances are “shouldn’t” asanas but rather that they are “sometimes” poses. I like to think of it as doing arm balances like dark chocolate.
In small quantities, there is no food I like better than dark chocolate. Rich, smooth, sweet, and bitter at the same time, it’s pretty much perfection in a nibble. Similarly, if there’s one moment in an asana practice that is my few seconds of bliss, it is while I am suspended in an arm balance.
But just like it doesn’t seem enjoyable to me to eat a brick of dark chocolate, neither does making my practice all arm balances all the time (or even a lot more arm balancey than it is now) seem like a stellar idea. Some things are better — and more powerful, even — a little at a time.