Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

Scale Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

To build strength in your wrists, arms and core muscles, learn the powerful arm balance known as Tolasana, or Scale Pose.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits Variations


(Pronounced as "toe-LAHS-anna")

The Sanskrit word tola means "a pair of scales." Here your arms become like pillars to support your crossed legs as they hang in the air like traditional weighing scales.

How to do Scale Pose

Step One

Cross your legs and come into the Lotus Pose, or Padmasana. Put the palms of your hands on your mat next to your hips with your fingers spread wide apart. Your fingers should point in front of you.

Step Two

Inhale. As you exhale, Press your hands firmly into the floor and straighten your arms as you raise your torso and legs off the ground. Balance your full body weight only on your hands. Tighten your core muscles and use your thigh muscles to help lift up your knees. Your hands should be the only part of your body touching the floor.

Step Three

Stay in this position for about 20 seconds. To come out of the pose, lower your legs as you exhale. Then cross your legs the other way and repeat the pose for the same amount of time.

Beginner's Tip:

You can try Tolasana in Ardha Padmasana or Half-Lotus Pose if the full Padmasana is still too difficult for you. For example, come into Half-Lotus Pose by crossing your right leg over your left so that your right heel rests near the root of your left thigh.

Then place your hands by the sides of your hips on the floor as described above and lift your body weight up onto your hands. Here the foot of your bottom leg will remain resting on the floor, but you can still lift up your buttocks and your upper leg.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:


Pose Level:

Level 3

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Hernias
  • Injuries less than 3 months old in the knees, ankles, shoulders or wrists
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstruation

Modifications and Props:

If you don't yet have the strength to lift your body weight up onto your arms, then place a yoga block underneath each hand on the floor. Place the block so that it gives you only a few inches of height, setting it down at its lowest position.

Deepen the Pose:

Focus on lifting up your legs from the roots of your thighs. Try to hold your knees up as high in the air as possible.


  • Builds strength in the wrists and arms
  • Tones the abdomen


If you are not able to perform full Padmasana comfortably yet, then it is better not to practice Tolasana. You can prepare yourself for Tolasana by practicing Lolasana instead. Kneel on your mat but do not sit on your heels yet. First, cross your right ankle over your left ankle while you remain kneeling.

Now you can sit back so that the sole of your right foot is under your left buttock and vice versa. Put your hands on the ground by the sides of your hips. On your next exhalation, push up hard on your hands and lean forward to raise your legs and feet up off of the ground while keeping your legs crossed tight underneath you. Round your back slightly and lift your knees toward your chest as you lean a bit forward.

If you cannot lift off of the ground, then put two yoga blocks under your hands. The extra height makes lifting up easier. After you come out of this pose, then cross your legs the other way and repeat it for the same amount of time.

Next Pose:

Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

Next Courses

41 Yoga Instructors online
Ashburn, VA

26 Yoga Classes found near you!

The best way to learn yoga is to take lessons from a professional teacher. Want to see the yoga classes near you?