I love arm balances because they constantly defy my expectations and make me feel strong. Although they do require arm strength, they are also a lot about core strength and balance-things you are building all the time when you practice yoga. The first few arm balances may take awhile to get, but they quickly snowball after that.
Some might hesitate to classify this as an arm balance, but it is a building block to gaining strength, balance, and confidence. Here are a few variations so you can customize this pose to your ability.
Crow is usually the first full arm balance that students tackle. The biggest obstacle to conquer here may be fear of falling. Most people do fall forward a few times before learning exactly how to place their weight, so make yourself a crash pad of blankets or pillows the first few times. The best tip I've ever gotten on this pose is to make sure to keep the head lifted. Nothing will send you forward more quickly than the dead weight of your head towards the floor.
At least if you fall out of this one, you'll land on your butt instead of your head. Like eka hasta bhujasana (see below), lifting up in this pose is made possible by getting your legs as high up on your arms as you can when setting up.
I love poses like eka hasta bhujasana because they seem completely impossible at first try. But you keep banging away at them, gamely throwing your leg over your shoulder and trying to elevate your butt, all the while thinking, this will never work. Until one day you forget to think that and there you are, fully lifted up and quite astonished. Another point scored for core strength!