In practice, there really isn’t a noticeable difference between Balancing Stick Pose and Warrior III. However, hearing one name vs the other depends on what kind of yoga class you are taking. And if you hear Balancing Stick Pose or Tulandandasana called out, you are in a Bikram Yoga class, and this pretty little pose is going to be SUPER hard.
To be honest, all of the postures in Bikram would most likely be called basic yoga. It’s just that doing them in a hot and humid room makes them next to impossible. If I am having a hard class, I know this is the pose that will literally put me on my ass. Either because I sit down before it in anticipation of passing out. Or because I attempt it and the room starts spinning. When I’m having a good class, I try to focus on keeping my hips squared, my toe pointed and my head up.
Balancing Stick Pose improves self-control (because it is so damn hard and you just want to pop out of the posture) in addition to balance. It stimulates both blood circulation and the cardiovascular system. While only held for ten seconds, it also helps improve lung capacity. This will become evident as you advance in the practice find you can more easily breathe through the posture. It is one of the best exercises for improving poor posture. And will remind you of just how much you have worked your arms in the standing series.
Remember the next time you are up against this difficult posture: it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect.