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Adho Mukha Vrksasana

How to perform Handstand

Open your hands into the floor and strengthen your arms as you lift your body up, one leg at a time, into an inverted balance. Use the wall for support if necessary. If pushing yourself up proves to be too difficult, you can walk your feet up the wall.

What is Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance or Hand Stand)?

Adho Mukha Vrksasana, or Full Arm Balance, is an energising pose that helps us build confidence in our arms, brings extra blood flow to the head, and increases our ability to think outside the square, to view ourselves internally while inverted and in a pose that seems to challenge our perception of how the world looks and feels upside down.

This pose changes our base from our feet to our hands, and it helps to build our capacity to accept the switch, so that we rely more on our hands and arms than our feet whilst in the pose.

When to use and how to do Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance or Hand Stand)?

Full Arm Balance is often practiced near the beginning of a yoga session to bring energy to a lethargic head or distracted mind, or before headstand to accustom ourselves to being upside down, keeping alert to our legs and feet, whilst maintaining a firm base on our straight arms. The floor may seem far away at first, and the arms may want to buckle. But over time one learns to keep focus on the hand and arm base, whilst following the movements of the legs and feet.

Video sequences that include this pose