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Adho Mukha Vrksasana
(Full Arm Balance (Handstand))

How to perform Full Arm Balance (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 brain, and increases our ability to challenge our perception of how the world looks and feels through being upside down. This pose changes our base from our feet to our hands, and it helps to make our minds more flexible by accepting and adjusting to this change.

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 clear brain fog or focus a distracted mind, or before headstand to help accustom ourselves to being upside down and activate our arms before going into a longer and more strenuous inversion.

It takes time and patience to get to a point where Adho Mukha Vrksasana starts to fit naturally into one’s practice. The floor may seem far away at first, and the arms may want to buckle. But over time one learns to keep one’s focus on the hand and arm base.

Video sequences that include this pose