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Adho Mukha Vrksasana Preparation
(Handstand Preparation)

How to perform Handstand Preparation

Stand a couple of feet away from the wall with your back to it. Fold into Uttanasana and plant your hands on the floor. Then, activate your arms, open up your shoulders and collarbones, and walk your feet up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor.

What is Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance or Handstand) Preparation?

This pose involves taking the hands to the floor, back to the wall, and then walking our feet up the wall until our legs are at a right angle with the trunk and parallel to the floor. By practising this supported variation of the pose, we learn to trust the intelligence and capacity of the arms.

In some ways, it is more effortful for some than going into the full pose, but it serves the practitioner well in building confidence with being upside down and using the hands as a base for the pose, without losing the lift through the arms and shoulders.

When and how to do Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance or Handstand) Preparation?

We use this pose in Iyengar Yoga to build the confidence that will allow us to do the full Adho Mukha Vrksasana, and to see how important inverted poses are to our mental energy.

For many students, the full pose seems an impossibility at first, and this modification gives an approach that can safely be practised at home and whilst learning to kick up into the full pose.

The hands need to be experienced as broad and generous supports for the rest of the body, as the arms, trunk, and legs lift up into the unknown and unseen space above.

Video sequences that include this pose