Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Translation: Downward Facing Tree
In Yoga this is the Handstand pose. It is a great foundation to many of the arm balance yoga postures. Practice against a wall to begin with. This will give you security and allow you to experience the posture without fear.
To enter place the hands on the mat. Walk the legs forward and kick one leg up allowing the other to follow naturally. Unite the legs when they are both up there and apply a little inward pressure through the heels or point through the toes.
It is much easier to maintain balance if you look down to the mat.
Balance is hard because the breathing is always changing the shape of the body. This affects the weight distribution over the hands. Deeper breathing causes greater change and makes it a little harder to compensate with a counter balancing action.
Slow breathing makes it easier to perform balancing yoga postures. The rate of change is not as quick making it easier to understand and counter balance problems that will take you out of the pose.
Weight naturally falls on the outside of the hands. Try to use the muscles on the inside of the arms by lengthening the inner arms and allowing pressure to fall on the hands evenly.
Allowing the lower back to curve slightly will also make it easier to balance. However it may compress the discs in the lower back more so if you decide to perform this yoga posture make sure you engage the abdominal muscles to protect your lower back from compressing.
This is also a good yoga posture to do with the spine straight. In this version it is a little harder to balance. Especially if you don’t look down. So practice against the wall.
Yoga Teacher Tips
It is quite common to have people falling mat even when a wall is used and someone is helping. Be wise and build proper arm strength and confidence in students before encouraging them to attempt this pose. Make it their decision and have the risks properly acknowledged by students.
“Getting everybody up against the wall can interrupt the flow of a class. It is also time consuming.
Vinyasa Yoga Sequencing and Flowing
Vinyasa Yoga postures to transition from and to: