Handstand~Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Published on August 28, 2012 by in Yoga Poses

This months pose is handstand. Maraha chose this pose for a couple reasons. She love this arm balance and it’s a pose that many students ask her about.

Before kicking up into Handstand Maraha recommends building upper body strength first. You can build this  support by doing some reps of Dolphin Dog to Dolphin Plank Push-ups. Then gain some confidence with half version of handstand at the wall. Take some time to rest in child’s pose and then when your ready try kicking up to the wall.

Here are step by step instructions on how to get in to Handstand and be sure to check out the video (below) where Maraha carefully walks you through a fun series of poses to help you get the strength, confidence and balance you need for this advance pose.


1. Preform downward dog with your fingertips a inch or two away from the wall, hands shoulder width.

2. Now bend one knee and step the foot in closer to the wall but keep the leg active by extending through the heel. Try to hop a little of the back leg.

3. Sweep your right leg through a wide arc toward the wall and kick left foot off the floor, immediately pushing through the heel to straighten the left knee. As both legs come off the ground, engage your abdominal muscles to help lift your hips over your shoulders.

4. Eventually you will be able to all the way into the pose. At first your heels may crash into the wall, but again with practice you will beadle to kick up lightly to the wall.

5. One you get up reach out of your wrists and hollow your armpits. Keep lengthening your legs to the sky and lift out of the low back. Stay for a minute and come down by reaching one foot lightly back towards the floor.

Benefits: Strengthens upper body and core, improves balance and can relieve stress and mild depression. 

Contraindications: Students should hold off practicing handstand if experiencing back shoulder or neck injuries,  headache, high blood pressure, glaucoma and menstruation.

Video Demonstration:

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