Handstand Prep
by Jennifer Arnold

adho= downward
mukha = face
vrksa = tree
asana = pose, posture

1. Come to all fours (hands and knees) with the soles of your feet at the base of a wall and your wrists under your shoulders.

2. Be sure that your toes are curled under and as you exhale lift your sit bones coming into Downward Facing Dog Pose.

3. Bend your right knee and place the mound of your right foot on the wall. Press strongly through your right foot straightening your leg. As you do this the left leg will lift. Keep that leg straight and place your left foot on the wall beside the right.

4. Your hips will now be at a 90 degree angle with your torso parallel to the wall and your legs perpendicular to the wall. Be mindful to keep your neck long and relaxed, and your gaze at the wall.

5. As you press your hands into the ground feel your arms lifting away from your wrists and feel the sides of your waist moving up toward your hips. Your sit bones are lifting and your thigh bones are strongly pressing into your hamstrings.

6. Stay for as long as comfortable, 1 – 5 breaths. When you come down, be sure to rest for a moment in child’s pose.

1. When people first approach this pose, there can be a great deal of fear surrounding it. Fear of being upside down, fear of falling, even fear of change as we dramatically alter our view of the world. This can often cause one to hold one’s breath, lift one’s head, and lose focus all together. If this happens to you, simply come downand rest in child’s pose. Find your breath and re-approach slowly.

2. Be mindful to keep your legs powerfully engaged. If this doesn’t happen you will find that your feet slide down the wall. I often describe the legs in this pose as a kind of tension rod, like you would find in a shower. If the feet are pressing strongly into the wall and the legs are vigorously engaged, the strength of your legs will keep your feet from sliding down the wall.This may seem easier said than done, but with time, practice, and patience you will experience the power, joy, and playfulness of being upside down.

Strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders, abdomen, back, and legs; opens the shoulders and chest, brings focus to the mind, invigorates the body and mind, prepares the body for full handstand pose.