Adho Mukha Vrksasana (ah-doh moo-kah vriks-SHAHS-anna)
BENEFITS OF HANDSTAND POSE
- Strengthens core and back
- Strengthens the arms and shoulders
- Improves focus and balance
- Boosts energy levels
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Steadies breathing
SUMMARY OF HANDSTAND POSE
Handstand Pose, or Adho Mukha Vrksasana, is an advanced inversion pose yet it is one of the most core strengthening yoga poses there exists. It engages multiple abdominal muscles including the transverse and oblique muscles as well as rectus abdominis, same for many upper body muscles like trapezius, triceps and the deltoids. Without doubt, it improves one’s balance and focus. Furthermore, it is indeed energizing and calming at the same time as it healthily adjusts the breathing pattern.
HANDSTAND POSE TUTORIAL
1.) Begin standing on your mat in Mountain Pose.
2.) Inhale and lift your hands over your head.
3.) Fold forward and place your palms on the ground on the outside of your feet.
4.) Lift your hips and engage your core, lifting your feet off the ground and balancing entirely on your arms.
5.) Raise your legs slowly using your abdominal muscles until your feet are above your body in a straight line.
6.) To release from the pose slowly lower your legs back to the ground.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HANDSTAND POSE
HANDSTAND POSE FOR STRENGTHENING THE CORE
Handstand Pose is one of the most potent abdominal muscles strengtheners. It engages and tones all of them including the transverse and oblique muscles and the rectus abdominis.
HANDSTAND POSE FOR STRENGTHENING THE ARMS & SHOULDERS
Handstand Pose engages multiple muscles in the area including the triceps and the deltoids.
HANDSTAND POSE FOR IMPROVING FOCUS & BALANCE
Handstand Pose is an advanced inversion demanding a lot of focus to maintain the balance hence these are significantly improved when doing the pose.
HANDSTAND POSE FOR ENERGY
As the Handstand Pose relieves anxiety, it also energizes the practitioner at the same time in a toned, healthy way. After doing it, one is ready and determined to take on their tasks stress free yet with motivation.
HANDSTAND POSE FOR RELIEVING STRESS & ANXIETY
Handstand Pose, promoting balance and alignment, sets our breathing pattern just fine, facilitating the relieving of negative emotions, stress and anxiety. It exerts a fantastic calming effect.
Contraindications & Cautions
- Pregnant women
- Poorly controlled blood pressure and heart problems
- Arm, shoulder, back and neck injuries
- Back problems
Modifications & Deepening the Pose
HANDSTAND POSE FOR OPENING THE HIPS
This variation is great if one would like to open the hips while doing the Handstand Pose or simply add some variety to their routine. Starting in the standard Handstand Pose, start bending both of the legs at the knees until the shins are parallel to the ground and the soles of flexed feet can be brought together, toes pointing up at the ceiling. Feel the stretch and hip opening. If you feel like going for something even more advanced, you can perform the splits while staying in the Handstand Pose. It is undoubtedly another variation which will open the hips and stretch the muscles of the legs.
HANDSTAND POSE VARIATION FOR BEGINNERS
If you are not yet there and cannot get into the full Handstand Pose, trying this variation is a great start. Begin at Step 4 from the Handstand Pose Tutorial. From there, lift one of the legs and bring it carefully up into the air as high as you can above the head. Stay there and breathe while still looking forward at one chosen point in front of you, foot lengthened. It is still an inversion and you get many benefits of the Handstand Pose.