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Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Hand stand pose
How to master this challenging inversion …

Adho Mukha Vrksasana a.k.a. ‘hand-stand pose’.

It is essential to maintain the correct grounding of the hands with all the load of the body balancing equally upon them and not collapsing into the wrists. Stillness of the mind and calmness of breath are equally important.

This yoga asana, as with all inverted positions, should be perfected under the guidance of a qualified teacher before adopting the same in self-practice.

How to get into the position

If you are confident with headstand then it is perhaps only the fear of falling over that has stopped you progressing with this asana. It can therefore be practiced against a wall until you are confident without such support and is recommended you begin this way.

Spread your palms and press the bases of the index fingers firmly into your mat (which should be a bout one foot away from the wall). Then raise your siting bones off the floor and keeping your knees and legs straight, walk your feet towards your head. Engage your core and lift your hips above your shoulders. At first your heels may crash into the wall, but with more practice you will be able control the movement and lift lightly up without touching the wall.

Hold this position for eight full breaths.


Adho Mukha Vrksasana:

  • Helps relieve stress accumulation;

  • Increases lung mobility (as discussed above);

  • Improves digestion;

  • Stimulates the prostate and thyroid;


Avoid this posture if you have hypertension or neck injury, spinal issues, heart problems. Any practitioner with anxiety issues may also wish to avoid inverted positions if it causes discomfort.

Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™

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