Adho Mukha Vrksasana – Handstand

Adho Mukha Vrksasana

This posture can benefit the body in many ways. For starters, it energizes the body in and out not to mention building the confidence level in your body. Another plus point of working Adho Mukha Vrksasana is it can improve your brain work in many ways.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana andstand pose can challenge even the best of yoga experts as it requires of standing on your head with your body upside down. Many people are afraid of this as you have the natural tendency to fall down while down the asana and requires absolute balance and strength on your hands. So how can you achieve it? Keep reading.

What does yoga poses do to the body?

In the previous article, we came to know how seating and standing poses affected our body. Today, here is how bends and balance help the body to be more flexible not to mention motivate the inner mind in a great manner.


You might have seen experts performing bends that look quite easy. But in fact, they can be quite a difficult task and need proper flexibility of the body. You might not get it right away but practice makes perfect and within a frame of time you can actually do quite some heavy bends. For instance, forward bends can help the lower back and hamstrings to stretch out good than usual which will help in releasing the tension in the upper body and increasing the flexibility of the spinal cord. In a spiritual manner, it will help you in keeping a peaceful state of mind.

Back bends, on the other hand, helps to spread and widen the chest, hip area that can strengthen your arms and shoulders. It also helps in alleviating any muscle tension in the area. Just make sure to perform the asanas in a cycle or you might end up hurting your back.


Balancing is a deadly task and requires good amount of balance. It can be quite challenging especially when a person’s body is rigid and overweight. However, even people with proportionate weight and height find it difficult to undergo balance postures. It all comes down to practice and the mindset which will help you to acquire proper coordination between the body and mind.

The benefit of the balance poses are they can tone up your muscles and promote proper coordination and swiftness in you. Balancing can also help you to lose good amount of calories not to mention elongate the spine which can help in easy maintaining of the body. To be frank, improving the attention of your mind is the underlying factor in body balance.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana handstand pose – pronunciation and meaning

Adho Mukha Vrksasana is a Sanskrit name for handstand. It is pronounced as:

(ah-doh moo-kah vriks-SHAHS-anna)

  • adho mukha = face
  • downward (adho = downward; mukha = face)
  • vrksa = tree

Introduction to Adho Mukha Vrksasana Handstand Pose

The pose – Adho Mukha Vrksasana asks you to support the body in a balanced inverted vertical position by delivering the complete weight on your hands. It requires great upper body strength as the body is held straight with the arms/legs completely extended. Do note that in this posture the hands must be spaced at a shoulder length.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana Benefits

This posture can benefit the body in many ways. For starters, it energizes the body in and out not to mention building the confidence level in your body. Another plus point of working Adho Mukha Vrksasana is it can improve your brain work in many ways.

  • Gaining focus and attention
  • Shifting the outlook – from negative to positive
  • Great concentration level

Physically it can strengthen the upper body and can actually reverse the effects of gravity such as shorterning, compression etc. in your spinal area.

How to perform Adho Mukha Vrksasana Handstand pose

Step 1: Begin with Adho Mukha Svanasana by bringing both your feet together at the midline. Now spread your palms and press them to the floor. Stretch the sides of the waist and fortify the legs. Lift the heels thereby moving few of the weight to the balls of feet.

Step 2: Keep your right foot forward halfway to your hands and bring the shoulders over your wrists. Bend your right knee and keep the ball of your right foot on the floor but make sure to lift the heel. Press hands firmly to the ground and lift your left leg to standing splits pose. Keep your leg straight in an arrow position by lifting your inner thighs up too. Make it a point to wrap the biceps forward and push your hands firmly to the ground to make the arms absolutely straight. Pick a point on the ground and concentrate your focal energy on that area.

Step 3: Your arms must be firm always. Now bend your right knee good deep and take a small hop off the right foot. As you transition weight to the hands, make sure to lift through the inner left thigh. Draw the low belly inside so as to give ample support to the pelvis. Place your pelvis over your chest and shoulders rather than trying to get the legs overhead. The reason is when you try out with legs, you tend to backbend thereby struggling to get to the pose will become harder for you making you stay in balance much more difficult. By trying out the former method, you can bring the right leg parallel to the floor (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana). Don’t lift the right leg higher. Instead rotate the thighs internally and draw them to the midline. It will now be bolted firmly to one common point i.e. the pelvis area.

Step 4: Once you have got the balance part right, make sure to bring the legs together. Push the hands down and reach up through feet and legs. Now as you hug the legs to the midline, move the tailbone and the top area of your buttocks. This will provide good length to the lumbar spine. Now draw the lower ribs toward the frontal hipbones so as to prevent any backbending.

You can grow even taller by reaching the legs strongly up and away from the rooted palms. Hold for 5-8 breaths. Release slowly by first keeping the right foot down, then your left and taking the pose of Pada Hastasana to stretch the wrists.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana handstand pose – Modifications

A supported head can help you balance the body correctly and can increase your confidence to great heights. But it can be quite tricky as you need to get it at the right height. For instance, if your height is too low, gead would not be braced and if the height is too high, you will strain your neck. For this purpose, you can use yoga block as a base and then add 2-3 blankets on top. It all comes down to the height and length of your arms. So experiment with different heights till you are comfortable at a position and then position the hands to the floor.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana handstand pose– Variations

For those who are finding it difficult variations in the pose can be done to suit them good. For example, you can narrow the hands inside shoulder width that will decrease your base of support that can give you a sense of balance. You can even turns your hands outward that will guide you on how to rotate the upper arms externally.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana handstand pose– Warnings and contradictions

People who are suffering or healing from back, shoulder or neck injury should not perform this pose. Also, for some people, this posture can trigger headache, heart condition, increase the high blood pressure levels and increase the flow during menstruation.

Adho mukha vrksasana handstand pose– Preparation poses

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Bakasana
  • Pincha Mayurasana
  • Plank Pose
  • Supta Virasana
  • Tadasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Virasana

Adho Mukha Vrksasana handstand pose – Follow up poses


Pincha Mayurasana

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