How To Do The Adho Mukha Vrksasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Adho – Downward, Mukha – Facing, Vrksa – Tree, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – ah-doh moo-kah vriks-SHAHS-anna

Also called the Handstand, or the Tilted Tree Pose, this asana is an arm-balancing pose that entails carrying the entire weight of the body on the hands. It is an advanced pose, and it takes regular practice to master this asana. This asana resembles a strongly rooted tree, and since our body faces downwards as you get into this asana, it is named so.

Everything You Need To Know About The Adho Mukha Vrksasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tip
  5. Advanced Pose Variation
  6. The Benefits Of The Handstand
  7. The Science Behind The Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

This asana must be done only on an empty stomach. You need to make sure to have your meals four to six hours before your practice and give your body enough time to digest your food. Ideally, there needs to be a 10-12 hour gap between your meals and practice, which is why it is best advised to practice this asana early in the morning. However, owing to busy schedules, a lot of people find it hard to work out in the morning. Such people may practice yoga in the evening. Your bowels also must be clean while you practice this asana.

Level: Advanced
Style: Hatha Yoga
Duration: 1-3 minutes
Repetition: None
Stretches: Navel
Strengthens: Arms, Shoulders, Wrists

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How To Do The Adho Mukha Vrksasana

  1. To begin this asana, you must start with the Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose. If you are a beginner and are practicing with the support of a wall, make sure your hands are placed about six inches away from the wall.
  1. Walk towards your hands, making sure your shoulders are placed exactly over your wrists.
  1. Bend the knee of any one leg, and lift the foot of the other leg off the floor. Straighten the leg once you are comfortable.
  1. Then, as the vertical leg takes the support of the wall, gently lift up the other leg. Hold until you are comfortable.
  1. While you do this, you must make sure your head is between your upper arms.
  1. Now, try and take your feet off the wall. Engage your legs. Setting your gaze on a certain point on the floor will also help.
  1. Hold the pose for a minute or more. Breathe deep and slow.
  1. To release this asana, bring your legs down, one at a time. Relax!

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Precautions And Contraindications

These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

  1. Avoid this asana if you have the following conditions.

a. Headaches
b. Back injuries
c. Neck injuries
d. Shoulder injuries
e. Heart conditions
f. High blood pressure
g. Menstruation

  1. If you have mastered this asana before you conceive, it is absolutely fine to practice it until the very end of your pregnancy term. However, do not begin to learn this asana after you have become pregnant.

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Beginner’s Tips

As beginners, it might be hard to straighten your elbows when you are in this pose. To get this right, you could use a strap. Buckle it up and loop it over the upper arms, just above the elbows. Stretch out your arms such that they are shoulder-width apart. As you do this, make sure the strap snugly fits on the outer arms. Then, use the strap to straighten the elbows. But make sure you push your arms away from the strap while in the asana.

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Advanced Pose Variation

This is an advanced pose in itself. But when you lift your head to look at the floor, it becomes an advanced movement. You must ensure not to jam the base of the skull at the back of your neck. When you lift your head, imagine a softball placed at the nape. This will make sure the cervical curve is maintained. When your head is lifted, your shoulder blades must be firmly pressed into the back.

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The Benefits Of The Handstand

These are some amazing benefits of the Adho Mukha Vrksasana.

  1. It makes the wrists, arms, and shoulders strong.
  1. The belly is given a good stretch.
  1. Practicing this asana improves your sense of balance.
  1. Blood circulation is enhanced all over the body.
  1. The brain is calmed and relaxed.
  1. This asana helps relieve stress and mild depression.

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The Science Behind The Adho Mukha Vrksasana

This asana focuses on the shoulders, arms, wrists, legs, brain, pituitary, spine, and lungs. This is a full arm-balancing pose, which helps to open up the shoulders and develop the wrists and arms.

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Preparatory Poses

Adho Mukha Svanasana
Pincha Mayurasana
Plank Pose
Supta Virasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Pincha Mayurasana

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Now that you know how to do a Handstand pose, what are you waiting for? A handstand really makes you aware of your entire being. It seems tough, but when your body is topsy-turvy, lots of bits of your mind, body, and soul are straightened out. Engage and unwind!

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer

Shirin is a health and wellness writer with three years of experience and specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Prior to joining Stylecraze, she interned with an advertising firm as a copywriter and as an editorial intern for a luxury fashion magazine. Always muddled up between traditions and modernism, full bio

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