Adho Mukha Vrksasana Pose
As a beginner, you will need to practice this pose in front of a wall to start with until you have been able to master your balance in the handstand. Place the front of your yoga mat against a wall, then start from the position of the downward facing dog, with your hands near the front of your mat nearest the wall, and your feet towards the other end of the mat, furthest from the wall.
Lift your weight onto the balls of your feet, bending your knees slightly and lift your head a little. As you exhale, jump both feet up to your hands, landing with your knees bent. As you inhale, straighten your legs, and then exhale as you pull your chest towards your knees. Inhale as you release your hands from the floor and drop your hips as if you are about to sit down, stretching your arms straight up above your head.
As you exhale, straighten your legs to a standing position with your feet together and bring your hands together in a prayer position in front of your chest. As you inhale again, bend your knees and sink your hips back into the chair pose. Pause in the chair pose for one full breath in and out, and then lift your left knee up towards your chest.
Now, cross your left knee over your right knee. If you need to steady yourself at this point, you can use the wall until you have developed your balance. If you’re left foot will reach around the calf of your right leg, you can wrap it round. If not, just place it as far around as it will reach. Sink your hips further into the sitt’ng position at this point. Next, wrap your arms around each other with your right arm on top of your left arm, hooking either your thumbs or palms to hold them in place.
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Lift your arms up as far as they will go, pushing your forearms away and sink deeper into the sitt’ng position. Hold this position for two, long, deep ocean breaths. At this point, sink your hips lower into the seated position and lift your arms a little higher. Then, lean forward with your arms remaining in the position they are in, and unwrap your left leg from your right and stretch it back, straight out, level with your hips and in line with your spine.
Keeping your spine straight, slowly unwrap your arms and stretch them straight back to join your left leg. Then, exhale as you bring your arms forward, and place them on the mat in front of you, keeping your left leg stretched straight back out behind you. Make sure you have left enough space between your hands and the wall.
Next, placing the weight of your body onto your hands, kick up your left foot to place it against the wall, keeping your right leg reaching forward so that your legs are split. In order to develop the ability to balance without the assistance of the wall, start to practice gaining the balance using the counter weight of your right leg. As you lower your right leg slowly, it will begin to pull your left leg off the wall.
With practice you will be able to judge the distance and balance between having your left leg on the wall, and falling forward. Hold the handstand for three deep, long ocean breaths, then lower your feet to the floor straight into the chaturanga pose which is the push-up position. Transition into the upward facing dog, and then into downward facing dog. You are now ready to begin the sequence again.