How To Do Yoga Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

Yoga Handstand, also known as Adho Mukha Vrksasana in Sanskrit. Looking to add some excitement and challenge to your yoga practice? Look no further than the Handstand.

This pose not only builds strength in the arms and core, but also requires focus and balance. Making it a great way to challenge both your body and mind.

But with proper preparation and guidance, anyone can learn how to safely enter into this exhilarating pose.

In this article, I will share my tips for building arm and core strength, transitioning into a freestanding Handstand, and maintaining your practice over time. So roll out your mat and let’s get started!


Step-by-step Instructions To Learning Handstand

Here’s a more concise guide:

  1. Warm up with stretches, focusing on your wrists and shoulders.
  2. Prepare your body with poses like plank and crow pose to build strength.
  3. Find your alignment: Place hands shoulder-width apart on the ground, fingers spread wide, middle finger pointing forward.
  4. Kick up: Start in a Downward Facing Dog, lift one leg high, gaze between hands, bend the knee on the grounded leg and use it to push off the ground, lifting your other leg into the air.
  5. Balance: Once both legs are up, squeeze your thighs together and point your toes towards the sky. Draw your belly in and up, and keep your gaze between your hands.
  6. Exit: Slowly and carefully come down the same way you went up, one leg at a time.

Remember, always practice with caution, preferably under the supervision of a qualified instructor when first attempting new or advanced poses.

6 Benefits Of Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Sanskrit)

Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Strengthens the Upper Body: This pose requires and helps build considerable strength in the arms, shoulders, and upper body.
  2. Improves Balance and Stability: Practicing handstands can enhance your sense of balance, coordination, and stability as it requires maintaining a challenging inverted position.
  3. Boosts Mood and Reduces Stress: Like other inversions, handstands can help improve mood and alleviate stress and anxiety. Being upside down increases the blood flow to the brain, which may stimulate the release of endorphins, often known as the “feel good” hormones.
  4. Strengthens the Core: Holding this pose engages and strengthens the core muscles, which improves posture and can alleviate back pain.
  5. Increases Focus: Handstands require a lot of focus and concentration to maintain the balance, which can enhance your overall focus and mindfulness in daily life.
  6. Promotes Bone Health: Weight-bearing exercises like handstands can help strengthen the bones in your wrists, arms, and shoulders, potentially decreasing the risk of osteoporosis.

yoga handstand / Canva

Yoga Sequence Beginner Tips

Want to nail your yoga Handstand? Check out these beginner tips!

First, it’s important to understand the pose breakdown. Start by placing your hands shoulder-width apart on the mat. Then walk your feet towards your hands until you can lift one leg up in the air. Once you feel comfortable with this position, try lifting both legs off the ground at the same time.

As a beginner, it’s best to practice this pose away from the wall. So that you don’t become dependent on it for support. Instead, focus on developing balance and control through step-by-step progressions. Keep your legs together and engage your core muscles as you work on finding your center of gravity.

Pay attention to proper alignment of your shoulders and wrists. Ensuring that they are stacked directly above each other. Avoid arching or rounding your back as this can lead to injury or discomfort.

Overcoming fear of falling is also crucial when learning the posture. So take things slow and steady while building confidence in yourself and your abilities.

With consistent practice, you’ll soon be able to hold a solid asana without any assistance!

To move onto building arm and core strength, start incorporating exercises such as plank holds and push-ups into your daily routine. These will help prepare you for holding a handstand for longer periods of time. Without losing control or stability in your body.

Remember that developing strong core muscles is especially important for maintaining proper form during any inversion pose like Adho Mukha Vrksasana.

As you continue working on improving flexibility, balance and strength throughout different parts of the body. All while keeping an open mind. Mastering a yoga Handstand will become more achievable than ever before!

Building Arm and Core Strength

You’ll love feeling your arms and core getting stronger as you incorporate these exercises into your routine. Building arm and core strength is crucial for achieving a yoga Handstand. This is an advanced pose that requires focus, concentration, and proper form to execute.

To build the foundation for this pose, it’s important to first work on building strength in key areas of the body.

One effective way to build arm strength is through practicing Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff Pose. This pose targets the triceps and shoulders while also engaging the core muscles. Another exercise that helps with building core muscle strength is Plank Pose.

It strengthens the entire body including the upper back, lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. In order to achieve this pose successfully. One should have good balance of both upper body (arm) strength and core stability. Below are some step-by-step instructions on how to perform these two poses:

Chaturanga Dandasana1) Begin in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart 2) Lower your body down keeping elbows close to your sides 3) Keep your legs straight and feet hip-distance apart 4) Hold for several breaths before releasing
Plank Pose1) Begin in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart 2) Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing them towards your spine 3) Keep legs straight and toes tucked under 4) Hold for several breaths before releasing

Building arm and core strength takes time but it’s worth it when you finally achieve this asana! However, it’s important to keep in mind that this pose should only be attempted once you’ve built up enough strength. Also are able to focus on proper form throughout the entire practice session.

As we move on to discussing precautions and contraindications, it is important to keep in mind that safety should always be the top priority when practicing yoga.

yoga handstand Adho Mukha Vrksasana / Canva

Precautions & Contraindications

As if injuring yourself while attempting a yoga Handstand wasn’t enough. There are additional precautions and contraindications to keep in mind before diving into advanced poses. Here are some things to consider before practicing the Adho Mukha Vrksasana:

1. If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, it’s best to avoid this pose altogether.

2. If you have low blood pressure, practice taking breaks and coming out of the pose slowly.

3. Use caution when practicing near walls or other objects that can cause injury if accidentally knocked over.

4. Before attempting a freestanding posture, build confidence by practicing with your feet up the wall for support.

When starting, it’s important to approach the pose with care and mindfulness. Make sure your body is properly warmed up and that you have adequate space to practice safely.

When ready, begin by stacking your body (hips over shoulders over wrists) and engaging your core muscles for stability.

Transitioning to a freestanding exercise requires patience and continued practice. With proper technique and alignment, anyone can achieve this challenging yet rewarding pose with time and dedication.

Transitioning to a Freestanding Handstand

To master the art of transitioning to a freestanding pose, it’s crucial to approach the pose with patience and dedication. This asana requires full-body strength, flexibility, and a sense of balance that comes from practice.

Start by practicing vinyasa yoga to build the necessary strength to lift your body off the ground. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • From downward-facing dog, walk your feet towards your hands until you are in a forward fold.
  • Place both hands on the ground shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers wide for stability.
  • Shift your weight onto one foot and lift the other foot off the ground while keeping it bent at 90 degrees.
  • Engage your core muscles and slowly raise your lifted leg higher until both legs are straight up in the air.
  • Bear the weight equally between both hands and engage your psoas muscle to maintain balance.
  • Change your perspective by looking towards your fingertips instead of gazing down at the floor.

With time and practice, you’ll develop a stable sense of balance in this pose that will allow you to transition into a freestanding Handstand effortlessly.

Maintaining a successful yoga practice takes time, effort, and patience. But it’s well worth it for those seeking freedom through movement.

yoga Adho Mukha Vrksasana handstand / Canva

Tips for Maintaining Your Handstand Yoga Pose

Maintaining your balance in a Handstand can be challenging. But with consistent practice and perseverance, it becomes easier. Here are some tips to help you maintain your practice:

  • Practice yoga sequences that incorporate the Handstand pose, such as sun salutations and vinyasa flows.
  • Warm up properly before beginning. A few rounds of downward facing dog and three-legged dog can help prepare your body.
  • Use step-by-step instructions to guide you into the pose. Start by placing your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide, and shoulders over your wrists. Then kick one leg up toward the ceiling while keeping the other foot firmly planted on the ground.
  • Once in the pose, focus on keeping your hips over your shoulders and maintaining an engaged core.

Remember that maintaining a Handstand takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail it right away. Keep practicing! With consistency and dedication, you’ll eventually find freedom in this challenging pose.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to practice yoga handstands?

The best time to practice yoga handstands is when you feel energized and focused. I personally prefer early mornings. It helps me start my day with a burst of confidence and positivity. Remember to warm up properly before attempting any challenging poses.

Can yoga handstands help with weight loss?

Yoga handstands can aid weight loss by increasing muscle mass, improving circulation, and boosting metabolism. However, it’s important to combine this with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine for long-term results.

How long does it typically take to master a yoga handstand?

Mastering varies depending on individual factors such as strength, flexibility and dedication. With consistent practice, it can take weeks to months to achieve. Stay committed, stay patient and trust the process.

Is it safe to practice yoga handstands during pregnancy?

I advise against practicing yoga handstands during pregnancy. It can put unnecessary pressure on the abdomen and potentially harm the fetus. Always prioritize safety and listen to your body’s needs during pregnancy.

What are some common mistakes to avoid while practicing yoga handstands?

Avoid these common mistakes when practicing yoga handstands: arching the back, not engaging core muscles, placing hands too far apart or too close together, and pushing up with only one leg.

How To Do Yoga Handstand / Canva


In conclusion, mastering the yoga Handstand takes time, patience, and dedication. It requires building strength in both your arms and core muscles while also learning to trust yourself and let go of fear.

But with consistent practice and a willingness to push beyond your comfort zone, you can achieve this challenging pose.

  • Proper preparation and guidance are necessary for safely entering into the pose.
  • Proper alignment of shoulders and wrists is crucial to avoid injury.
  • Building arm and core strength through exercises like plank holds and push-ups is important for holding the pose.
  • Transitioning to freestanding requires patience and continued practice.

Remember that progress is not always linear, and it’s okay to fall down. Embrace the falls as opportunities for growth and see them as stepping stones towards success.

Like a tree growing roots deep into the ground before reaching up towards the sky, allow yourself to find stability before lifting off into the asana. And with each attempt, feel your body getting stronger and more confident as you rise higher towards your goal.

Keep practicing, keep pushing yourself, and soon enough you’ll find yourself soaring upside down like a bird in flight.