Today is Work It Out Wednesday!
Let’s get your body moving today!
Want to try a handstand but still aren’t quite there yet? Try this prep pose to engage and use the same muscles and body parts to become familiar with how the full handstand will feel. Strengthen and tone your body to prep for a successful handstand.
**You will need a strong core to get into this pose as it needs to be engaged the entire time.
Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana
AKA half handstand at the wall AKA L-Handstand
- Strengthens arms and shoulders building upper body strength
- Engages your core
- Lengthens and stretches the spine
- Improves body stability and overall sense of balance
- Preps you for other inversion poses
Contraindications/Cautions: Do not try this pose if you have a shoulder or wrist injury, have high blood pressure, if you are menstruating, pregnant or if you have a headache.
- Start in a SHORT downward-facing dog with you heels touching the wall. Meaning a shorter distance between your hands and your feet than your typical downward facing dog. Walk your hands in closer to your feet slightly.
Another way to measure where your hands should be placed distance-wise from the wall would be to sit down on your mat with your back against the wall and your legs extended out in front of you. Your hands should be your legs distance away from the wall. This won’t always be a perfect measurement but it’s a good guideline.
- Make sure your hands are flat against the mat, shoulder width apart.
- Walk one foot up the wall to the level of your hips and then the other foot making a 90 degree angle or L shape as shown in the photo. Your legs should be straight. Press firmly into the wall with the soles of your feet.
- Your legs are in the same line as your hips and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Your arms are straight as the elbows have a tendency to open up towards the sides.
- Your shoulders are above your wrists. Yes, you are pressing into the mat with your palms but feel the action of your forearms and shoulders lifting away from your elbows and wrists to reduce pressure.
- Shoulders are away from your ears and your neck is long.
- Draw the belly to the spine to pull in your core. Don’t let the chest or ribs pop out towards the mat and avoid arching your back.
- Your gaze is directly at the wall & don’t forget to BREATHE!
- Stay here for five breaths. To come down walk the feet down the wall to the floor and relax in a standing forward fold or to child’s pose to avoid dizziness.
** Beginners: start with their feet lower down, perhaps a 45 degree angle with the legs until comfortable walking the feet higher to the L shape.
As you practice you can go up to the full 90 angle and keep your thighs parallel to the ground.
Enjoy this pose safely!