Transforming Fear to Joy

Easing into Adho Mukha Vrksasana – Part II (Handstand)

Courage is a habit. Cultivate it with Adho Mukha Vrksasana.

If you just discovered this post from my blog and have not practiced its immediate predecessor, then I would suggest beginning your practice of Adho Mukha Vrksasana I (AMV) here. For those of you who regularly kick up into AMV, the following sequence of yoga asanas (poses) is suitable for your capacity.

Remember to begin any yoga practice quietly in a seated posture (Virasana, Sukhasana or Siddhasana) so you can withdraw your physical senses from the outer world into your inner experience (Pratyahara). Initially focus on your breath (both the inhales and exhales) to settle your body and mind, and then shift your awareness to practicing the Yoga Actions below. Take your practice of these actions into each pose that follows.

1. From the webs of the index fingers and thumbs, use your awareness to track (or draw an imaginary line) along the inner lower arms, inner elbows, inner upper arms into the inner edges of the shoulder blades.
2. From the outer edges of the baby fingers, use your awareness to track (or draw an imaginary line) along the outer lower arms, outer elbows, outer upper arms into the outer edges of the shoulder blades.

VIRASANA (Hero Pose) 1-3 minutes (m)
– to HASTA VIRASANA to warm up shoulders & arms

SALAMBA MATSYASANA (Supported Fish Pose) 3-5 m
– legs in Sukhasana, Virasana or Padmasana
– 2 MEDIUM blocks–vertical between shoulder blades; horizontal behind head

UTTANASANA (Standing Forward Fold) 10 Breaths


– release into BALASANA until breath settles

EKA PADA ARDHA ADHO MUKHA VRKSASANA (One-legged Half Handstand) 3-5 Bs each leg
– release into BALASANA until breath settles

– release into BALASANA until breath settles

BALASANA (Child Pose) 1-2 m
– with or without sandbag across sacrum

SUPTA VIRASANA (Supine Hero) 3-5 m
– bolster or 2 LOW blocks – 1 under head, 1 under thoracic

– feet or hands on blocks

ARDHA SARVANGASANA (Half Shoulderstand) 1-3 m
– rest side hips into webs of thumbs & index fingers OR rest back hips into palms

ARDHA JATHARA PARIVARTANASANA (Bent-knee Twist) 2 m each side
– top leg straightens to extended hand

SAVASANA (Corpse Pose) 5-10 m
– blocks or sandbags on hands or wrists

May your ‘upside-down’ view, enlighten your experience of Life. Namaste.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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