Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand) CELEBRATION

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (AMK, Handstand) is a fun and exhilarating pose! However, it can seem daunting and not worth trying…not true. I encourage you to play with this fun pose. Honor where you are in your practice and where you are on your journey toward this fun inverted pose. When we honor where we are on our path, we are putting our self in the current of the now, into the present moment. When we are in the moment we can acknowledge and celebrate each and every small step along the way as we progress toward handstand. On the other hand when we view handstand as a goal, of it only being a “success” if we are balancing on both hands in the middle of the room, we step out of the flow of the now, we get frustrated and we miss our opportunity of celebrating the little steps of progression on our journey.

When we celebrate we are filled with a sense of joy and delight. One of the three key features of Anusara yoga is the non-dual Shiva-Shakti tantra philosophy. The basic premise of this philosophy is that life is inherently good! We acknowledge that there is one big energy (Param Shiva) which is the highest and most subtle of all the tattvas (levels of existence). This energy this higher teacher is what we are invoking when we chant the Anusara invocation at the beginning of class. In the invocation we say this highest teacher is the essence of peace and bliss. So when we experience and celebrate bliss in our practice we are aligning with this highest teacher. We are aligning with the bigger energy that we are all a part of.

Some tricks and tips for working on AMK:
Kicking into handstand:

When you kick into hand stand you want to be leading with the belly of the hamstring, and which ever leg is swinging you want to keep it completely straight and emphasis inner spiral.

When you are kicking into handstand the bottom leg that is bending is pushing down into the floor to help get your bum above your wrists or to the wall.

How to put on the brakes on while in mid air?

Push finger pads strongly into the mat
Lift head (skull loop)
Flex feet


I practice handstand every day even if it is just for a few mins of kicking, and every day I find something to celebrate in my journey upside down.


  1. It is not just us humans who celebrate with handstands. John Friend posted on twitter yesterday that on adult male panda performs an average of 8 handstands a day. There are very few days that I don't celebrate with a handstand.


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