How to do Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand Pose)

This inverted asana has a lot of similarity with headstand (sirsasana) and forearm balance asana (pincha mayurasana). It is a challenging pose which requires strong arm, strong shoulder blades, strong wrists, strong elbows, and strong hand. In this asana entire body weight comes to your shoulder and eventually wrist and hands. Although it is not an easy asana to perform, with regular and careful practice one can perform it comfortably.

Initially, it is advisable to practice this asana against the wall to drop the fear of falling. Also take the help of a second person to raise your body, control your fall, and avoid injuries. This will also help you to increase the confidence. Wrong doing of this asana can cause you neck or shoulder injury.

This asana can also be practised by kids in the supervision of adults.

Steps to do Adho Mukha Vrksasana

The best way to start this asana is to come into the pose of Adho Mukha Svanasana or the downward-facing dog pose facing the wall. Keep your fingertips a few inches away from the wall and your hands at shoulder width so that you can comfortably kick up. Keep your palms on floor with the fingers spread out wide. Once you have properly maintained this pose, bend your knees to create a bounce, and try to throw your body against the wall while inhaling.

Don’t hurry, do it at your comfort, even if you can’t do it, its OK, keep trying.

Try to raise both the legs up from the ground without bending your elbows. Bending of elbows are very common and it is difficult to keep the elbows straight as body is not prepared to afford entire body weight on the hands and arms. If you can successfully do it, whole weight of the body will now solely be on the hands, press the floor with both the hands to create strength. Stretch out the legs as much as possible upwards against the wall.

In the process, your body may tilt so you have to keep it straight.

Alternate Method – Walk the Wall

The above steps are standard steps written in any yoga book or told in any yoga class. However, as it seems, this will not be easy doing, and there could be fear also. So here it is, another method, easy and worth trying.

Come into the pose of Adho Mukha Svanasana or the downward-facing dog pose, but this time face against the wall so that legs are at the wall side. Keep one leg at the wall, push the floor harder with your palms, keep another leg at the wall and try to make the 90 degree angle with wall.

Once you have enough strength to make this posture, raise one leg up straight and extend it to the ceiling. Remain in this pose as long as you are comfortable, return back to the 90 degree angle.
By raising one leg, you will get the confidence of going invert, then you can take both the legs up in a full handstand pose.

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Don’t do it alone, take the help of someone.

Initially, you can try to do it on the mattress to avoid the fear of falling.

Try kicking up on the wall to make yourself comfortable.

You can strap around the elbows to stop bending.


Strengthen the arms, wrists as well as the shoulders.

Increase stamina and overall body balance.

Improve circulation of blood in the entire body just like sirsasana.

Stretches the abdominal muscles, reduce tummy fat.


As discussed above, it can cause neck, head, and shoulder injury.

People with high blood pressure, headache, and heart conditions should avoid it.

Pregnant and menstruating woman should not do it.

Gautam Trehan

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