Adho Mukha Vrksasana by Phofi McCullough

March 7, 2018

The talk of the day among us is how to beat winter blues! I am thinking what a yogi meditating in his matha (hut) in Nepal would suggest? Surya Namaskar, Sun salutation, for sure. Nevertheless Surya Namaskar is a cluster of asanas. To remind you, Tadasana , Urdhva Hastasana, Uttanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Chaturanga, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, returning and finishing at Tadasana. But to beat the winter blues we need something vigorous, exciting and fast. We need an asana which has these three qualities and at the same time combines all the points of Surya Namaskar. Yogi's suggestion. What could that be?  Of course, Adho Mukha Vrksasana,  Downward-facing Tree, Arm Balance!

So put your mat, narrow side, against the wall and stand on it a foot away facing the wall. Place the hands on the floor and step back to Downward-facing Dog. Go through and keep in mind and body all the instructions you have been taught in Surya Namaskar asanas: press feet and hands on the floor, firm the knees and elbows, extend the side trunk, legs and arms, roll upper arms from in out and thighs from out in, move abdomen in and lengthen the lumbar, tailbone in chest up and forward, shoulders away from ears, shoulder blades and trapezius muscle in and towards the buttocks, dorsal spine in, free the neck. Oh, I am out of breath!
So, stop for a second and take a breath before you move on to Arm Balance.

Now, walk towards the head and shift the body weight to the hands and arms. These are going to be yours legs. Bring the hips over the arms as much as possible, bend one knee and kick up with a straight leg following with the other leg. Both heels on the wall. Stretch your whole being from hands to heels upwards. Be in the pose and follow all the above instructions you have learned already.

One more time: firm the elbows lift the shoulders up, lift the chest, free the neck, and lifting the head look at the floor, tailbone in and up, extend  the body upwards.
Isn't Arm Balance fast, exciting, invigorating? Do the asana many times alternating the legs. Stay in the pose as long as you can.

To come out of the pose, keep the arms firm and the hips up, and bring one leg at a time down to floor. Rest in Uttanasana.

I wish and hope that Adho Mukha Vriksasana, Arm Balance will help us to beat the winter blues.


P.S. In the picture one of our Teachers in Training Lauri Morel on the beach in Ucluelet


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