April: Forearm Stand

Forearm Stand or Pincha Mayurasana is a great pose to help with your upper back and shoulder strength as well as your focus, balance and determination! The best place to start is by practicing dolphin pose. Dolphin Pose is essentially Downward Facing Dog but on your forearms. Start in Downward Facing Dog, drop down into your forearms and then adjust the placement of your feet. Sometimes they can move in closer towards your elbows. Remember to continue to engage your core! If you like, you can practice a few “Dolphin push-ups” to warm up and strengthen your shoulders. All this means is pushing up from Dolphin Pose back into Downward Facing Dog. Do this a few times to get things moving and once you’re ready to start getting into the Forearm Stand, you can follow these steps:

  • Place your forearms on your mat with your arms shoulder width apart and completely parallel to each other. You can place a block between your hands if this helps you with the placement. If you are worried about falling, you can set up facing a wall so that it will catch your feet when you lift them).

  • The tendency is for the elbows to splay out when in this pose so make sure you are squeezing them in tight so that they stay shoulder width apart. If you need to wrap a strap around your biceps to keep them in that’s okay.

  • Set up your feet hip width apart so that you are now in your Dolphin Pose.

  • One you are set up, lift one of your legs into the air so that you are in a Three-Legged Dolphin Pose. You can hold this for a few seconds and then switch legs to warm up your lower half in preparation for floating up. Make sure you don’t lose your hip width foot placement.

  • Once you are warmed up and ready, look in between your hands, grip your mat and shift your weight forward.

  • Begin to walk your feet closer to your elbows keeping your core engaged and arms squeezing in and lift onto your toes.

  • Lift one leg up into the air as high as you can until the foot that’s still on the floor begins to lift. You can flex the foot you lifted first if this helps.

  • Keep your eyes focused on one spot between your hands and keep your core engaged and arms squeezing as you continue to lift your second foot up to meet the first.

  • When you come out of the pose, try not to plop out of it. Float down with control to prevent yourself from falling.

This is a fantastic pose to try with a friend! You can spot each other by holding onto the first lifted foot while the second foot rises to meet it. Once you find your balance they can let go. They can also help you bring your feet back down to safety. Once you become more comfortable with being in this pose, you can try different leg variations by bending your legs in opposite directions for a Stag variation or bending both feet over your head into Scorpion Pose. There are so many fun options to play with!