Like all inversions, handstands are wonderful for happiness and confidence. Make sure arms and shoulders are strong enough to support you before attempting. One way to enter the pose is to move from Down Dog, placing fingertips 1-2 inches from the wall, and spread wide. Without moving hands, rotate upper arms out and up. fingers wide. Step into it on R, kick up with L leg, bringing feet together, extending heels to heaven. Lift belly up, connecting abs and legs, keep ribs in line, lower back is long, and weight and energy move out into finger tips, which helps you to not drop into the lower back. Do not drop weight into shoulder girdle and neck. You can either let head hang and set drishti/ focus, at end of mat, or lift head and focus between the hands. This is an easier drishti for balance. Remember~ eyes wide open at all times, breath long and slow.
Stay in the pose as long as arms and shoulders are comfortable, and breathing is normal. When ready to dismount, bring one straight leg down at a time, with as much control as possible. Do the other side, making sure you practice stepping in and kicking up with both legs taking their turn. One side is always much easier than the other. As you become more adept, or you may simply find it easier to jump up from a wide Goddess position, bringing bent knees in toward abdominals, then extending legs up.
Health Notes: Like all inversions, Adho Mukha Vrksasasana is wonderful for changing a point of view, increasing confidence and happiness, helping with stress. Physically, it strengthens wrists, arms and shoulders, and brings greater balance.It should not be practiced if you have high blood pressure, or pregnant. Check with your doc first. And you may be uncomfortable if you are in your period.
For advanced Yoginis, this can be a ‘restorative pose.‘ With heels resting against the wall, it allows the body to connect to the earth via the crown chakra, the Sahasrara~ ‘thousand petaled lotus.’ When not struggling to maintain the pose, the body is replenished in bringing blood to the brain, promoting circulation massaging the glands located in the head, the pituitary which ifluences other endocrine systems. The pineal gland, placed in the brain, produces melatonin, which helps relax the system. If you can, without stress, remain here for 2-3 minutes.