Alignment For Your Forearm Stand
This pose takes daily practice. Once you achieve the alignment and established your core muscles, you’ll need to kick up a few hundred times in order to finally achieve the balance and structure required for your forearm stand. Each of us has worked through this part of our journey, and for those of your just getting started, make sure you take care of your body properly while practicing this inversion.
Let’s go through two methods to practice your forearm stand:
Warm Up Exercises:
Downward Facing Dog
Thread the Needle
Cow Face Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Standing Forward Fold with Yoga Lock
With Yoga Props:
Once you have warmed up, collect a yoga strap and sturdy block to set your forearm alignment. Align your mat up against a wall, which you’ll use to catch your legs upon kicking up.
Taking a yoga strap, make a secure loop put both arms through up to the area around your biceps. In order to discover how big or small this loop needs to be, follow Step #2 to adjust your strap as needed for correct alignment.
In a table-top position, place a block in between you and the wall (leaving some room for your body to kick up) and place your hands on either side suctioned to the mat. Lower onto your forearms shoulder-width apart, pushing your shoulder blades down and together to place full support onto your forearms (Refer to the photo above).
Keeping hands on either side of the block, with the strap locking your arms in the correct position, rise up into dolphin pose (downward-facing dog without moving your forearm stance). Rise to your tippy toes and raise your hips up as high as you can, even walking a little towards your hands. You should feel as though you can rest your body weight on your forearm stance and shoulders, giving you the ability to prepare to kick up. You’ll feel it once you are ready ;).
Kick up towards the wall with one foot, landing back down on the mat. Practice this exercise on both legs until comfortable kicking up and resting body weight on forearms for a few seconds each leg. You don’t want to use only your strong leg to kick up, so make sure to practice using each leg.
Once you feel ready for both legs to kick up, go for it! Landing on the wall is best, practicing slowly balancing on your own from there. Use the wall to gather your balance and hold yourself using your core and shoulders (not your lower back). A slight curve in your lower back may appear when just starting out, over time you’ll be able to straighten out your back fully for a full forearm stand.
Again, being able to kick up and hold both legs straight up, while also aligning your spine for a straight back… TAKES TIME & PRACTICE. Don't’ worry though, you’ll get it when your body is ready. Practice every day for 5-10 minutes and soon move towards practicing without props and maybe even without a wall.
Without Yoga Props:
To practice your forearm stand without using any props, start in your table-top position, aligning knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Now, grab your elbows with your hands. You may find you need to scooch your shoulders in a tad to correct your alignment for your forearm stand. Doing this helps you discover where to place your elbows on the mat.
Keeping your elbows where you placed them, draw your hands forward into a secure hand position. Either bringing both hands together in a clasp, or if not using a wall try overlapping your hands in order to quickly be able to catch yourself if you fall.
From here, move forward into your dolphin. Raise to those tippy toes, and kick up! If your elbows move out of alignment when you kick up, you’ll want to at least use a yoga strap to prevent injury. Alignment is key here to avoid hurting your body while practicing this inversion.
Good Luck Yogis!