Forearm Stand Tutorial

I know you’ve read this before, but I’m doing it again. I’m trying to stay off my hands… Womp, womp. This time it’s serious. I promised the hand therapist I wouldn’t use my hands, but she didn’t believe me… I’m stuck in this thing 24 hours a day for at least the next week.

IMG_5687Because of this new accessory, I’ve been teaching a lot of forearm stands in my classes. If you follow me on Instagram I’ve posted pictures of me doing forearm stands before, but I really wanted to share a before/after of this pose. I cannot even believe the progress I’ve made within the last year. This pose seemed near impossible a year ago – my shoulders were tight and my core lacked strength.

IMG_5595Last year, I could hardly hold myself up; this year, the pose is stable, comfortable, and my poor low back isn’t taking the brunt of the work.

This pose requires your shoulders to be open, and your core and serratus anterior (muscles running along your sides) to be active.

If you’ve never tried something like this, start with some shoulder opening exercises.

Lying Cow Face Arms

IMG_5558Lay on your right side in a fetal position. Extend your right arm up under your ear. Reach your left arm to the ceiling, turn your palm to face away from you, then bend your elbow bringing your hand behind your back. Your hand can be on your low back, or walk it up to the mid/upper part of your back. Slowly roll over to your left to end up laying on your back.

IMG_5557Now bend your right elbow, resting the back of your head on your right forearm. Stay here for a few breaths or up to 5 minutes. Repeat on the opposite side.

Eagle Arms

Unfortunately I forgot to take this picture when I took the others. Therefore you get a post- yoga class, styling my new splint kind of picture.

IMG_5689Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and hands, pressing your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down your back. If your palms don’t touch yet, press the backs of your hands together. Repeat on the opposite side.

Elbows On Block

IMG_5559Grab a block, book, coffee table, chair, etc. and kneel in front of the almighty block. Lift your hips off your heels, and place your elbows on the elevated surface. Bring your hands together and slowly drop them behind your head, then send your hips back so they are lined up behind your knees. Stay here for a few breaths or up to a couple of minutes.

This pose helps open your shoulders and stretches/lengthens through your triceps.

Dolphin Pose

Oh, dolphin pose. I’ll never know why they call it that. Dolphin’s are friendly, playful, and they just look like nice creatures. This pose, however, is not nice. Especially when you are first starting. This posture has just gotten comfortable for me within the last 6 months.

IMG_5556Begin on all fours with your forearms on the mat. Keeping your elbows shoulder width apart, lift your knees off the mat, coming into essentially a downward dog (on your forearms). Press into your forearms lifting your shoulders away from your ears. You can use a block between your hands to keep your forearms in position if needed.

If you want to try a forearm stand, drag your mat over to the wall. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Once you get your mat situated, come back into your dolphin pose. Slowly walk your feet towards you, stacking your hips over your shoulders

IMG_5555Lift one leg as high as you can while keep your hips square.

IMG_5553Slowly take a little baby hop off of your standing leg.

IMG_5563Keep your legs in an “L” position until you find your balance. Once you find it, slowly bring your leg overhead.

IMG_5552Boom! there you have it! Pincha Mayurasana – forearm stand. No hands required.

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