Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana)

Type of pose: Inversion

Also Known As: Bent Arm Balance, Feathered Peacock Pose

Benefits: Strengthens the arms, shoulders, core, and back; improves balance

Note: Wondering whether to invert while menstruating?

Instructions:

1. Bring your mat over to a wall.

2. Come to your hands and knees facing the wall. Your fingertips should be pretty close to the wall. (An inch or two away is good. This is so when you kick up and your heels are on the wall, your spine is as vertical as possible).

3. Bend your elbows to bring your forearms and palms flat against the floor. Your upper arms should be perpendicular to the forearms. Your gaze should be down at your mat throughout this posture. 

4. Curl your toes under and lift your hips to come into a downward facing dog position with your legs. This position is sometimes called dolphin or puppy pose. 

5. Walk your feet in toward your elbows as much as possible. Ideally, your hips will come over your shoulders.

6. Lift your dominant leg (the one you like to lead with) to a downdog split position. 

7. Bend the knee of the leg that is still on the floor. Swing your lifted leg for a little momentum as your bottom leg hops up.

8. Try to land both heels softly on the wall.

7. Note that the head stays up off the floor. Keep your gaze on the floor between your hands.

8. If you are able to get both legs up and invert fully, begin to work on engaging your core so you can remove your feet from the wall one at a time and balance independently.

9. Come down and rest in child's pose.

Beginners Tips:

Props can be very helpful in this pose.

1. Place a block at the wall. Make an "L" shape with the thumbs of each hand (the right hand will be a backwards "L"). Place your hands around the block so that your thumbs are on the front of the block and the forefingers are on the sides with the palms flat on the floor.

Press your hands firmly into the block and the floor as you kick up.

2. Straps are also helpful. Adjust the strap so that the loop is as wide as your shoulders. Slide the loop onto your arms just above the elbow to keep the arms from splaying out to the sides.

3. Getting the feel for kicking up can take some time, especially if you're new to inversions. Just keep practicing!

Advanced Tips:

1. Once you feel comfortable kicking up using the block and the strap, begin to wean yourself from these props. Making sure that the elbows stay in line with the shoulders and do not splay out to the sides is the most important detail.

2. When you can do the pose at the wall very consistently begin to attempt to move into the center of the room. The method is essentially the same but you must have a lot of strength to control your ascent. 

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