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Strike a Yoga Pose: Forearm Stand

Master Forearm Stand With This Little Trick

If standing on your head has become easy for you, it's time to move on to a more challenging inversion — the Forearm Stand. This pose has a lot to do with shoulder and upper back strength, but it's also about engaging your core muscles. If you try kicking up with two legs at a time the momentum of both legs going up often makes you topple over. So here's a simple approach to help you find your balance.

  • Begin on your hands and knees. Lower onto your forearms. To measure how far apart your arms need to be, grab a hold of opposite elbows with your hands (so your forearms are parallel with the front of your mat). Now straighten your arms so your fingers are facing away from you, creating a straight line between your elbows, forearms, and middle fingers. Try to keep your arms parallel, and don't let your elbows slide out to the sides (or you'll end up doing a face-plant).
  • Walk your feet as close as you can toward your head and gaze between your hands — not at your feet.

  • Now lift your right leg straight up. Stay here or work on taking little hops. Do this by bending your left knee slightly, and popping off the ball of your left foot. Keep your right leg lifted and work on holding your legs in split position (see above photo).
  • Once you've found your balance, you can work on scissoring your legs together. Tucking your tailbone and your ribs in will help you stay stable. Work your way up to holding for five breaths.
  • Lower your feet and practice kicking up with your left leg.
  • Release onto your hands and knees and come into Child's Pose to rest.

If you're feeling very unstable and nervous about working on Forearm Stand, try this yoga sequence to help build the strong upper body and core, as well as open shoulders and hamstrings you need for this inversion.

Join The Conversation
April14342966 April14342966 4 years
That is amazing! Something to work towards.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
looks scary but maybe you're right Fit - i should try it first!
susanec susanec 10 years
huh, not so sure about this one. My problem with alot of poses like this (and yoga in general) is that I was a dancer and a gymnast so it gets all jumbled up. I just tried it but didn't really have the balance (or patience) to keep at it.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
thatgilrjj - You're right! you don't have to get both feet up in the air at all! The pose you're talking about, I learned was called "1/4 dog," like Downward facing Dog, but your elbows are on the ground. Really works your upper body! I know this pose LOOKS really difficult, but once you give it a try, you'll see that your body is much stronger than you give it credit for. You never know what you can do unless you try, right?!
thatgirljj thatgirljj 10 years
I LOVE this pose! I can't balance unassisted (yet), but we do this in my yoga classes both partnered and against a wall. It is soooo awesome for your shoulders and a lot of fun. If you just want the benefits of opening up your shoulders without going all the way into the pose, you can stop at the third step, where you walk your feet forwards and look between your hands and then just hold it there. I've heard it called the Dolphin, but I don't know if it has a proper sanskrit name.
Chica-PooPoo72 Chica-PooPoo72 10 years
Black-Mamba Black-Mamba 10 years
omg, how can any living being do that? i endlessly admire the girl on the picture!
JustMe21 JustMe21 10 years
There is no way...
ktacce ktacce 10 years
hahahahh yeah f'n right.
LyzzNY LyzzNY 10 years
i wish i could do that..
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
Looks amazing and I can't wait for my yoga class to start!
TiffanyNicole TiffanyNicole 10 years
I love yoga but, when my teacher asks us to do things like this I usually look at my bff and we just laugh like 3rd graders cause we know our limits!
Mae Mae 10 years
I hear ya james bond girl! I would definitely hurt myself if I tried this one! Hahha
james-bond-girl james-bond-girl 10 years
I love yoga...but I think I would put my back out if I tried to do that haha...
Alison-L Alison-L 10 years
Wow. That's impressive.
Clarixa Clarixa 10 years
I wonder how many years does a person have to practice yoga to develop this type of body strength and balance?
angeldevilwings angeldevilwings 10 years
I am not even gonna attempt to do this pose, I have a problem standing and walking without tripping as it is. Hats off to those that can do yoga.
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