Forearm Stand or Pincha Mayurasana invites a challenge to any asana practice. It takes courage, an open heart, and trust in the self to practice this asana.
Fear of falling or face-planting into the mat are common barriers. It takes time to build up the core and arm strength as well as forearm balance to maintain this asana.
Therefore, practices including other challenging asanas such as Boat Pose (Navasana), Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana), and Chair Pose (Utkatasana) help strengthen and stretch the body, mind, and soul.
Forearm Stand strengthens the back, shoulders, core, and arms as well as stretches the shoulders, neck, and chest. And like all inversions, it builds confidence, improves balance, and relieves stress.
How to Modify With Props
Using a block between the hands or forearms helps the arms squeeze in and lift the back and shoulders while maintaining a solid foundation of support between the arms.
Another variation places a strap along the upper arms around the triceps, the strap should be set about shoulder distance in length to keep the arms in alignment as well as provide support.
Yoga Sequence Around Forearm Stand
To prepare the mind as well as the body for Forearm Stand, sit in a comfortable seated position (a block under the hips helps relieve back pain) for 10-15 rounds of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama followed by three rounds of Om Chanting.
Note: Hold all asanas for 4-5 breaths, or longer if it feels right.
Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) focus on rooting down through the soles of the feet to help ground the body and lifting the sternum to open the heart and build confidence.
Slowly lift the arms and swan dive forward with a bend in the knees to move into Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana). Allow the arms to remain heavy or transition into rag doll.
The head is lower than the heart which allows a rich supply of oxygenated blood to flow into the head and improve concentration.
Mindfully step or lightly hop back with bent arms (to protect the lower back) into Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) to build arm, shoulder, back, core, and leg strength.
Gently lower the legs, weight shifts to the shins, and arms extend forward for Child’s Pose (Balasana) to stretch the back and armpits.
For extra ambitious yogis, add Baby Crow Pose as a baby arm balance that is challenging as well as super fun.
Lift the hips to Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) to transition into Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) to create a solid foundation for Forearm Stand.
In addition, try lifting one leg at a time and bending it into the body to add extra strength practice.
Now it is time to lift into Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana) – YOU DID IT! Great job!
To unwind, relax back into Child’s Pose (Balasana) with an arm twist allowing one arm at a time to extend underneath the other arm to help stretch out the shoulders, chest, and back.
Slowly shift into Staff Pose (Dandasana) and lift into Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana) or Reverse Table Top Pose (Ardha Purvottanasana) to help counter stretch Forearm Stand.
Finally, relax into Corpse Pose (Savasana) for the final relaxation and time to allow the body to absorb all the benefits from practice.
Have fun playing and feel free to comment below on your favorite ways to build a sequence around Forearm Stand!