The Anatomy of Arm Support Poses: Downward Facing Tree Pose

Arm support poses are challenging by nature. This is because, in contrast to how feet are constructed, hands have not been designed to carry as much weight. It is advised that newcomers first become experienced at standing poses previous to attempting arm support positions. Also, appropriate attire should be worn during the practice to allow the free movement of the body and the flow in between poses. Compression leggings, capris or any kind of comfortable workout clothes are suitable for yoga practice.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (ah-doh moo-kah vriks-shahs-anna) is frequently categorized as an advanced inverted arm support pose. Arms work arduously during this position, while the legs are actively focused on keeping the hips from flexing and bringing them back onto the ground. The limbs, spine, and rib cage are lengthened while maintaining the pose.

The ideal downward facing tree pose should aim to create a perfect (or nearly perfect) vertical straight line from the tip of your toes down to the base of your neck, with your arms and hands supporting it still, and your face looking towards the ground. To carry out this position correctly one’s arms must be kept firm. The pelvis should comfortably lie over the chest and shoulders, while the legs ought to remain engaged by reaching up through the feet. Finally, one’s tailbone and upper buttocks should be activated by constantly moving them towards the heels.

Some cues to keep in mind are the following:

  • To keep your fingers spread wide.
  • To lock your elbows well.
  • To keep your legs and butt tight and point the toes upward.

These tips are crucial for when going into a downward facing tree position, as they consist of details that will allow you to hold it easier and help you stay away from any possible injuries.

In order to gain the necessary strength, balance and focus to carry out this pose, make sure to practice and master poses like the downward-facing dog position or Adho Mukha Svanasana, standing splits or Urdvha Prasarita Ekapadasana, and extended hand-to-big-toe pose or Uttitha Hasta Padangusthasana. These will make sure you strengthen both your upper and lower body, lengthen essential leg muscles such as the hamstrings or calves, and cultivate your concentration and equilibrium.

Once you have trained your body and gained more strength, focus and balance you can go ahead into full downward facing tree pose after doing preceding poses like downward-facing dog pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana, crane pose or Bakasana, feathered peacock pose or Pincha Mayurasana, plank pose or Kumbhakasana, reclining hero pose or Supta Virasana, and standing forward bend or Tadasana. Succeeding poses can either include supported headstands or Sirsasana or Uttanasana, or the previously mentioned feathered peacock pose or Pincha Mayurasana.

Most benefits surrounding this yoga pose are closely related to the re-balancing of the seventh, Sahaswara, chakra. This energy center houses our source of enlightenment and spiritual connection. Amongst these benefits, one can find that this position aids with harvesting mental clarity, concentration, and re-centering the mind. It is also said to help releasing stress, anxiety and worry, plus renewing the body.


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