September 2008 Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Posted By Mimi on Sep 1, 2008 in Blogs, O2 Yoga Blog |


This posture is an inversion and has the same benefits as all inversions: reversing blood flow, reversing pressure on the bones and organs, bringing extra blood flow to the brain, and, of course, seeing the world upside-down. Being upside-down is disorienting but also very cool. It changes your perspective while also bringing stimulation to the higher chakras particularly anahata chakra (heart), which deals with love, compassion, trust, and balance.

Physically, we are really not designed to bear our full weight on our arms and shoulders. This is why it is really important to stack the hips over ribs, over shoulders, over head. The less well aligned, the more work and stress goes into the shoulders and spine. This alignment requires strength. It is not easy finding neutral spine standing on your feet, never mind when you are upside-down and balancing! This is why I work a ton on dropping the head in the posture. With the head lifted, the feet swing to stack over the head, creating that sway or banana shape in the back, which is essentially a collapse in the lumbar spine. The over-extended spine also happens for another reason: tight shoulders. The shoulder joint has more mobility when the ribcage is lifted so this also adds to the problem. Throughout the month we will be working on these things.

1. Forearm stand requires full flexion of the shoulder joint without internal rotation of the joint. Therefore, we will work on full range of motion of the shoulder from shoulder flexion to shoulder extension, aprox 270 degrees.

2. Getting used to and comfortable bearing weight and balancing on the forearms in various positions.

3. Finding and maintaining strong neutral alignment of the spine.

This posture has so many fun applications. Regardless of whether you are able to do it in the middle of the room, the strength and stability created will assist in improving your practice.

Peace,
Mimi