Downward-Facing Tree Pose

Definition - What does Downward-Facing Tree Pose mean?

Downward-facing tree pose is an advanced inversion that requires upper body strength and balance. The pose can be practiced as a simple handstand, with the body in complete alignment and both legs pointing to the sky. For a fuller expression of the pose, the legs can be in tree pose position, with one leg pointing to the sky and other leg bent with the sole of the foot touching the inner thigh.

Downward-facing tree pose is also known by its Sanskrit name, adho mukha vrksasana, and is sometimes referred to as full arm balance.

Yogapedia explains Downward-Facing Tree Pose

As an inversion, downward-facing tree pose expands the lungs, reduces heart strain and increases blood flow to the brain. The pose has these additional benefits:

  • Strengthens the core muscles
  • Calms the mind, thereby reducing stress
  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists while improving balance
  • Builds confidence and increases focus

Until mastering the pose, yogis can practice against a wall to help with balance. Yogis with high blood pressure, heart conditions, eye conditions or injuries to the wrists, shoulders, arms, neck or back should skip downward-facing tree pose. Pregnant yoginis should also avoid the pose.

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