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Handstand or Downward Facing Tree Pose

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  1. Begin with your mat at the wall in Adho Mukha Svanasana, with the fingertips about 5 inches from the wall
  2. Practice all the classic AMS hand, arm and shoulder actions.
  3. On an inhale, rock forward so the shoulders stack directly over the wrists.
  4. Fix the gaze on a point between and slightly ahead of the index fingertips.
  5. If the hips are not well higher than the shoulders, walk the feet in a couple of inches.
  6. On an exhale, step one foot about 1/3 of the way to the hands.
  7. Point the second foot, keeping the leg absolutely straight and neutral.
  8. At the end of the exhale, push off the forward foot to propel the pelvis and legs to the wall.
  9. Once both feet are up the wall, flex the ankles and climb the heels up any amount higher.
  10. Spin the inner thighs towards the wall and take the flesh of the buttocks towards the heels.
  11. Direct the front ribs towards the frontal hipbones.
  12. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then, keeping one leg at the wall for as long as possible, release the opposite leg lightly to the floor and hang in a soft Uttanasa (Standing Forward Bend).