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Pincha Mayrasana (forearm stand) seems to be one of those elusive poses that ‘one day’ you will get to when you’re strong enough, or flexible enough, or daring enough. After all, if dolphin is a struggle then it must be hard and let’s face it, is a little intimidating to the eye.

I will give you some good news and some bad news. The good… once both feet leave the ground the chest opens up and you will actually find pincha to be much easier than dolphin pose. The bad… dolphin pose does have its purpose, so we will still need to go there, but don’t be fearful the transition is easier than you think.

Basically if you can do a full chaturanga dandasana (lowering yourself correctly in plank) you are well on your way to getting upside down and onto those forearms, with feet up in the air for your pincha.

Shoulder stability and core strength, and how these interplay with each other, can be the difference between achieving your pincha or not. So here are 3 preparation poses to help get your core and shoulders working together.


  1. interlock to fingers and come into a forearm plank pose.
  2. draw the hips up into a pike on your exhale. Pushing into the forearms.
  3. Move forward into forearm plank on your inhale. Drawing the lower belly in and
  4. Repeat 10-20 times



  • As you come forward into your forearm pike on step 3, keep moving forward until your chest comes to your hands and your body is low and parallel to the ground.



  1. Come to your dolphin pose. forearms on the ground, hips lifted.
  2. Walk your feet into your upper body as much as you can without your shoulders moving more forward than your elbows.
  3. Lift one leg. Keep the pelvis square to the ground and the shoulders directly over the elbows, don’t let them move forward. 
  4. Press into the forearms to make space between your chest and the ground. Hold for 3-5 breaths
  5. Repeat with the other leg.


  • Once you have one leg lifted try hopping a few times. Focus on keeping the shoulders strong and the legs active. Don’t let them get floppy.


  1. Start in modified plank with the knees on the ground and hands on a block each.
  2. Lower into chaturanga position. Keep the shoulders and hips in a straight line parallel to the ground.
  3. Shift weight to the right, centre, left, centre.
  4. Push pack up and keep focusing on the hips lifting up at the same time as the shoulders and not leaving them behind.
  5. Repeat 5-10 times



  • Instead on modified with the knees on the ground, come to full plank and at step 2 lower to full chataruanga. This is challenging. When you feel you are losing your technique bring the knees to the ground. Better to modify than to do the exercise with poor technique.

Slowly build up with these preparation poses over time and feel how they become easier. All of these poses work directly on getting your shoulders and core to work together. They will also build strength and awareness for you to nail you forearm stand.

~ Stephanie Williams

If you would like to learn more techniques for preparing for forearm stand, with alignment and safety for your when your up, join Stephanie on Saturday September 14th 2-4 for her ‘Master Your Pincha’ Workshop. Book via our Online Store

About Your Teacher: Stephanie Williams’ love for the human body, its biochemistry and biomechanics, lead her to study Nutrition and Exercise Science at Deakin University. Stephanie knew she loved teaching and empowering people, so when the opportunity arose for Stephanie to do her yoga teacher training, she took it. It didn’t take long before Stephanie realised how much she loved sharing the experience of yoga with her students. She strongly believes that her job as a teacher is to meet her students where they are on any given day and help them connect and trust their body. Stephanie works within the framework of her students goals and provides them with a meaningful practice that empowers them to achieve.
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