The Quarter Plow

To make a safe and easy transition to the shoulderstand, especially for beginners, the quarter plow (not idustrated) should come next. You come up into this pose exactly as you came into the inverted action posture, by pushing with the hands from a supine position, tightening the abdominal region, and swinging the feet overhead, all in a single coordinated movement. Then you simply let your feet hang far enough overhead to balance your weight while bracing the pelvis with the hands. The lower extremities will now be at an angle of 45° off axis from perpendicular instead of the 30c idustrated in the last posture.

The main point of this posture and what makes it good for beginners is that you will not have to support as much of your body weight with the arms as you do in the inverted action pose. You can steady the hips with the hands or, for a sharper-looking posture, you can brace the hands on the thighs just proximal to the knees. It is especially easy to support the legs in this position.

The quarter plow is another posture you can do with the feet lightly touching a wall, but whether you use a wall or not you can now begin to get the feeling of the shoulderstand. The torso is practically vertical and the sternum is pressing lightly against the chin. This is starting to become a balancing posture, but at the same time it is a pose that requires some musculoskeletal activity for resisting forward bending in the spine and hips. It's worth serious study.

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