A lot of people these days are interested in learning how to handstand. We see it all over Instagram and it inspires us to get upside down and see life from a different point of view. So, here’s a small post on getting you started on learning how to handstand. Now, don’t get frustrated if you don’t get a handstand right away, the process of mastering a handstand is – never ending. You don’t just wake up one day and say “Yes, I have mastered the handstand” — there is always room for improvement, there is always room for growth. Also, in the beginning, the idea of getting on your hands – upside down could be very scary for you. Don’t do anything that you feel you are not ready to do. A handstand requires a good amount of strength and flexibility. It will take time, physically and mentally, for you to feel comfortable to get upside down. Take these tips and practice your handstand everyday or at least as often as you can. Just like anything in life, to become a master at anything requires time, dedication and practice. We have to be patient and slowly, we will see results and progression.
First things first, we must get warm!! We never want to practice anything physical when our body is cold.
WARM UP THE WRISTS
– Interlace your fingers together and make circular rotations with the wrists.
Let’s get on all fours, making sure your shoulders are over your wrists and your hips are over your knees.
– Palm Pulses: Place your hands on the floor, spread the fingers wide, lift the palms of your hand up keeping the fingers and knuckles on the ground and slowly bring the palm of your hand to the floor. Repeat about 10 times.
– Side to Side Wrist Stretch: Place your hands on the floor with the fingers facing outwards. We’re going to place our weight on each hand one at a time, rocking from one side to the other. Slowly lifting the palm up from the side that doesn’t have the weight and shifting sides and slowly bringing the palm down when shifting. Repeat about 5 times on each side.
– Reverse Palm Pulses: Now place your hands on the floor with the palms facing upwards and fingers facing each other. Again raising the palms off the floor, keeping the fingers and knuckles down and slowly bring the tops of the hands back down to the floor. Repeat about 10 times.
WARM UP THE BODY
We should also warm up the body. You can do a short run, some simple jumping jacks or even the postures that we have introduced to you in Posturas de Yoga 1,2 and 3. All of these should get the blood flowing through your body.
One thing to consider, is that it is very natural for people to immediately arch the back when they try their first handstand. Therefore, an important thing to understand is the HOLLOW BODY. It’s when your ribs are tucked inward activating the core and keeping your body in line for a straight handstand. This is important to understand if you want to have a straight handstand. You may try it on the floor first and later apply it for when you are upside down.
– Lie down on your back, keeping the back flat on the floor. Keep your abdomen and glutes activated at all times. Keep your legs straight with toes pointed and arms pointed straight over your head.
– Slowly start raising your legs and shoulders off the ground, keeping the back still flat on the floor. Your head will automatically be raised off the floor with the shoulders. Try to keep your shoulders in the same line as your ears.
– Stay tight with your abs and glutes and find the lowest position you can have your arms and legs without touching the ground and without having an arch in your back.
– Practice this daily, maybe in the beginning your feet and arms will be very raised off of the floor. Through time as you build strength, you will be able to lower the legs and arms closer to the floor without losing the hollow body shape.
So now, we are ready to try a handstand. Our wrists are warm, our body is warm and we understand the hollow body. If you are a super beginner and have never tried getting on your hands before, feel free to use a wall until you are comfortable enough to get away from the wall.
– With your hands placed on the floor, shoulder width distance apart, and fingers spread wide. Keep your gaze between your thumbs.
– Straighten your legs and walk your feet as close as you can to your hands.
Make sure your shoulders are directly over your wrists.
THE KICK UP:
– Choose one leg to kick up, remember to point the toe facing inward, activating the leg. Don’t be afraid since you will have a wall to support you in the beginning.
THE TUCK JUMP:
– Bring both feet together.
– Bring your shoulders directly above your wrists.
– Take a deep inhale and jump up (with legs together), keeping the feet together and bringing the knees towards your chest (in a tuck).
– The goal is to bring the hips directly over the shoulders, so that everything will be in line for a handstand. You may bring the soles of your feet to touch the wall in front of you. Find your balance and remember to keep the whole palm of your hand on the ground at all times. Use your finger tips to find balance. If you feel comfortable here, you can straighten the legs up into a handstand and slowly bring your feet away from the wall.
It’s common not to find the balance right away. We suggest to practice tuck jumps and kick ups all the time. It will take a while to find the balance and you have to lose the fear of falling. As you get more comfortable, you will slowly become more body aware and understand the alignment of a handstand. Remember to activate the hollow body by drawing your ribs inward. This will help you to find and keep your balance. Don’t give up and always keep practicing. We hope you enjoyed some of these tips on how to get into a handstand. We’ll explore more into the handstand pose in future blog posts, so stay tuned!
Happy Reading! <3
Images & Instructions by: mana_yoga
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