Handstand

Handstand is a hand balancing inversion pose (i.e. where the head is below the heart). In inversions, your world is upside-down which might hold you back. But if you gain in strength and have the  skills, you will have enough confidence to do it.

Your hands, your arms and your shoulders are the foundation for inversion poses. That is why we keep working on strengthening and stretching them. As handstand requires powerful energy to come up and hold the pose, we also work on the core (with some abs exercises for instance).

Instructions for Handstand against the wall

  • Place your hands flat and firmly on the floor, around one hand distance from the wall. The center of your wrists should be slightly wider than your shoulders;
  • Index fingers parallel. Spread your fingers wide;
  • Come to downward facing dog. Keep your arms straight. Step one foot half way forward so that your shoulders are directly above your wrists;
  • Lift the back leg off the floor, and keep it straight;
  • Push firmly with your front foot against the floor and swing the upper leg with momentum. Immediately scissor the other leg up, straight;
  • When you are up, scoop your tailbone. Squeeze everything to the midline and stretch up through your arms (your arms have to remain straight and keep looking in between your hands all the way long);
  • Spread your toes and flex your feet;

To come down, lower one leg down and then the other one with control, that is to say, slowly with straight arms/legs. Come to forward bend pose. Place your hands on your hips, and slowly lift your torso all the way up to Tadasana (Mountain pose).

Variation for beginners

Since your entire body weight will be over your arms, as a beginner, you might wonder if your arms have the ability to hold yourself in handstand:

Have your back to the wall. Place your hands on the floor, one leg distance apart from the wall (to measure it: stand in front of a wall. Slide one foot up to the wall, high enough, so that your leg is parallel to the floor. Lower your leg down to the floor. And there you go, you have the distance of one leg!).

Slowly walk your legs up to the wall till they are parallel to the floor. Your shoulders should be right above your wrists. If this is not the case, you might need to adjust your hands.

Can your arms hold you? If yes, you are ready for handstands!