Handstand Basics

Handstand, or in Sanskrit, is one of the desired yoga poses. It combines a challenging dose of balance, strength, and flexibility but it is totally worth all that hard work! Unlike the handstand in gymnastics, the yoga handstand is taught with a controlled leg raise and a controlled leg. It looks impossible, but I am here to tell you that it is not! In fact, I will share some secrets with you on how to build that control so you can rock a handstand. 

Handstand pose calms the brain and increases happiness while reducing stress and depression. This pose helps you develop a strong sense of balance! Physically, it strengthens your wrists, arms and upper body muscles. You can also prevent osteoporosis and help detoxify your organs and blood. 

Handstand is an advanced yoga pose, so you have the basic yoga skills and in your abilities. Avoid this pose if you have any neck, back or shoulder injuries a heart condition or high blood pressure.
Put the top of your mat up against a plain and stable wall artwork free and that not a door. 

Grab a yoga block for the donkey kick step

  • Warm-up and activate the core with Downward Dog Leg Repetitions
  • Come to tabletop with your head closer to the wall side of the mat. Come to downward facing dog. Inhale lift right leg up to the sky. Exhale swing knee down and bend it close to the nose. Repeat on the same side two more times. Then do the whole set on the left side.

Donkey Kicks

  • Now focus on practicing the kick up into a handstand. These kicks will help build shoulder strength.
  • Grab your yoga block. stand facing the wall, and place the block between your thighs so you can squeeze and engage your inner thighs.
  • Bring your hands to the ground a few inches away from the wall. Bend deeply in knees then kick up and come back down. As you kick the knees and squeeze the block. Kick hard towards your buttocks just like a donkey!
  • Complete donkey kicks. Then release the knees to the floor and remove the block. 

Supported L Stand

  • To measure where to place your hands, sit down with your back against the wall and straighten your legs. Place the block as a marker next to where your feet land. You may adjust the length later, but this is a good place to start. So, stand up and place your palms down
  • Walk the feet back towards the wall and continue walking them up to the wall. Find a nice parallel line. Make sure to stack your shoulders over your arms! Keep the gaze down at the mat. Take a few deep breaths here. Then jump down.

Practice kicking up into the handstand.

  • Rotate body so you are once again facing the wall. Bring palms to the floor. You should place your hands about a hands width away from the wall. When you kick up, you will want to keep the gaze down at the hands.
  • Come into a shortened downward facing dog. Lift one straight leg back and Bend into the opposite knee. From there kick up a few times. You may find that one side is easier the other at first.
  • Float both legs all the way up. Let the legs touch the wall. Take two deep breaths here. Then, slowly bring one leg back down the other.
  • Make sure that when you come down you are mindful of your toes o they don’t slam into the ground and create an injury. To prevent slamming the toes, engage your abdominals and slowly lower them down.
  • You can repeat this straight leg jump as many times as you can. 

Once you get tired it’s a good idea to take a break. I hope these exercises help you nail that handstand balance!

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