5 Tips to Handstand

By Bethany | May 06, 2018 | handstand inversion yoga

It's no secret that I love me some handstands.  But what I love even more is helping someone else get there.  To see their face when they get that one second of hang time is priceless.  But here’s the deal.  There’s only so many tips and cues that I can give you.  There’s only so many tutorials you can watch and workshops you can go to.  Your best bet to get you standing on your hands is to stand on your hands!  With a wall.  Without a wall.  It doesn’t matter.  There is no substitute for practice.  You have to feel it yourself.  And once you get that little taste of hang time….it’s all over.  You’ll be hand standing everywhere and throwing handstand hashtags around like confetti: #handstandjunkie #handstandseveryday

Here are some tips to help you get #upsidedown.

5 Tips to handstand:

  1. Strong hands AND flexible wrist.  This is probably the most important because your hands are your foundation.  They  need to be strong to withstand the weight but also flexible to give yourself a little some “wiggle room” while you’re up there.  In the beginning (or 20 years down the road), your body is going to shift from side to side and front to back.  Flexible wrists allow for that movement while strong hands bring you back to that vertical alignment.
  2. Balance on the pads of your hands and use your fingers to bring you back to alignment.  Some people “tee-pee” their fingers.  I prefer to take my fingers out wide and press the whole hand into the mat.
  3. Uddiyana Bandha- Pull up through the pit of the belly.  It will actually look like you’re sucking the low belly in, but keep it active.  I swear, this makes you feel lighter.  I don’t know how, it just does, ok!  Actually, I think it’s because the deep core muscles are engaged and when the muscles work together synergistically, it makes you feel lighter.
  4. Protract and elevate the the scapulae.  Press into your hands AND the shoulders.  This “locks” the shoulder joint in place, keeping it strong and able to withstand the weight of the body.  This doesn’t always happen the second I get up there.  Sometimes, I just get there and then make adjustments. ;)
  5. Keep your legs active and glutes engaged.  Notice I said active and engaged, not clenched.  You’re not hanging on for dear life, but they are hugging in towards the midline.  You want your whole body working for you.  If the legs aren’t active, then they might  as well be dead weight hanging out in space.  And that puts unnecessary weight on the joints and makes it harder for you to balance.  So stay active in the legs!

Handstands can be so empowering....right after hard work, sweat, aggravation, frustration, and maybe some confusion.  They are hard and require patience and dedication.  So when you actually “get” it, you feel like you CAN DO ANYTHING.    The journey I took to get to where I am taught me so much about myself.  What you learn may be different, but it will be just as rewarding, no doubt.

Happy Handstanding!

Bethany

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