02 Oct 8 Tips for Getting into Handstand
363 days ago I wrote a blog post that stated “I feel discouraged when I feel inadequate. I am an yoga instructor and I cannot hold a strong handstand without a wall behind me. This fact makes me feel like a failure.” Although I still firmly believe that what level of asana you can perform in no way depicts how much of a “yogi” you are, I would also love to share my story of growth with you.
For me, my journey to complete a handstand was more than just mastering a pose or training a certain muscle group. Finding handstand was finding my confidence, finding my personal power. It took 363 days to learn how to step into my own, to embrace my viciousness, and to heal my third chakra. It took a year to get where I am today, and I am still going. A year ago I could barely kick my legs up against the wall and now I am doing kicking up in my cowboy boots in the middle of Music Midtown Atlanta, and I’m proud! Im proud of myself.
I have come so far but I know this journey is ever changing, thats the wonderful thing about yoga, there is always more growth to be done. You are never truly finished, no one every masters yoga. No one masters life, no one is perfect. I will continue to work on my handstand and I can’t wait to see where it will lead me next! If you are interested in starting your own handstand practice I will post my own tips below! If handstands aren’t your thing, what pose depicts your journey? Need help with other asanas? Email me and request a tutorial for my next post!
Tips on your Inversion Excursion:
1. Practice next to a wall, but far enough away from the wall that you have to use your muscles. Use the wall to provide a sense of trust that you can’t fall on your back, but keep it far enough away that it doesn’t become a crutch!
2. Drishti! Your drishti is where you keep your gaze during a pose. Don’t direct your line of vision between your arms where you can see the world upside down. Keep your stare at the top of the triangle. Whats the top of a triangle? See your hands on the floor, draw an imaginary triangle and your hands are the base, keep your vision on the tip of the triangle!
3. Hands and fingers! Hand placement is huge. Keep your pointer finger pointed straight towards the baseboard of the wall. Your pointer finger should form a T-shape with the bottom of the wall. Keep your fingers spread wide and push your fingers into the floor. White finger tips and wide surface area are going to keep you upright. When you push into your palms, you cut your base surface area in half!
4. Now butt up and walk your toes as close to your head as you possibly can and….kick!! Donkey Kick high and use straight legs. Imagine a straight force of energy coming out of your foot and kick straight out. A bent, noodle like leg will bring you down.
5. Shoulders down! Pull your shoulders down and back so the blades appear to kiss in the back. Remember a handstand is just an upside down regular stand! We want to keep proper alignment, and when was it every proper to walk around with your shoulders kissing your ears?
6. Now don’t rush getting up, kick one leg up and see if you can get some hang time. If you are getting both feet up and want the key to staying up, squeeze your thighs together! Squeeze so hard that if someone put their fist in between your thighs they could not escape your grasp.
7. These are wonderful tips to add to your Inversion Excursion, but remember its not a race, we all get their in our own time. And I’m here for you, if theres somewhere you want to be, schedule your session today and I promise we will get you there!
8. Lastly, but not least, remember the three keys to a successful hand stand, flexible hamstrings, open shoulders, and tight core. Completing exercises that achieve these three key tips will only help. 🙂