Use these 6 poses to get ready for Handstand.
Whether you are a total newbie or a longtime handstand fan, these next 6 poses will help improve your Handstand.
1st Pose: Three-Legged Down Dog
From Down Dog, lift your right leg up and bring it as high as your hip with toes facing down. Continue to lift your leg to create a straight line from your right hand to your right foot. Hold it there for 5-10 breaths, then lower your leg and repeat on the left side. Feel free to rest in child’s pose in between.
Tip: Please keep your hips square. If you aren't quite sure if your alignment is correct, then practice in front of a mirror or videotape yourself.
2nd Pose: Plank with Leg Lifts
Start in Down Dog and shift forward into Plank Pose. Please make sure to align your hands below the shoulders. Engage your core and dome up from the space in between the shoulder blades to round the upper part of the spine (protract: the opposite of melting your heart). Once you find the stability in your Plank Pose, start to lift your right foot 3-4 inches off the ground leading with your inner thigh and pointing the toes. Hold here for 5 calm breaths and make sure you stay in the shape of Handstand. Switch to the left side with the option to rest in between.
Tip: Through the protraction of your shoulder blades you will gain more stability in your shoulder girdle and make the Handstand posture more accessible.
3rd Pose: Standing L-Shape
Stand one-leg distance from a wall and lift your right leg to hip height. Place your foot flat against the wall and start to straighten your leg without locking your knee. Make sure that the leg you are standing on is directly below your left hip. Keep pushing into both feet and draw the ribs in together. Lift both arms overhead while finding the same protraction in your shoulders as you did in Plank Pose. Flex both hands. Hold here for about 30 seconds before switching to the other side.
Tip: Activate both feet by pushing one foot into the wall and the other into the ground. Keep your hands flexed with palms facing up (imagine you could push them against the ceiling) and make sure to keep the back aligned.
4th Pose: Inverted L-Shape against the Wall
For me, this pose is harder than the actual handstand as you really have room to cheat. All of your body must be engaged and working in synchronicity.
Start by sitting down and facing the wall. Extend your legs with your feet touching the wall. Take your hands to the outside of the hips. Keep one hand there and then turn around placing your other hand back where it was. You are now in Short Down Dog with the heels against the wall. Begin to walk up against the wall as you straighten your legs to not slide back down. Draw the belly to the spine, keeping your legs and arms straight, and find the protraction in your shoulders again. Breathe calmly for 5-10 breaths. Then rest in child’s pose. Repeat 3x’s.
Tip: If you have really tight hamstrings, then set up in Down Dog facing the wall to enter the L-Shape this way.
5th Pose: Inverted L-Shape with Leg Lift against the Wall
Return to the L-Shape Pose. Once you feel strong and stable, then start to raise your right leg toward the ceiling, leading with your inner thigh. Stop once you find a vertical line from your right hand to your right foot. Keep everything engaged and hold the position for 5 breaths. Lower the leg and switch to the left.
Tip: Focus your gaze towards one point on a wall to ensure your neck remains relaxed.
6th Pose: Half Handstand Toe at the Wall
If you feel stable in Pose 5, then it’s time to step it up a notch. Set up in your L-Shape against the wall. Lift the right leg up like you did in Pose 5, begin to shift your point of contact to your left big toe, and start to lift up your heel. Stay committed in keeping everything engaged with both hands equally working together. Take 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Tip: Continue to engage your core muscles to maintain balance.