Handstand is a pose that might seem unattainable or impossible at first sight. However, with persistence, technique, and patience, anyone can learn how to do a handstand with time.
Learning to engage the shoulders, core, and arms properly, will increase and build steadiness over time. From there, handstand becomes easier to refine. They key, in practicing and integrating these simple tips, is patience. Anyone who takes the time and is patient, can learn how to do a handstand, regardless of how hard it may seem in the beginning.
Here are 5 simple and concise tips for learning how to do a handstand:
1. Press down more through inner hands
2. Keep legs very straight and strong
3. Press arms to straight and strong
4. Kick up to handstand at the bottom of an exhale
5. Gaze slightly forward and down
More importantly then how to do the pose, is why is it worth taking the time and energy to learn how to do a handstand?
Here are 5 of the best benefits of handstands:
1. More Patience: It is healthy to practice poses that you may not nail in one class. Chances are, holding a handstand takes considerable time and persistence. In a culture that loves quick fixes, cultivating patience through practicing something like handstand, has value.
2. Upper Body Strength: Even prepping from handstand strengthens the upper body and trapezius muscles. Whereas, many yoga poses fovea flexibility over strength, handstand is more a more strength based posture and will tone your upper body.
3. Better Balance: Handstand is a balancing pose. Balancing postures are meant to help you feel balance inside. To balance in a yoga pose, means needing to use your entire body, in unison, as a connected whole. Through practicing handstand, whether or not you’re able to stay balanced, you’re practicing inner balance.
4. More Confidence: It takes courage to go upside down and learning how to do a handstand is (something that is seemingly impossible to most people), can help cultivate a healthy sense of confidence. While, well-being is never worth assessing based on external circumstances (like how much money we have, or whether or not we can balance on our hands), working towards something intimidating over time, and mastering it, is something to be proud of. The benefits learned on a yoga mat, have the potential to create more confidence and breakthroughs in other areas of life as well.
5. Strong Core: You cannot do this posture without knowing how to engage your core properly. This pose incorporates the use of your lower abdominals in connecting your legs, which must be powerful in the pose, with your arms, that are your source of balance. Doing this pose over time will not only make your core stronger, but also make you more in tune with how to use your core.
By Keith Allen
These 5 handstand tips are taken from Keith's book, The Yoga Fix. Keith teaches yoga internationally, leading teacher trainings, retreats, and workshops. He also teaches on Yoga Download. In addition to yoga, Keith is passionate about traveling the world, producing videos, meditation, skiing, making art, and enjoying music. Connect with him on his website or instagram!
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