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How to Do a Handstand

How do I balance in handstand away from the wall? -Chris F. Bikram Yoga Teacher
Step 1, L-Pose

Foundation:

  • Start on hands and knees, a legs length away from the wall.
  • Align knees under the hips, wrists under the shoulders.
  • Place the hands, such that the center of your wrists line-up with the outer shoulder.
  • Wrists make a straight line across the mat.
  • Flatten the entire perimeter of your hands evenly.

Key Actions:

  • Straighten the arms.
  • Lengthen the sides of your torso long – from the hip, up to the armpit.
  • Engage the shoulders flat on the back.
  • Once you step the feet up the wall
  • Keep your arms straight.

Step up the wall, with the feet at the same height as your hips.

  • Lift the hips up.
  • Make the chest vertical.
  • Lift shoulder blades up the back towards your hips.
  • Gaze between your hands.

Step 2, Work Against the wall


Foundation:

  • Start with your hands about 8-10inches away from the wall. Get close to prevent an over-arching in the low back.
  • Align your hands, center of the wrists under the outer shoulder, wrists straight across.
  • Knees under your hips

Key Actions:

  • Flatten your hands and straighten your arms.
  • Lengthen the sides of your torso (from your hip up to the armpit) long with your breath.
  • Soften the chest towards the floor just enough that the shoulders are even on your back.

Extend one leg. With the hips square and the extended leg straight, gaze between your hands and kick up to the wall on an inhale.

  • Press your hands down into the floor to straighten your arms.
  • Squeeze your feet and legs to touch.
  • Flex your feet.
  • Gaze between your hands and slightly forward of your fingertips.
  • Try bringing one, then both feet off the wall together to meet.
  • Engage your hands, by gripping the floor with the fingertips, like your palming a basketball.

Step 3, Balance in the center of the room. Learn to fall out without hurting yourself.

Foundation:

  • Set up like you would in the first two variations.
  • Lift up For Down Dog, walk your feet together and forward till your shoulders are above your wrists. Arms vertical.
  • Kick up like you would against the wall.

Key Actions:

  • Keep the arm steady and straight.
  • Gaze between your hands and slightly forward of your hands.
  • Practice kicking up with straight arms and extended leg.
  • Exhale, bend your standing leg.
  • Inhale, kick up!
  • Squeeze feet and legs together.
  • Flex your feet.
  • Use your fingertips clawing in, like your palming a basketball to hit the breaks and prevent you from going over.

If you are going to flip over, catch yourself! Cartwheel out! Have fun all you renegade hand-standers.

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