With consistency, practice, and perseverance we can accomplish a great deal of things. So in the spirit of building strength and flexibility here are 5 more tips that you can use in your practice to build up to handstand.
If you missed tips 1 - 5 check out this blog post.
Handstand Tip #6
Refining our ability to get into handstand. In the beginning we focus on the basic shape and alignment principles of a pose. The more we practice, the more we refine our skills. To get into handstand with more ease, it's important that the shoulders are open.
1. Face a wall and place your right hand on the wall at shoulder height. (Make sure the crease of the wrist is parallel to the ceiling.)
2. Press through the four corners of your hand. Especially press the mound of the index finger.
3. Stand tall, keeping the space from the hips to underarms (side bodies) long.
4. Maintaining that length, keep the head of the right shoulder back and slowly turn towards your left.
5. * Bending your elbow slightly will make it easier to keep the head of your right shoulder rooted back.
6. Now try this on your left side.
Handstand Tip #7
We need to be courageous of heart and strong in our confidence! We've been practicing, we can do this! In addition to open shoulders you need to stay strong in your core. There's a tendency to let our ribs pop forward when our arms go overhead. Watch out for this!
1. Stand with your back against a wall.
2. Using a yoga block or full tissue box works too 😉, place the block between your hands and gently press into the block.
3. Bring your arms parallel to the floor, drawing the arms in socket (the backs of the shoulders are touching the wall), hands still gently squeezing the block.
4. Slowly reach your arms overhead.
5. Keep the sides of your waist moving back towards the wall and tailbone lengthening towards the floor. Engage your belly.
6. If your ribs pop forward and you over arch the back, don't reach up all the way yet.
Handstand Tip #8
Being able to adapt to the moment is a wonderful gift. When we become more flexible physically, we find our thoughts and attitudes are also more flexible. We start to see things from another's perspective with greater ease. If one way doesn't work, we pause, breathe, and become open to another solution.
This movement will help us to open up our side bodies and build a greater range of movement through the shoulders.
1. Stand with your back against the wall.
2. Arms alongside the body, palms forward.
3. Keep the backs of the hands on the wall and slowly make a snow angel - reaching your arms over head.
4. If your hands come off the wall, don't go any higher. Keep the sides of the waistline moving back and your tummy engaged 😉
5. Slowly return back the same way you came up.
Handstand Tip #9
We've spent some time increasing our flexibility and ability to adapt in the previous tips. But without strength, we'll come across as wishy-washy. We must be strong in knowing who we are and feel confident in the choices we make. In order to hold your handstand you need a strong core. Let's get to playing!!
1. Lying on your back, arms alongside you, palms face down.
2. Start with both legs at a 90 degree angle to the body.
3. Knit the ribs back towards the floor and keep the lower belly engaged.
4. Lower your right leg to a 30 degree angle.
5. Check in, is your rib cage popping up and back over arching? If so lift your leg a little higher.
6. If you can keep the ribs from popping up and the back in neutral (belly is engaged) continue to lower your leg until it is 2 inches above the floor.
7. Bring the right leg back up and now do the left leg.
8. For a greater challenge, extend your arms overhead, backs of the hands on the floor.
9. An even greater challenge is to do both legs at once.
Handstand Tip #10
Building a strong core (practicing Tip #9 will help or even Tip #3 from my previous blog post) will help you to build the courage you need to go back into upside down box (see Tip #5 here for more details on Upside Down Box). After you have consistently practiced Tips 1 - 9, this is the next step. I highly recommend you have a friend spot you in this pose.
In Upside Down Box, look at the floor between your hands.
Carefully lift your right leg away from the wall.
Keep your right legs, shoulder, and wrist all in a relatively straight line.
Avoid moving your right leg too far back, this will over arch the back, and you will lose the power from your core.
This pose is best done with a friend to spot you.
Those are some of my insider tips to building a strong handstand practice. Stay tuned for our 21 Day Challenge starting April 1 - 29 Challenge (challenges will be posted on Instagram, Facebook, and via the newsletter) where we will use these tips to build core strength, boost our energy, and lift our spirits! I hope you will join me in this special journey, you are sure to see a difference in the way you feel and look at life!