This weekend I taught my first handstand workshop at The Power Yoga Company. For those of you that know my journey, you know that it wasn’t until this year that I stepped away from the wall and was able to hold a handstand. I have studied with some amazing teachers (Briohny & Dice, Dylan Werner, Patrick Beach, Kerri Verna, Alex Nino – to name a few!) and I love to share what I have learned and personally experienced.
Below are the anatomical cues I mentioned in the workshop together with two videos I previously recorded related to handstands. I will work on a more up to date video soon!
Hands: spread fingers wide. Imagine a line where you line up your pinky and thumb. Some people like to turn their hands out a bit more. Different arguments made for weight on knuckles, spider fingers, etc so I think this is personal and something you will have to see with time what works best for you.
Arms: elbow eye points back, squeeze forearms towards one another, wrap triceps.
Shoulders: Protraction (round upper back, separating shoulder blades), elevation (shoulders to ears), external rotation (take your arms out in front of you, turn palms facing up). When you externally rotate the shoulders you fire up the muscles that support your shoulder joints.
Core: this is underestimated by many practicing handstands and is incredibly important! Ribs and navel sewn together and drawn in.
Pelvis: Posterior pelvic tilt (Michael Jackson), squeeze the glutes and inner thighs. The only time there is an anterior pelvic tilt is when you are bunny hopping or pressing both legs together – the anterior pelvic tilt happens at the mid point before lifting legs up.
Feet: Point toes. We try to control handstands with legs and feet when all of the above isn’t happening, but it is actually your hands that should be controlling your handstand.
Always warm up your wrists before practicing handstands. Here’s a video with exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles that control your hands:
Here’s a video with tips to practice your handstand, including what to do when using a wall:
A big thank you to all who came to this workshop! I look forward to doing more in the new year! Phantai Yoga Mats very kindly let us use their mats and has offered everyone a 15% discount using the code: MINDFULSONDER15
Here are some photos from the event!