Handstands are one of the best full body exercises. And yet most people don’t do them for the simple reason that they think they can’t.

Just like other poses in yoga, handstands are about getting outside of your comfort zone so you grow physically and mentally stronger. Whether you’re new to yoga or you are an advanced practitioner, handstands have so many benefits including:

  1. Building upper body strength and stability
  2. Increasing core strength
  3. Improving your balance and body awareness
  4. Boosting your mood
  5. Improving your circulation

Begin your handstand practice slowly by building strength and stability in Down Dog. This will teach your body to stabilise in an ‘open shoulder’ position – where your arms are directly vertical instead of at an angle (like in Plank Pose).

Down Dog - open shoulder angle

Down Dog – open shoulder angle

Plank - closed shoulder angle

Plank – closed shoulder angle

Once you feel strong and stable in Down Dog then begin exploring handstands using the following techniques:

  1. Down Dog Jumps – Begin in Down Dog and jump up so your bottom is stacked above your shoulders. Make sure your shoulder angle stays open so it’s just your wrists acting as a pivot – the rest of your spine stays the same throughout the movement
  2. Switch Kicks – being in Down Dog and kick up, switching legs in the air
  3. Wall Walk Ups – begin in Plank Pose with your heels touching the wall. Walk your feet up the wall and walk your hands in until your feet are hip height and your hips form a right angle with your hips stacked over your shoulders and your shoulders stacked over your wrists.

Check out our Handstand Tutorial on Youtube for instructions on handstand drills using a wall.