Advice Popular Yoga Practice

How to Do a Handstand: 4 Tips to Mastery

Handstand is one of those poses that feels like only a dream for so many of us.

It’s possible to master Handstand with plenty of practice and with keeping a few keys in mind.

1. Plank it out!
Wait, what? Okay, I know this isn’t a tip to do while in Handstand, but practicing planks and all their variations will give your inversions a massive overhaul. They strengthen the core in all the right places and in just the right way, so once you make these a regular habit, you’ll be amazed at how far your Handstands will come.

2. Use your fingers!
Notice where your weight goes when you head upside down. Do you “dump” into the heel of your hands? When you do that you’ll inevitably feel discomfort in your hands and wrists and then you’ll just fall right back down. Instead, while keeping your shoulders over your wrists, try gently leaning forward into your fingers. The majority of the weight will land around the index finger and thumb. Really “grip” the ground with the fingers! It’s pretty impressive how such a small link in the Handstand chain can have such a big impact.

3. Know where your center is.
Your “center” of gravity is sacrum. When you’re standing upright, your hips bear the most weight. When you’re in Handstand, your pelvis determines whether or not you’ll stay there. If your hips/pelvis move too far past your head, you’ll fall down. So focus on keeping your body in a nice, straight line and your sacrum over your shoulders and you’ll be able to hold it longer.

4. Use a wall!
Please don’t be afraid to use a wall. I know you want to free stand without one, but trust me: it’ll build up your confidence if you’re not used to testing your abilities 😉

Over to you! How do you feel about Handstands? Have you learned any tips you want to pass along?

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6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jade

    February 13, 2017 at 6:45 am

    After mastering splits, I set handstands/forearmstands as my new goal! Today I was actually taking pictures for the #perfectlybadyogi challenge and I was able to hold my handstand for like 2 seconds!! I still use a wall because I’m afraid of tipping over. I think practise makes progress and you just have to be patient when learning such a difficult pose… The planking tip is pretty great. I believe that you don’t only learn handstands by focusing on handstands. I do yoga everyday with the PBYP and I think it is greatly improving my handstands! Doing yoga makes me feel ‘in touch’ with my body. I can understand my body a lot better, and keep increasing my strength every day. Thank you for PBYP, all your free youtube videos, your positive spirit and these lovely posts! If I ever get to a full handstand, I’ll tag you. 😉 x Jedi._.yogi

  2. Avatar

    Steph

    February 13, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Great tips, thank you.
    I used to do gymnastics as a child and into early teens and hand stands were rather easy for me and I can still do it and hold it most of the times if I get into it ‘gymnastic style’, but it’s only using momentum from an upright position and when I hold it I’m usually not really conscious of what I’m doing. Getting into a hand stand yoga style from a downdog is way more difficult to me, demands a lot more controle and core strength.
    I’ve been having high blood pressure problem for a few months so I can’t practice my hand stands any more but after reading this I’m going to plank it out, as you say, in hopes that at some point I can do inversions again. 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Tiffany

      February 16, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      I hope your health improves so you can practice them again! ?

  3. Avatar

    Siobhan

    February 13, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Whenever I try to get into handstand the bottom half of my body feels too weighted to get up and my feet flop back down to the ground. I used to feel the same thing in headstand but I think I wasn’t positioning my hips over my shoulders enough & I’ve rectified that now-could this be the same “issue” I’m having with handstand?

  4. Avatar

    Malisa

    February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Handstands are my goal in 2017, but I’m seriously a beginner, so these were good tips! I do practice my planking often, so I guess I’m off to a decent start!

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