Handstands look cool when someone else performs this amazing balancing act on their hands. You would most likely be amazed and exclaim ‘wow’ or ‘cool’ in response when someone performs a handstand with such apparent ease. However, the moment you try to do it yourself, you seem to have an inability to do it—in other words, you surrender completely.
Undeniably, the handstand is a yoga pose that requires a lot of balance and power in hands and shoulders. More than power, you require self-belief, flexibility, and emotional strength. There are other El asanas that require a toughness of the mind & body, but a handstand is in another league.
Fear is most likely the main issue—the fear of getting hurt and the feeling of isolation when your inverted head experiences a rush of blood. To overcome this fear and replace it with confidence is the way to go.
The following six tips and tricks will help you get into the mode of performing a handstand quickly and effectively.
Ways to Go
Check your strength: When you resolve to do it, check the strength of your shoulders and arms. Your wrists should be powerful enough to withstand your bodyweight. That aside, you need to check your mental strength. Ask yourself: “Do you really want to do it?” If the reply is yes, then no one can stop you from doing it.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use the wall as a prop: Find a decent space between two walls or a doorway. Place your head and shoulders against the door and walk by placing steps over the wall until you are almost vertical with your feet up and head and shoulders on the ground. Then slowly come down without hurting yourself.
2. Try Bolsters: The pads and bolsters at the studio are fine for practicing handstand but ensure that mat is there for support when you land on it. At home, gather some pillows and place them vertically along the wall to support your head while practicing. This can reduce the fear of falling down.
3. Breathing: Breathing is an important part of yoga. The beginners make the mistake of focusing totally on lifting the legs ignoring normal breathing. The breathing aspect keeps the brain functioning normal, otherwise rush of blood can cause dizziness. Breathing also protects your lungs to withstand pressure. Hopping up on the wall and exhaling air should be simultaneous. Inhale once you are along the wall, head down.
4. Vertical force: Channel your energy by using this trick. Bend one leg as much as possible while keeping the other one straight. Next, unfold the bent leg with a spring motion to move the other straight leg up on the wall. Push your hips and midriff close to the wall. Your handstand journey has just begun.
5. Align your body: If you have not succeeded yet at inverting your body straight along the wall, maybe you are arching your back more than you should. Keep back straight!
6. Handstand after practice: When you are ready to leave wall support and do handstand freely, take a deep breath and count up to five. Bend one leg with hands firmly on the ground, and then in one motion fling your legs skyward.
This elite yoga asana gives great confidence, a sense of power, and immense joy. So, keep up the good work!