Handstands – The Ultimate Guide

Everything you need to know about this advanced yoga asana, and how to prepare for it.

Everyone knows Handstand. It’s simple, looks awesome, and is the gateway pose to a lot of inversions and arm balances. Some of us are lucky and have been handstanding all over the place since we were small. Others have to spend a lot of time developing the core and arm strength in order to get into this challenging pose. But no matter your experience level, this ultimate guide will help you on your handstand journey, from preparing to go upside down, to the many benefits you stand to gain.

Getting Down With Handstands

If you’re one of the people who can’t just pop right into a handstand, don’t worry! You’re in good company. Sometimes developing this pose takes a lot of time and effort. But the best way to get started is with a dedicated yoga practice. If you spend time on your mat every day, you’re sure to gain strength in the core, shoulders, and arms, all of which are used to hold you upside down on your hands. To help you along your way, here are some ways to get started with Handstands, so you feel more comfortable in this challenging asana.

Prep Poses For Handstands

Since Handstand takes a lot of preparation, it’s handy to have some how-tos to get you where you want to go. If you regularly add these poses into your yoga practice, you’re sure to build the strength you need to fully invert. Try and practice yoga for at least a half hour a day, and spend as much time as you like on these poses, even if a few of them aren’t your favorites. Sometimes, the poses we like the least are the ones we need the most. So get Planking, Down-Dogging and inverting your way to a strong, solid Handstand.

Handstand Tips For Weak Wrists and Arms

Handstand is a pose with a strong focus on balance, but wrist and arm strength are not unimportant. Whether you know your arms or wrists are weak, or whether you’re a handstand novice and haven’t started training these muscle groups yet – here are some tips to avoid injury and consciously build the strength you need for a Handstand.

Handstand How-Tos – Tips and Variations

There are some really awesome variations you can try once you’ve reached full Handstand. But just like any asana, listen to what your body has to say before moving into it. Sometimes you’ll move very, very slowly in your quest to strike a certain pose, and that’s ok! Moving slowly into an asana is way better than an injury. But for those of you who are ready to try, here are a few Handstand variations to add into your practice.

Balancing Without Inversion: Other Poses To Try!

Balancing poses have great benefits, even if you’re not head over heels. Poses which have you standing on your arms are great for strengthening arms, shoulders, back and core. They also require a lot of concentration, finding your center (both mentally and physically) and overcoming the fear of tipping. Some of these poses are easier than the Handstand, but some of them are significantly more advanced, since they also incorporate twists or binds. So there’s an inversionless balance for every yogi, no matter your level.

More About Handstands

If you haven’t found quite what you’re looking for, maybe you’ll find it below! With a few funny things to remind you not to take your practice too seriously, and some life lessons to be learned, these fun things will round out your ultimate Handstand guide.