When it comes to inversions, most people come to me wanting to learn handstand. It’s a powerful inversion that requires a lot of strength and concentration. There are so many poses that you can practice while you find the strength, but it’s one of those things that only truly happen when you practice, practice, practice. These are a few tips to get started:
1. Refine Your Downward Facing Dog: Before you start practicing handstand, make sure that you have your fundamental downward facing dog down. Read this guide on how to align downward facing dog properly.
2. Practice Puppy Dog At The Wall: This is a game changer. Measure one legs distance away from the wall, then place your hands down and walk your feet up until they are hip height. I am measuring my arms distance above because I find it easier to get my hips in place this way – but start with measuring your legs distance. This is way harder than handstand itself! It helps you find where your hips need to be in order to balance on your hands, and builds an incredible amount of strength in your arms.
3. Lift One Leg At A Time: Start “finding your body in space”. When is your leg too far forward versus directly over your hips? Slowly lift one leg at a time and press the wall away with your opposite foot. Keep clenching your finger tips into the mat to stop yourself from falling over–which if you do, is not the worst thing. It’s important to get over our fears in inversions. One of the most important alignment points in this step is to keep rolling your inner thighs together to internal rotation. If your hips begin to move into external rotation, finding balance is going to be nearly impossible.
4. Practice Lifting Both Legs: Find stability in your shoulders while you work your triceps back and biceps forward, just like in downward facing dog. Find your hips directly over your shoulders, like in puppy dog, and dig into your core strength to help you lift one leg and then the other. If you fall–that’s great! You are one step closer to finding the security to do this on your own.