How to master yoga handstand

By TNT Bureau

Mar 16, 2017: Are you facing problems in doing handstands? Doing a handstand requires balance, technique, body awareness, and strength. But with practice, discipline, and right technique, you can do a handstand. However, you need to focus on these four areas to prepare your body for this intense inversion.

Alignment

Your body should be straight when you are doing handstand just like when you are standing on your feet. If you cannot stand up in Tadasana or Mountain pose with the right alignment, you will find it difficult to stand steady on your hands. For handstand, your spine should be very straight, with the ankles, hips, shoulders, and ears all in alignment. This alignment will eventually help you to balance and protect your lower back.

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To practice this alignment, try to do Upward Salute Pose (Udhva Hastasana). While you do this asana, check the alignment of your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles. They should be in one line; your shoulders should be down and away from your ears. Your lower, front ribs should be towards the spine to protect the lower back; keep the collarbones wide.

Wrists

If your wrists are weak and not flexible, you will find it difficult to do handstands. Your wrists are the base for this posture, hence they have to be very strong to take the weight of the body.

To test the strength of your wrists, come into an all fours position; hips over your knees, arms straight, and shoulders stacked over your wrists; spread the fingers wide and facing forward. Now slowly shift your weight forward, shoulders past your knees. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Rest your wrists for a moment, and repeat for five more times.

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You can do another exercise. Rotate your fingers so that they are pointing backwards toward your wrists; now shift your weight back; the heels of your hands should be on the ground. Do this five times, each for 3-5 seconds.

Core

Core strength will help you to lift the body up and stay in handstand. A strong core gives you stability and balance. You should be able to stay in a plank for at least 1 minute before you attempt a handstand. For an advanced level, start in plank with a towel, roller or ball under your feet. Keep your arms and shoulders straight, and use your core strength to bring your feet toward your hands.

Shoulders

Handstands also require upper body strength to hold the body upside down. Push-up is a good exercise to make your arms, shoulders, upper back, and core strong. Four Limbed Staff pose or Chaturanga Dandasana is also a good posture to strengthen the shoulders.

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