Handstands, they look beautiful, they seem unattainable but what are they really good for and why should I do them? Well for starters they move your blood flow in the opposite direction which allows for fresh blood to revitalize your organs. In fact, you are reversing gravity which will helps fight the signs of aging.
Handstands are also all about balance and we're not just talking about external balance. If you're super connected to your body and your handstand isn't flowing as solid as you like, it could mean your digestion is off or your emotions are running high.
On top of that, they also strengthen the body and help improve confidence. It's natural for us to be afraid to fall so practicing this inversion helps us to face our fear. Plus, once we get it down it shows us that there was nothing to fear after all. As much as it helps the body it helps the mind.
Okay, but even with that information they are still challenging right? Riiiight! That's why we've come up with a few tips and tricks to get your handstand from zero to 100. It's time to turn your world upside down and level up!
1. Stretch it out- although strength is important flexibility plays just as great of a role in your handstands. We want to make sure we are warming up the wrists properly to ensure we float up with ease and protect our wrists which will carry a lot of the weight.
Start in a table top and flip your hands so your fingers point toward your legs with your palms touching the ground. Do this for a few breaths on each side.
From a plank pose lean slightly forward as if you were going into chaturanga and hold for a few breaths.
2. Booty time- when you go into a handstand you should be squeezing your bum the entire time. This means from the moment you kick up as well as when you are up in the air.
3. Abs, Abs, Abs!- your core is your center of gravity and a key component to any balancing pose. You want to make sure you are engaging and squeezing your abs the entire time.
As a way to strengthen your core and understand those muscles, practice a hollow body.
start by lying on your back
engage your abs
lift your legs, shoulders, and head off the ground with arms lifted up at the side of the body
breathe baby breathe!
4. Point your pretty little toes- once you are up in the air it's important to keep the toes pointed. This will activate all the muscles in your legs ensuring they are tight and strong.
5. How's your down dog?- down dog can help us a lot when it comes to handstands because we are working with similar muscle groups, specifically the shoulders, This is a great place to focus on pushing through your hands along with the upward rotation of the scapula. If you are not quite ready for handstands you can stay here in down dog and receive most of the same benefits.
Now go on and let go of any attachments to results, be committed to your practice, and have fun with it!