In Sanskrit, the name of Handstand is Adho Mukha Vrkasana, translated word by word into Downward Facing Tree Pose. This pose is an Arm Balance and Inversion, a very fun and good looking pose that most people would love to try sometimes on their Yoga journey.
Handstand, when done with the support of a wall, is safe, but still challenging and exciting. I myself can't hold a handstand on my own, so I practice Handstand with the wall, very stable and trustworthy support. In the photo: Dzung, my Yogi friend in Hanoi performing Handstand.
L - SHAPED HANDSTAND
Start in with your hands and feet on the floor, something like in a Downward Facing Dog pose, with your head looking away from the wall. Start walking your feet on the wall. Push into your feet to push your hips away from the wall and put your hips right on the top of your shoulders.
It's very good to do the pose next to a mirror, so you can check your shape in the mirror. Notice if your spine is in a backbend. If so, flex your spine a bit to make a letter L shape. You can stay here, it's already a lot of weight on your arms, and an Inversion. If you want more, take one leg from the wall and raise it straight to the sky.
From L shaped Handstand, you can continue walking your feet higher on the wall and at the same time walking your hands closer towards the wall to make the pose straighter. Now, you look more and more like in a complete Handstand. A lot of weight is on your arms now and especially, you feel heavier and heavier on your fingertips. If you want to try it, one leg away from the wall.
This way of doing Handstand is totally safe, you can not fall, no scary jumping or kicking. Very stable and safe, this is also an excellent strength training Yoga pose to build up strength and awareness in Inversion.
Try it at home!
JUMP / KICK TO HANDSTAND: USE MOMENTUM
In this version, you will practice kicking or jumping to Handstand, using momentum. Now we start with hands and feet on the floor in a Downward Facing Dog pose, but with your head facing towards the wall. Stand pretty close to the wall so that when you kick, your feet can reach the wall at some point. If possible, ask for a Yoga teacher or a Yogi friend to wait at the wall to support holding you AT YOUR HIP. Don't hold the legs, because if you panic, you won't be able to bring your legs down and get out of the pose.
From Down Dog, raise one leg up. The other leg on the floor: point toes and bend knees to make it a jumping spring. Jump several times to reach higher. Maybe you can touch one leg to the wall.
Or you can jump with both legs up at the same time. When you reach the right height, your hip with touch and rest on the wall. You can straighten your legs and rest both legs on the wall.
Bend your knees to touch the toes to the wall and push your hip away from the wall. Now, it's more like a complete Handstand. You can raise one leg up to feel it even more.
I describe these two ways: L shape and Kick Jump in more detail in the Prop Up post about Forearm Stand.
Thank you for reading! More about how to Prop Up Inversions in Yoga:
About Inversion in Yoga - Halasana: Plow Pose
Shoulder Stand - Salamba Sarvanganasana
Handstand in Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrkasana
Sirsasana - Tripod Headstand
Sirsasana - ¨Traditional¨ Headstand
See how I use basic Yoga props to do ANY Yoga poses in my Prop Up Project:
Yoga Poses in the Sun Salutations
Prop Up Project from Ha My Yoga to help you do more than 80 Yoga poses easier and more effectively with simple Yoga props like block, strap, wall, blanket, bolster, etc. So you can really enjoy doing Yoga!
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