Yoga is a historic practice that originated in ancient India but it now a worldwide phenomenon. It helps to promote spiritual, physical and mental alertness and discipline through a series of breathing techniques, postures and meditation. One of these postures is the handstand.
The handstand (Ado Mukha Vrksasana) is one of the inverted poses in yoga. It is a way of supporting the body in a stable and vertically inverted position while balancing on the hand. It requires flexibility, strength, body alignment and integration. Usually, the body is held in a straight position with the legs and arms extended. The hands are spaced accordingly while the legs are put together.
There are several variations of the pose but an individual must possess upper body strength to go along with balance to be able to successfully carry it out. Handstands help to strengthen the arms, legs and a person’s core. It requires utilizing every muscle in the body to keep the pose.
A handstand may look like the coolest exercise that you can do but it is more difficult than it looks. It is one of the most intimidating poses in yoga. You need a lot of bravery and physical skill and strength to do it but fortunately, this can be learned or built. You will find some of its benefits here.
How to Do the Handstand As a Beginner
One challenging part of the pose is the patience t takes. Mastering it takes time as well as dedication but when you do, it is really rewarding. Although trying it can be intimidating at first but with a step-by-step method to it, you will find that with dedication and patience, it is achievable. When you master it, you would have made gains in flexibility, strength, discipline and balance.
The best way you can begin is to first of all have a clear goal about why you want to do this. This is what will keep you focused and motivated during times when things get tough and it feels like you are heading nowhere with it. Additionally, decide the route with which you want to learn. Will you be going solo or will you need a teacher?
As with anything do not just get into it without a goal as it will be counterproductive in the end. When you are ready with your goal, below are the steps to begin mastering handstand as a newbie.
Be Mindful how You Start
A lot of people start with doing handstands right away but this is not the best way as much as it sounds good. It can lead to injury or discomfort and this may ultimately discourage you from continuing with it. You should learn by laying the right foundations. By doing this, you will progress better, be less frustrated, avoid injury and you will build the required strength and motivation to stay the course. People who rush into it will eventually start struggling. They become frustrated when they do not see the progress that they desire and they eventually give up.
Ensure That You Can Train Safely
Handstands require endurance and this can be telling on the body. Avoid doing it if you have any injuries or pain. Also, do not push through the pain but ensure that all your injury concerns are taken care of before you begin. This will save you from getting hurt or getting stuck along the way. You will enjoy the process and get things done faster if you are free of injury and pain.
Depending on how you learn or who is teaching you, the handstand can be broken down into several steps. At its core must include building strength, flexibility and alignment. It is important to move through each step at your pace. Go on to the next step only after you have mastered your current step.
The Strength Step
These drills help you to build and master strength, engaging and activating the serratus and helps in scapula control.
- Put your hands on the floor and let your index fingers face forwards. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
- Come to a plank position and let your shoulders be above your wrists while putting your legs together.
- Keep your hand straight and put the shoulder blades together. Next is to push up so that the shoulder blades can come apart.
- Still, with your arms straight, bring the shoulder blades together again and repeat.
The Flexibility Step
This step target areas that will help to increase your overhead mobility and range. It includes.
- Finding a flat surface that is around the height of your waist. Put your hands on the surface and ensure your arms are straight.
- Move backward and make a 90 degrees bend at your hips. Ensure that your feet are on top of your ankles and at hip-width apart.
- Be at ease and open your shoulder but do not let your back arch so much. Stay in this position for about 30 seconds.
- Next is to contract your shoulder as well as chest muscles. Create a feeling of resistance in your stomach by tensing the muscles there and sucking in the ribs. Do this for 10 seconds and repeat from step 5 above several times.
This set of exercises helps your body parts to align during a handstand.
- Stand with your back to the wall then reach down and place your hands on the floor.
- Step your legs onto the wall one after the other.
- Walk your hand into the wall while simultaneously walking your feet up it. Do this until you are in a handstand position and your hands are shoulder-width apart.
- Stay awhile in this position and come out of it by walking your feet down the wall and your hands from it. You can check here https://howtohandstand.com/beginners/ to learn more.
Handstands are cool when you can do them but falling on your head and getting injured is not so cool. Ensure that you do not rush into doing it but follow the necessary precautions and steps.