• The Essential Components of a Handstand

    Learning how to do a handstand is a great way to challenge yourself. Handstands help improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. Mastering this pose takes time, but with drills that target its components, you’ll be able to do the pose much faster than if you practiced with no focus at all. You’ll find video lessons throughout this post that you can use on your handstand journey.

    Let’s take a look at the essential components you need to master handstands.

    Shoulder strength and flexibility

    One of the most important things you need to do handstands in yoga is strong and flexible shoulders. Your shoulders need to be able to support your body weight, and they also need to move comfortably through a full range of motion. If your shoulders are not strong and flexible, you are at risk of injuring them. So make sure to focus on strengthening and stretching your shoulder muscles if you want to do handstands in yoga.

    Poses like plank, puppy pose, and yoga pushups will help you build the strength and flexibility you need.

    If you have shoulder pain or a shoulder injury, you should avoid doing handstands until your shoulder has healed.

    Core strength

    A strong core is another key component when you are learning how to do a handstand. The core is made up of the muscles in your abdominal and lower back region. These muscles work together to stabilize your spine and trunk.

    If you have a weak or tight core, you may find that you are unable to keep your body in a straight line or that you start to wobble and fall out of the handstand.

    Poses like plank and navasana (boat pose) build the core strength you need for a stable handstand.

    In this brief yoga class, Kino MacGregor teaches you drills to build the shoulder and core strength you need for doing your handstand.

    Flexibility

    Strength isn’t the only essential component of a handstand. You also need flexibility. Flexibility in the hips and hamstrings allows you to bring your legs up over your head and into the air. If you are not flexible, you may find it difficult to kick up into the pose.

    Once you’ve fully developed your strength and you are flexible enough, you’ll be able to work on a more challenging and controlled way to enter handstand.

    If you practice exercises that work on the essential components of handstands…

    • shoulder strength and flexibility
    • core strength
    • hip and hamstring flexibility

    … with time, you’ll be able to find your handstand. In the beginning, you might have to use a wall to help yourself stay upright in the pose, but you will eventually find the control and balance you need to do the pose with no assistance at all.

    Handstand isn’t just about the physical journey. When you’re learning how to do a handstand, you’re cultivating the mental strength required to fall and get back up and try again. The handstand journey is more about the person you become along the way than actually being able to do the pose.

    Now that we have discussed the components of a perfect handstand let’s put them all together and practice with the short video for beginners below!

    Or try this longer practice.

    Join Omstars to get instant access to more handstand classes like this one.

     

  • How To Do A Handstand: Your 30-Day Journey with Kino

    It took me five years before I balanced in a handstand. That’s five years of failure where I tried with all my heart and soul only to come toppling down. I wanted to quit more times than I can remember.

    There so many moments that I thought my body with it’s thick thighs and short arms would never make it up. I blamed my past and wished I had been a dancer or gymnast. But there I was, staring down what felt like the impossible hurdle of a handstand and I built the strength. But… it was never about the handstand for for me.

    Sign Up for the Journey to Handstand Course Today!

    It was always about the journey. There was a major life lesson I’m not giving up on myself. I learned what it means to put in the work and stay the course, through the ups and downs, through the good days and the bad. I learned what it means to have faith. It’s not enough to say “I believe”. You need to meet that faith with your hard work. In fact the sheer act of perseverance is a demonstration of faith. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll quit before you really try. But if you can find the strength to believe in yourself even amidst great failure, then you have learned one of the lessons of handstand.

    It’s easy to ride the crest of success, but so much harder to pick yourself back up from failure with grace. Fall 1000 times on your journey to handstand, get up 1000 times stronger.

    You are the deciding factor that makes yoga a spiritual practice. If you come to your mat and focus only on the physical, then it will be just that—glorified calisthenics or b-grade gymnastics. But, if you come to the practice with a heart yearning for spiritual knowledge, then you can use the poses as a means to grow and evolve. The quest towards wisdom begins with yourself. You get what you put into the practice. Don’t critique yoga for being a physical practice. Critique yourself if you’re making it ONLY a physical practice. I’ve always said that yoga is a physical discipline with a spiritual intention. It’s up to you to get aligned with the deeper dimension of the practice.

    If, after many years of practice, you’re not growing spiritually, f you’re not a kinder person, if you don’t feel more happiness, then look closely at your own effort. This practice has survived since ancient times because of the promise of inner awakening. Yoga upholds its end of the promise. If you want to reach the true depth of the Spirit, then it’s up to you keep your end of the deal. Practice with all your heart and all your soul. Put every drop of your being into the spiritual journey. You will one day step into alignment with the grand eternal truth of all that is, and then you will be practicing yoga. Everything else up until that pivotal moment of awakening is there to prepare you for that Divine shift.

    I’ve got a brand new 30 day #journeytohandstandchallenge course launching on @omstarsofficial on July 1st. Are you ready to go on the journey of handstand with me?

    By Kino MacGregor

    International yoga teacher, Kino MacGregor has over 20 years of experience in Ashtanga yoga & 18 years of experience in Vipassana Meditation. She is one of a select group of people to receive the certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga & practice into the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga. With over 1 million followers on Instagram & over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube & Facebook, she spreads the message of yoga around the world. To Kino, yoga is more than making shapes. It is a daily ritual where people tune deeply into their spiritual center & experience the peace of the Eternal Divine. Her goal is to make the tools of traditional yoga accessible for all different sizes, shapes, ethnicities, & ages. She believes yoga is truly for everyone. Learn more from and connect with Kino on Instagram!