How to Do a Handstand

Intermediate II

Rachel leads you through this intermediate practice where you will move to a peak pose of handstand, working step by step through the stages you need to do to practice this playful inversion safely. Note: You will need a wall to do the practice.

This can either be done as a stand-alone class or as Day 3 of Rachel's 7-Day Inversion Challenge.

Equipment:
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Comments

Existing Comments

Tanya De Andres
July 3, 2021
Comment:

Thank you so much for this class Rachel!! Yes handstands are quite scary! But I looove the dynamic of showing us first how to do it and then walking us through it, I feel as if my hand is being held through it :) definitely will keep working on this one! Thank youu!

Helen O
April 5, 2021
Comment:

These are great classes for shoulder and core strength, waking up some long neglected muscles. But I'm being held back by arthritis in the base of my thumb, which makes it increasingly painful to bear my full weight on my hands. Any tips for relieving this, or any modifications you can suggest for the pose? Or do I need to just accept the limitations of age and stick to headstands?

Rachel Scott
April 6, 2021
Comment:

Hi Helen this is a great question ~
There may be props that could lift the base of your palm (yoga jellies) that may relieve the pressure on thumb by putting a small wedge under the heel of your hand. It will make balance a bit trickier, but could be an option. Also, doing handstand from dolphin (so forearm stand position - hands clasped or parallel, but head off the floor) is a way of taking the pressure off the thumb. It will be more shoulder opening and is a bit more challenging for the upper back, but it's a great variation to explore that still has the exuberant quality of handstand. These options may be a start?

Helen O
April 6, 2021
Comment:

Thank you so much for this suggestion! I had never heard of yoga jellies, and they look a great option to explore, - and not just for handstand, as arthritis is affecting quite a few yoga poses for me. I'll also practice the forearm stand version, but am finding it quite challenging so far. On the plus side, all the core work and shoulder strengthening we have done during this programme has really improved my headstands (which don't hurt my hands at all!) so thank you so much for all your detailed cues and encouragement.

FairfaxYoga
March 11, 2021
Comment:

To be honest, I thought this series might be too rudimentary, but I was wrong! I am gaining precision and confidence in poses that I love, as well as learning new tricks to make inversions safer. Thank you Rachel!

sng4ever
February 17, 2021
Comment:

Rachel cues the entrance into headstand/inversions precisely and in great detail. This is such a wonderful way to learn a new pose and to learn how to journey through yoga in a safe and mindful way. I agree with Rachel that the rush is like espresso coffee.
As always, Rachel is wonderful at teaching, guiding and cueing.

DjKlin
February 17, 2021
Comment:

Thanks for this great class Rachel, love the way you guide us to the poses. This session was good on the shoulder and neck opening. Loved it.

Rachel Scott
February 17, 2021
Comment:

Shoulders and neck get sooooo tight! It's like the little secret of inversions...they look fun, but they're also really good for helping with those daily postural habits ;)

ajlsinger
February 16, 2021
Comment:

Rachel, thank you so much for this series. Phenomenal and NEW core work...that one where you're pressing against the knee on one side and extending the arm and leg of the other side is killer. Didn't manage to kick all the way up, but I felt like everything was approached so thoroughly that with another month or so of practice it seems like it would be totally achievable! I'm definitely noticing muscles working in my wrists and shoulders and hands that I doubt have ever been awake before. Thank you thank you!

ajlsinger
February 17, 2021
Comment:

I also have to say I've been having some elbow issues for the last year and a half, but NO problems in this course. I can only assume it's because of your excellent description of form and the way you methodically warm all the necessary joints and muscles. Thanks again.

Ronne
February 16, 2021
Comment:

I am loving this challenge. Your instruction is so clear and I like that you get us to watch before trying the peak poses. I'd like to see that done more often in other classes. Every class makes me smile. Thank you so much Rachel.

Vincenza
February 16, 2021
Comment:

Absolutely fantastic! A great workout for shoulders and core!! The precise instruction helped a lot. I didn't manage to get the legs up the wall but I'm working on it. Thanks Rachel

Leahjoojoo
February 16, 2021
Comment:

Wow! This is an incredible core and shoulder workout and I felt really prepared to try the inversions! Definitely making progress, little by little with Rachel's instruction and her brilliant way of helping us to understand exactly how to move and where to feel it. Felt really strong today and although I didn't make it all the way up the wall with both legs, as Rachel said it's not about getting straight into that pose, it's about building the blocks to get there slowly but surely, and safely. Excellent class, thanks Rachel x

Rachel Scott
February 15, 2021
Comment:

Welcome to the challenge everyone! I hope you enjoy today's practice :)