How to Do a Handstand

Rachel Scott
Instructor Rachel Scott
Average: 4.7 (17 votes)
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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: Strap, Block
Style: Vinyasa/Power Yoga


Helen O 1 month ago

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 1 month ago

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 1 month ago

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 2 months ago

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!

Rachel Scott 2 months ago

What wonderful feedback and a great compliment! I'm so happy to hear that :)

sng4ever 2 months ago

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.

Rachel Scott 2 months ago

(I do love my espresso ;)) I'm so glad that you enjoyed the practice~

DjKlin 2 months ago

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 2 months ago

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 2 months ago

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!