Preparing for Handstand

Intermediate II
(27 Reviews)
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In this practice, Rachel guides you to a peak pose of handstand prep pose where you will begin to cultivate the shoulder and upper awareness that is essential for supporting yourself properly upside down. Note: You will need a wall to do the practice.

This can either be done as a stand-alone class, as Day 2 of Rachel's 7-Day Inversion Challenge or as Day 28 of the Daily Dose 30-Day Intermediate Yoga Challenge.


  • Strap
  • Block


  • Whole Body
  • Strength
  • Core Strength
  • Inversions
  • Neck/Shoulders
  • Arms/Hands


  • Vinyasa/Power Yoga
May 26, 2021

Great shoulder work. The scapular push-ups, especially in plank pose, felt good. However, the looped-strap exercises weren't accessible to me. With my arms straight and wrists confined by the strap, I could barely get my arms above horizontal, with my wrists no higher than eye level. Other than improving my shoulder mobility, which I've been working on for years, what do you suggest? Should I loosen the strap so I can raise my arms higher, or should I keep the strap tight and not raise my arms above my head?

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Fiji McAlpine
May 27, 2021

Increasing shoulder mobility takes time especially if our lifestyle contributes to tightening them back up again! When we are working with connective tissue and you meet your edge, it is important to try and linger there rather than force through. Soften, touch the discomfort as lightly as you can with your breath. Soulder movement over head can actually be limited by the way the shoulder joint is put together, and genetics play a roll in this. Some of us just won't be able to go all the way up without compensating and back bending. I think you could loosen the strap just a bit, but try to stay on coming back to that edge and see if over time it shifts.

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February 28, 2021

You are an amazing teacher, Rachel! When you explain positions, I am able to do things that I never thought possible. Thank you!

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February 25, 2021

Love it when a class has movements that build upon each other like the scapula push-ups. Really effective for teaching myself how to push my heart towards the wall while walking my legs up it. Also as a runner, def appreciated the calf stretch. Thank you Rachel!

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