Many of us learned Adho Mukha Vrksasana, or Handstand, by kicking up at the wall. This is certainly a good and safe way to feel what it’s like to get upside-down. But the wall can become a crutch, and eventually we’ll want to learn how to do Handstand away from the wall, with the hope of one day seamlessly weaving in Handstands into the flow.
I’d like to demonstrate two methods that I used to learn how to get up into an unassisted Handstand. In this first video, I work with what one of my teachers calls a “Gorilla Jump”. I keep both knees bent when I jump, which compacts my body, and allows me focus on floating my hips over my shoulders and wrists, and to develop a feeling for what it’s like to get some “hang time”. Once I manage to balance on my hands, then I extend my legs straight towards the ceiling.
In this second video, I demonstrate a slightly more challenging way of learning how to do an unassisted Handstand. Notice how I leave one leg behind as a kind of counterbalance. The weight of this counterbalance leg keeps me from flipping over, and buys me some time to play with finding my balance. Once I’ve found my balance, then I bring the counterbalance leg up, and straighten out my Handstand.
Disclaimer: I am not a certified yoga instructor, and the ideas and opinions expressed here are not intended to be formal instruction on yoga poses. If you plan to start up a yoga practice, or if you have one and plan to do any of the yoga poses described in this blog, please seek out an experienced, living, breathing yoga teacher to guide you with hands-on instruction.