Handstand Tutorial


The video above is broken into 10 sections, from beginner to advance levels.

Section 1:

Cat cow movements help to isolate the protraction movement of the shoulder girdle, which can be helpful for creating stability in weight bearing. Protraction is the rounded off "cat" movement.


Using the wall is helpful to improve shoulder flexion, which is required for a straight handstand. Slide the feet down and squeeze the chest towards the wall.


Taking one leg off the wall at time can increase confidence to eventually move to free standing. The idea is to become very light through the supporting foot until it "floats" off the wall. You shouldn't have to push or use momentum, because as you extend the opposite away from the wall the supporting foot should get naturally drawn off.


Section 2:

Alignment. This drill is going to give you a great indication of how the body should feel and be positioned for straight handstand line. you will feel the shoulders squeeze into more flexion, stretching the pects and lats. You will also notice how much you need to engage the glutes and abdominals to maintain contact with the wall.  While there are plenty of shapes and variations to consider and play with, this exercise builds a good foundation for alignment.


Section 3:


Many have fear of falling out of a handstand. This is one that will hold you back in your practice, especially in the early stages when your body isn’t used to being inverted. Many people are afraid to draw the leading leg off the wall far enough to draw the centre of mass over the base of support, which makes it easier to maintain the balance.

So, to build confidence here, it helps to know how to fall out! The basic method and safest way to fall is to move the hand and cartwheel out. When you feel yourself falling and you cant save it, simply lift the arm of the side you are falling to and place it back on the ground so you can come down side ways back onto your feet. 


Section 4:

Kicking up. Once your confidence builds, there are many ways to enter handstand. Moving off the wall is important, because it becomes a hinderence in the long run. Kicking up is probably the easiest place to start. Remember to cartwheel out if uou over balance.


Section 5:

Jump from downward dog. Here you need a good base in Bakasana and lolasana.


Section 6 and 7:

Handstand presses. Proficiencey in uttanasana and adequate hamstring and adductor length will help the pelvis tilt enough to easily lift the legs.


Section 8:

Lifting from lolasana. The trick is to try and keep the shoulders in as much flexion as possible to help with the straight line mechanics right from the start.


Section 9:

Bakasana to handstand presses.  These are good for building strength, to allow you to integrate handstand into a flowing sequence.


Section 10:

Once you have mastered these variations, then you can put it together in a flowing sequence that increases the scope of your practice, giving you many more options for movement.



Yoga is best taught one on one according to the needs and requirements of the individual. This advice should be considered general. For a personalised approach to teaching call 9382 1339 to book an appointment with one of our yoga and movement physios.