Easy Yoga Handstands for Beginners
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward face tree pose) is an advanced Yoga Handstand pose which can be mastered with constant practice.
Gaining the ability to correctly execute a handstand enhances the yoga student's confidence while overcoming fears and inhibitions. The pose is actually safer for the neck than either the Headstand or Shoulderstand although individuals who have suffered arm or wrist, neck, shoulder, or upper back injuries should be medically evaluated before attempting a handstand.
Yoga handstands for beginners require gradually building one's abilities with the appropriate guided assistance. While many people start their yoga journey with illustrated books or videos, most find that when they progress past the most simple positions, they need personal instruction to achieve the correct breathing techniques and to prevent inappropriate tensing of the muscles. In the case of the handstand, for instance, this kind of mistake would manifest itself in the arms and shoulders.
Benefits of Yoga Handstands
Yoga handstands for beginners actually represent a breakthrough in a novice practitioner's skill level and as such can be an exciting as well as beneficial achievement. Any kind of inversion pose that places the head beneath the level of the heart carries multiple benefits including:
- Alleviating the effect of gravity on the coronary muscle,
- Achieving decompression of the spine,
- Enhancing circulation, and
- Providing a boost to the endocrine system.
- Achieving a sense of calm and balance
- Relief from mild depression
Executing safe and beneficial handstands is achieved through mastering a series of progressive sequences that give the individual greater control of their body. Frequent practice is important and if you begin to feel discomfort, you should revert to your previous skill set until your body is ready to move forward.
Performing Yoga Handstands
As with all yoga postures and positions, the correct execution of a handstand is best achieved with the assistance of a professional.
At the most rudimentary level, you are simply standing with good posture holding your hands in front of your chest and bending from the waist. At level two, however, you are moving through a series of six postures ending with Downward Dog and then slowly advancing towards the handstand pose:
1. Reach for the sky, bend downward while exhaling
2. Hold a hamstring stretch, then press the hands on the knees
3. Decompress the spine
4. Ham stretch
5. Lunge with the right foot back, left food forward
7. Get your body in the 'Plank pose'
6. Finally come to the 'Downward Facing Dog Pose'
The practitioner next masters a progressively difficult series of flutter kicks before gaining the control to reach a full handstand.
The following video beautifully illustrates how to get started with the handstand:
You can follow up this pose with Sirsasana or Child Pose.