In my blog Learning to Handstand I discuss learning how to fall out of handstand by learning to cartwheel, then cartwheel out of handstand, as well as falling out of handstand into wheel. In this post I’ll discuss spending as much time upside down as you can as well as getting messy!!
In order to get better at anything, you’ve got to practice! Get on your hands as much as possible. Whether on the field at one of your kid’s soccer games, at home, in studio or on vacation, get off your feet and onto your hands. Play!! If you see someone who’s got more skills on their hands than you, the only reason for this is: they’ve spent more time on their hands! There’s no replacement for time and practice. This is my friend Tia in handstand during a hike! So beautiful and SO MUCH FUN.
Next tip: be willing to get messy! I cannot stress this enough. The VAST majority of people I see in yoga classes trying to get up into handstand or press handstand look really good. Maybe they’re doing beautiful low to the ground frog hops, or when working press, they’re in a beautiful forward fold leaning weight into hands and lifting heels shifting weight forward and back, forward and back, maybe bringing one foot to their wrist and then the other. The thing is though, months (or years) later, they’re still doing the same thing and they’re not in handstand and have not learned to press. I think part of the reason we do this is: a. we don’t want to embarrass ourselves and b. we’re scared of falling. Get messy! Learn how to fall and definitely embarrass yourself. It will give others courage to do the same. Really really really. It doesn’t start out pretty, so if you plan/need/want to stay on your mat, give it up. If you want to get it right the first try, have pointed toes, straight legs or impress somebody, give that up too! Abandon your ideas and expectations. In addition to the fact that the handstand variation you’ve been trying so long and hard for usually shows up when you stop trying so hard, the most awesome part about giving up expectations and ideas is that you stop giving a shit about whether or not you get to the destination because the journey is the best part!