HELPING HANDSTANDS..........After a weekend teaching 60 plus people how to handstand I thought id pass on a few things that i see time and time again that could make life a lot easier if you fancy playing with handstand...and lets be clear, there is no need to do handstand EVER. But if you want to its quite fun!
1- if your shoulders are behind your wrists before you begin you will find it very difficult to stack your body in a straight line as your bodyweight is too far back. You are trying to defy the laws of physics!
2-you need to stack hips above wrists NOT hips above shoulders necessarily
3-dont worry about straightening your legs until you can hold handstand with your legs in splits position (like a tight rope walkers stick ) or with your knees pulled into your chest. Both of these lower your centre of gravity and stop your pelvis from wobbling about so much. This means less forces moving down at the floor for the hands to control.
4-Once you can hold it like that for 30 seconds regularly , then worry about straightening your legs. Whats with this need to straighten the legs anyway? Seems to me its about recreating some picture we have n our minds eye.
5- you will have a slightly banana back because you are looking forwards. Don't worry about this, you wont get rid of that bend until you control the core more and drop the ears in line with the arms.
Once again a straight back is just our minds picture of what we think looks pretty, we arent doing gymnastics, it is about awareness not what looks nice. The lower back has a natural bend in it for a very good reason! Control it, don't allow it to hyperextend but you dont need to straighten it!!! Look at any of the old pics of iyengar or sivananda, they control the bend in their backs, they don't straighten out smile emoticon
6-Strength to adjust in the hands (this comes from the forearm muscles) is absolutely key, Develop this, get a finger strengthener, practice taking weight forward in plank. KEEP THE WEIGHT OUT OF THE HEEL OF YOUR PALM AND TAKE IT FURTHER FORWARDS!
Of course there is a lot more to it, which is why my workshops are several hours long but thats a good place to start.
Good luck and enjoy the journey, forget the destination! #yogalikewater#yogasansfrontiers
I am a great believer in First Do No Harm. Practising asana is pointless if your body suffers as a result. At the last few workshops I've done I have found it a shame to hear so many people say that they often suffer from wrist pain after yoga, especially if they practice as lot. Almost always this is due to poor hand alignment, over tight forearm flexors and weak extensors. We need to try and balance these out a bit better and spread the weight through the hands when we practice. I know for a fact that this has 'cured' the issue for a lot of people, even teachers that I have seen with awkward wrist alignment once i have explained what was going on. Although I'm not a big one for using specific strengthening, if you are going to do a lot of hand balancing then you could really benefit from fully engaging hasta bandha, I use this gripmaster device a lot and the strength in my hands is really helped by it. (Im holding it the wrong way in the photo, but you will get the idea). As a note, for someone who spends ages on their hands each day I never get wrist pain. #gripmaster #hastabandha #firstdonoharm
All understanding (we aren't talking about knowledge or skill here) can only be beneficial – it cant be right or wrong - and with enough dedication to understanding, we will be able to become the best version of ourselves that we cna be, right now in this very instant.
We can imagine this as a carpenter with certain tools and skills. As a young apprentice their skills are limited: they don't understand the material they are working with yet and they might not be able to control certain tools to work it with. Even so, with full application and concentration the young carpenter will still be producing the very best work that he can at that point in time; in fact it couldn't possibly be any better. With dedication he develops his understanding of the material as well as his skill with the tools and eventually he is producing work that is unrecognisable in quality from his earlier efforts, yet of course, it is still only the best that he can deliver at that point in time. With an attitude of acceptance and non-judgement he would have been just as satisfied with his earliest efforts as as he would be with those when he became a master craftsman.
That is why every time we practice it can only be perfect!