Undoubtedly, handstands terrify most people, regardless of how physically fit or powerful they are. But it doesn’t mean you should avoid handstands altogether simply because you didn’t take gymnastics as a youngster and are petrified of landing on your head when attempting them. With practice, students will gain more confidence and control their mental chatter, which will help them feel calmer.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana, also known as the Handstand or Downward-Facing Tree Pose, is an inversion that enlarges your perspective and opens up fascinating new opportunities.
What more could a stance possibly offer?
- Start in a downward dog with your hands approximately 6 inches from the wall.
- Bring your shoulders over your wrists, then your hips over your shoulders as you move your feet closer to your hands.
- Keep your right foot planted, bring it up onto the ball, and flex your knee. Straighten the elevated leg behind you while you raise the second foot off the ground. Jump off the bent leg and lift the straight leg upward a couple of times in this position. Flex your raised food continuously to keep people interested.
- Aim to touch the wall with both heels. Breathe deeply while keeping your head tucked behind your upper arms.
- Practice removing your heels from the wall and maintaining balance while keeping your feet flexible. To reach up through your heels, you must firmly engage your legs. You might also begin to practice lowering your sight to the ground.
- Before attempting to kick up with the opposite leg for balance, lower one leg at a time and take a moment to rest.
BENEFITS OF HANDSTANDS:
- Strength and Flexibility: The practice of Handstand Pose involves a coordinated effort of joints like hip flexors, shoulders, and wrists, as well as muscles in the core (transverse and rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques), upper body (trapezius, triceps, deltoids), and pelvic floor (psoas and adductors). As a result, all the exercises mentioned above will get stronger and more flexible with continued practice.
- Cardiovascular and Adrenal Glands: An adrenal rush caused by getting on the hands to perform the pose aids in boosting the blood supply to the muscles and brain. As a result, the heartbeat becomes rapid, and the heart rate is maintained.
- Focus And Balance: Focus and balance are essential for practicing the handstand pose because they allow the shoulders to align with the wrists. Concentrating and improved balance can be avoided because the brain becomes bewildered in an upside-down position.
- Energy and Breath Awareness: When upside down, the abdominal organs’ weight presses against and expands the diaphragm. As a result, the lungs can inhale air more deeply, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled from the body in a single breath.
- Spine and Bone: When practiced consistently and with improved balance, Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand Pose) helps extend and elongate the spine. Inversion of the spine lengthens the spine and aids in correcting compression-related spinal degeneration. This may be a nice asana to relieve pressure from the joints and feet, which promotes faster muscle healing in the legs. A handstand pose might be your key to a satisfied, healthy spine!
- Calms the nervous system: The brain receives an inflow of blood and oxygen in this inverted position, which in turn causes the brain to communicate with the body’s neurological system. The parasympathetic nervous system becomes active, which aids in lowering cortisol levels, a stress hormone. This lessens minor anxiety and/or despair.
- Others: Like other inversions, this pose promotes better blood circulation in the head and face, which benefits the skin and hair’s texture. Additionally, inversions specifically open the final two chakras. When the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra) is activated during Handstand Pose (Adho Mukha Vrksasana), which helps to acquire Sthiram, it has a humbling effect and is a grounding practice.
ERRORS WHILE DOING HANDSTANDS:
- Failing to warm up
It is known as the “golden rule” for a reason. Every major muscle in the body is known to be used during a handstand. Therefore, you risk injuring yourself if you attempt to perform one before your body is sufficiently warmed up.
In yoga, a warm vinyasa flow followed by handstand exercises is the ideal preparation for a handstand.
- Incorrect wrist-over-shoulder alignment
Before you can safely do a decent handstand, you might need to work on your flexibility if your shoulders are too stiff. Reach your arms aloft while standing up straight with your back against a wall to see if you have the shoulder mobility needed to perform a handstand.
Your shoulders are wide enough to support good alignment if you can stretch your arms straight up such that your wrists are stacked over your shoulders. The stacking need to be simple and not uncomfortable.
- Arched back
This is perhaps the biggest mistake beginner handstands make. In addition to ensuring safe alignment, maintaining a straight spine also promotes effective muscle activation. There are several possible causes for your spine to arch when you are in a handstand.
-You have tense shoulders.
Arching your back overcompensates for shoulders that cannot open and reach directly overhead. If so, work on safely extending your latissimus dorsi, teres major, and pecs to enhance your handstand alignment.
-Your core isn’t activated.
Letting your ribs splay out is often a sign that your core is not activated to neutralize your spine. Hug your belly button in and contract your pelvic floor muscles before taking off. Always begin your warm-up routine with core exercises targeting the transverse abdominals, erector spinal, and pelvic floor, as well as the rectus abdominis muscles.
-You’re looking too far ahead.
Start practicing handstands with your attention on the ground to help you establish your balance. Look just past or in between your pointer fingers. Your chest may follow and lead you to have an arched back if you are looking too far forward. Try to maintain a relaxed neck while gazing only with your eyes and not your entire body.
- You worry about losing your balance.
It takes time and effort to develop upside-down confidence mentally. Your posture—often with an arched back as your legs lift, but your stomach tries to stay low to the ground—will reveal if you’re afraid of falling. You could feel more at ease if you practice “catching” your feet against a wall or with a partner.
The capacity to lift the hips, mindfulness of the breath, and core muscular strength are all necessary for practicing Handstand Pose. Still, the most crucial aspect of this practice is overcoming the fear of falling. It demands extreme attention and concentration on the gaze, or Drishti, and breath since it is a balancing stance. Keep in mind that the purpose of handstands is to push your comfort level. Being upside down has a lot of advantages, so while you’re strengthening your muscles and concentrating on your technique, don’t forget to have fun!