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Strike a Yoga Pose: Handstand Trick

Spring weather always reminds of how much I love doing handstands in the grass. You can really dig your fingertips into the earth to get some grip, and if you lose your balance - so what? You have a nice cushion of grass to fall on.

In the Yoga Stretch and Tell Group, one of our readers, snowdaytoday had a question about how to stay up and balanced in handstand.

Doing handstand in the middle of space, with no help can be really scary. I'm a firm believer in using the wall to lean on, but you want to do it in such a way that you can work on your balance at the same time. You don't want to rely on the wall completely for support because then you'll never achieve the strength and balance to stay up on your own.

Here's something you can practice against a wall. Want to see? Then

Stand facing a stable, bare wall (you don't want to kick up and knock over a painting or go through a door). Place your hands flat on the floor, with your fingertips about 5-7 inches away from the wall.

Spread your fingers wide and put pressure into your fingertips, as if you were gripping the floor (kind of like your toes do when you're walking). This will take pressure off your wrists and hopefully prevent pain, which many people complain about when first learning to do handstands.

Leave your hands planted and walk your legs forward into a short Downward Facing Dog, with both feet together and about a foot closer to your hands than they usually are.

Lift your left leg into the air. This is called 3-Legged Dog pose.

Bend your right knee and press off the ball of your foot in order to kick up and plant both heels on the wall.

Now place the crown (top) of your head against the wall so you are gazing between your palms.

You want your shoulders directly above your hands, so you might need to come down and adjust your hand position.

Now work on bringing one foot off the wall and then the other until you're balancing on your hands with the crown of your head still pressing against the wall (this will help you to stay balanced).

Fit's Tips: Practicing this position is an awesome prep to doing it on your own. Hang out in this pose for a minute or more and you'll build the muscles in your shoulders, forearms, upper arms, upper back, and core that are necessary for staying balanced.

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