If you’re on that #journeytohandstand and don’t know where to start, Sam Negrin (resident LEAF-girl and LA-based yoga teacher), are breaking down the key principles you should practice for a strong, supported handstand. The benefits of handstand go far beyond the Instagram phenomenon, so we’re breaking down why you should practice and how to get started:

Benefits of Handstand:

  • Improves circulation and blood flow to your lungs
  • Strengthens the entire upper body including shoulders, arms and wrists
  • Strengthens your core because it forces you stabilize your muscles
  • Improves your mood (going up-side-down is known to alleviate anxiety and depression!)
  • Increases your balance, physically and mentally

How To Get Started:

  1. Start in downward facing dog, bend one knee and then the other to stretch the backs of your legs
  2. Hold plank for 1 minute to warm up your upper body and core, this is important to not only warm up your body – but to build the necessary strength
  3. Move into an L-Shape at the wall: Measure one legs distance and place your hands where your feet were. Walk up the wall into an L-Shape so that your hips are over shoulders and legs are parallel to the floor. *This is hard! You might stay here!
  4. If you feel comfortable here, you can try lifting one leg at a time, keep your core extremely stable and your gaze forward as the leg lifts
  5. If you feel comfortable here, you can lift both legs off the wall lightly and see if you float!
  6. Once you master this alignment and upper body strength, you can experiment with other ways of getting into handstand, such as kicking up to the wall

Now you have the necessary tools to build the strength to stick your handstand! Share with a friend to practice together!