Vesic Handstand Advice

Oct 24, 2019 by

Handstand Yogi Jelena Vesic shares her tips on how to do yoga handstands with success. Vesic encourages practicing handstands because they help you get in touch with your inner child and make you feel free. Once you are comfortable with the basic yoga poses and fundamentals, find an experienced yoga teacher or friend to help you start or even revisit your handstand practice.


  • Start with an assisted kickup. Kick up against a wall or to someone who will grab your legs. Vesic explains that kicking up is the easiest way to get comfortable with the handstand pose.
  • Start standing to gain momentum. Have a spotter stand at the front of the mat as you can start standing on your feet facing your spotter. Raise your hands overhead and step into the handstand with whichever foot you feel most comfortable. Vesic explains that initial standing gives you more momentum as opposed to starting on the ground.
  • Vesic gives alignment cues to think about as you go upside down. Think about keeping the spine long and creating a feeling of separating the ribs from the hips. For your hands, you want them to spin in and reach through your hands. However, don’t overdo spinning the arms in. Vesic also says avoid collapsing the shoulders down as you kick up.
  • Once you have kicked up, aim to push the floor away. Vesic explains that you want to push the floor away and work to achieve length through the body.
  • Look slightly in front of the hands in the handstand. Don’t lift your head too far up because that can be a strain on the neck. Look in front of your fingers instead.
  • When you place your hands down, you want to make sure that you spin your arms in. Think of your elbows moving from the back of the arm to the side of the arm.
  • Keep the index knuckle on the floor. It will ensure that the rest of the knuckles stay on the floor as well. The tips of your fingers should be pressed down as they distribute the weight evenly in the handstand.
  • Women can actually spin the hands out slightly. Depending on what feels good, women’s rotator cuffs allow women to spin the hands slightly away from each other safely. You want to feel the weight evenly distributed.
  • Create a vacuum sensation in the lower belly. Engage your bandhas (body locks). For women, it should feel like rolling in your lower belly from the pubic bone to my belly button. The belly lock, coupled with pushing the floor away, creates a round upper back. Keep the head looking at the mat because if you release the head, the chances are you will tuck over and fall. It shifts the work of handstands to the front of the body and away from the back of the body.
  • Follow the kick up with starting from a straddle. Bring your feet apart in a wide stance 3 to 4 feet. Vesic shares a trick to start with hands on the mat, but bend the elbows, by using the bent elbows as an opportunity to find that push. To do this, straighten the arms. At the same time pull in the lower belly and start shifting forward

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