Press handstand balance tips


The fundamental position of balance in handstand is stacking the hips over the shoulders over the wrists.
Don’t forget to keep this in mind when learning how to press or toe taps and floating.
Here’s the thing, in order for the legs to go up, something has to go forward.
Make sense?
In this case it’s the hips. The hips actually have to shift BEYOND the shoulders in order to get the legs off the ground.
Don’t mistake the shoulders for the hips. Students learning to press go too far forward with the shoulders and not enough with the hips.
Don’t turn the press into a planche.
Let’s talk about a pike.
Why a pike is useful
What does a pike teach you?
Again, hip placement.
In order to hold your legs at a 90 degree angle from your torso you MUST move your hips BEYOND your shoulders.
You’ll fall otherwise.
Visualize a pike less like a perfect right angle and more like the number “7”.
Try and enter pike from straight arm crow (!!!). I know, it’s hard. But this is the kind of strength you need to consistently press.
The more you consistently nail pike, the better you’ll be at automatically moving your hips to the correct position when you shift forward.
What else can a pike do for you?
Strengthen your hip flexors.
Don’t neglect this area of your body either.
Yes, your hip flexors are also important for pressing.
Your core provides the base.
Your hip flexors move your legs up (only when the base it stable).
Your back muscles hold you in place (kinda like a seatbelt).
My point is this:
It takes your entire body working together harmoniously in order to press effortlessly.
Most students don’t think of it this way. They see it only as a feat of strength.
Do you kinda have an idea now of what your hip flexors are doing?
If you can’t do a pike, maybe it’s your hip flexors preventing you from holding?
Have you considered that?
Can you hold Navasana with your legs straight for 30 seconds?
If not, your hip flexors need work.

Because Navasana is so important here’s a setup and feel guide:
Start sitting on the ground
Extend your legs out in front on you
Stretch your hands forward
Make sure you feel your inner thighs squeezing together and rotating in slightly
This will make your pelvic floor muscle switch engage and turn on the transverse abdominis light
Don’t round your back
Point AND Flex your feet and spread your toes as much as possible
There’s no such thing as muscling a press handstand.
No proper core engagement, no press handstand.
Do you understand the importance of your hamstrings and the hip flexors now?
Good.
Without these you won’t get the hips in the right place.
Now what?
Let’s talk about strength for bit.
What’s required?
These are things you should be able to do if you want to press:
Hold an L-sit for 15-20 seconds
Hold a handstand
Straight arm crow
Eka Pada Bakasana
If you can’t. Don’t panic. But stop neglecting them.
Here’s a secret:
Poses and skills shouldn’t take 10 years to learn.
We all know the yogi who says:
“I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years and still can’t get it”
I don’t want you to be one of those.
If you aren’t finding consistent, albeit not daily, but upward trending progress in something, you’re skipping something vitally important that you should learn first.
Think of ever pose, transition, or skill you learn as a pyramid.
What you’re attempting to learn is at the peak.
Everything below are poses/transitions/skills meant to help you.
For example a press handstand:

Press handstand is at the peak.
L-sit, handstand, straight arm crow, and one leg crow are all below it.
And every one of these poses has poses below it. And it keeps going.
Find your spot on the tree and work there.
Make sense?
It if you understand this you’ll stop wasting time and learning things faster.
Here’s the problem with your average run-of-the-mill fitness advice:
It focuses on the shape of the pose and not what’s going on behind the scenes.
Stop looking at what’s on the surface. Go under the surface.

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