How to Do Wide Leg Handstand (Video)

Handstand is one the magical postures that inspires and terrifies new students. The first time I saw a "real" person lift up into a handstand, I didn't know what to think. (I'd seen it in Cirque du Soleil and in the Olympics, but I'd never seen a non-athlete do it.) In that moment, I set my mind and body on a program to learn the mechanics of handstanding. I wanted to learn not just how to balance, but also how to lift up into handstand. I walked that fine line between horror and excitement every day.

When your legs are wider, the pivot pointer is easier to find and you can shift more weight forward without as much stress on your wrists or your shoulders. In fact, I've learned all inversions by starting off with wide legs. I began with headstand and forearm balance, and once those were easier, I moved on to handstand.

There is a point at which nearly all your weight is transferred forward, but your toes still feel glued to the ground. I recommend staying there and holding the posture for five to ten breaths every day. I did that for a few years before my feet lifted off the ground.

If your feet raise off the ground, keep breathing and keep sending your pelvis forward while pressing into your arms. If you feel a sense of panic and joy as you lift up into handstand for the first time, remember to enjoy it!

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