30-Minute Vinyasa Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 6

Confident Handstand

30 min - Practice


This energizing, full-body Handstand prep class is prop-free, so you can do it anytime, anywhere. We warm and strengthen the core, arms, and legs, and focus on our balance in Half Moon and Warrior 3, blending Handstand hops into our sequence. You will feel soft, centered, and inspired.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hello. Welcome friends. We have what I think is a really fun practice today. We will be working handstands, and don't worry. You don't have to go up, but if you are excited about this practice and you want a little extra security blanket, you might consider putting your mat to a wall. And with that, let's get started.

Come on your backs. Okay. Let's arrive. Take a few breaths. Sometimes I'm hesitant to say where we're going in a practice, even though I know you know where we're going, just because sometimes we then anticipate what's coming.

And instead of that, just be here now. Be a little soft. Allow the breath to flow. Next inhale, right leg's gonna come up to the sky. Press the left heel down.

Arms to the sky really, really reach your fingers up. Stretch the leg a little longer. And then arms are going to come overhead. As far as you can go without arching your back. So keeping that center nice and strong, breath in.

And then exhale, shoulders float just a little bit. Maybe this left leg floats up. Easy breath. I know that's not so easy, but easy breath. Both knees to your chest. Give yourself a nice squeeze.

And we're gonna switch that. So right leg extends out and down. Left leg is up. Arms to this guy. Stretch your fingers up so that your shoulder blades go wide on your back. I really want you to find that lift of the shoulders.

Keep that. It's perfect. Drive the right heel gently down toward the floor. Arms come overhead without arching the back. And then with an exhale, curl the shoulders up, and consider stretching the right leg. You could also just do the leg and not the shoulders.

And so we're making shapes that will translate into our hamstand practice. Last inhale. Hug your knees in. Give yourself a nice squeeze. And let's make our way to downward facing dog.

You can get there however he wants. Enjoy a few breaths here. Use this moment to work the arms as we will and handstand. So a really strong connection in the hands feeling that triceps hugging in, a biceps meeting that pressure, Next inhale, your right leg is gonna come up about parallel to the floor. So you can kinda spot that right foot back.

A few breaths here. When I say parallel to the ground, it's not an exact science. So wherever that falls appropriately, knee down the center, right foot top of the mat. Pick up the left leg, lengthen the spine, inhale. And melting down standing splits.

More than taking the leg to the sky or the foot to the sky, think about pushing the feet away from each other. Bring your feet together. Inhale chair. Last breath in and bow forward. Halfway. Inhale.

Take your hands a little bit forward and a little wider than your shoulders and then step your feet way back. So we're coming into an extended plank here. Front body lifts You can always do this on your knees, but looking for this extended position, really drawing up. All this core strength is gonna help us to find our center when we start to lift. One more inhale. Excel, bring your hands back, reset, inhale, Chaturanga, or the floor.

Inhale. Up dog or cobra. Linger here for a moment. Just because it feels good. Down dog, exhale.

Really nice. Spot your left foot about parallel to the floor lift that left leg back. So we're not going crazy high here. Keep the hips neutral. Just working the legs strong, the arm strong.

Next inhale. Expand, exhale, draw the knee down the center. Left foot stands, right legless, inhale for length, and bow, exhale. Same thing here. I'm not so interested in how high you can crank this leg up. I'm looking for space here.

Away from each other, feet away from each other. Last inhale. Your feet come together. Chair and hang on, and press to stand. Draw your hands into your heart.

Inhale, rise up. Exhale and bow. Inhale halfway, plank, exhale, breath in, Chadaranga or the floor, updog, inhale. You can put any other backbend in that you like. And down dog exhale. Just cadence and breath.

Lift your heels, inhale. Bend your knees. Look at your hands. Feet to your hands. Halfway.

Inhale. Fold exhale, rise, inhale, Handstart exhale. Inhale. Rise up. Exhale bow. Inhale halfway.

Chaturanga exhale or your pathway. Back. Inhale rise. And down dog. Heels high.

Exhale. All your breath. Look where you're going. Feet to hands. Halfway, breath in, fold exhale, rise, inhale, Hands to hard exhale. In how rise?

Forward fold. Halfway Chaturanga. Inhale, rise, and down dog. Heels high, inhale, knees, bend, feet, hands. Halfway breath in, bow, exhale.

Rise, inhale, hands to heart, exhale. Just pause. Feel your breath. Take interest in how you feel as you do things, as you finish a posture or a movement pattern, notice the effect it has on you. In health care. Right. Nelyssa.

Half moon, we're just gonna kinda like tip open If you wanna put your hand down for balance, you can, but maybe consider floating it today. Soften your front knee, stretch your right foot back, and triangle. I'm just gonna use my shin, but you're welcome to go to the floor. If you have a block, great, but this practice is intended to be kind of prop free just so you can do it anytime anywhere. Nice big expansion hand to hand, broaden across the chest, and also broaden across your back. Top ribs, soften down, bottom ribs, lengthen down.

One more inhale. Bring your right hand down, and Fashi Stasana. You can always put your knee down here many, many, many ways to be in this posture. Maybe you're floating the top leg. Whatever you need today.

I'm just gonna stay here toes pointing to my heart, active ankles, breath in, chaturanga exhale. Inhail rise. And down dog. Right leg is gonna stretch back. Lift high into your left toes.

Bend your left knee. Look at your hands. And just like you're jumping to the top of your mat, what we're gonna do, but we're gonna keep this right leg lifted. So just hop and bring the foot forward. Ben the front leg, crescent pose rise up. Generous bend in the front knee, strong back leg, equal effort in both legs.

One more inhale. Hands to hard exhale. Tip forward. Pull from your front foot, push from your back toes, warrior 3. Okay? We're gonna take this warrior 3, and we're gonna make it a little more dynamic.

And of course, you can stay here. First option, hands come down. And you just lift, and then you come back up to warrior 3. 2nd option, hands come down. You pop up, you come down, you control it. Let's go again.

Bottom leg is your spring, top leg is your swing. And let's do one more. Just because it feels so good and chair top of the mat. Really nice. Leftening this up.

Halfmoon. Really nice focus. Bend your standing leg. Stretch the left foot back. Triangle.

Now there's many suggestions I could make for you in this pose. But I want you to just be in it and kinda guide yourself. We've already seen it on one side. I'm sure you've seen it before. And just guide yourself into a place where you feel challenged, but easeful, Last inhale.

Left hand comes down. Take the hand a little forward. Vashistasana. Any version. Toes toward your heart.

Anchles active. Inhale, Chaturanga, exhale. Inhale. Open. And down dog. Left leg back in here.

Hiding your right toes, bend your right knee, look at your hands, hop your right foot forward. Left foot comes back, Crescent. Inhale. And energetically, your feet are rooting down gently drawing toward each other. Lost inhale. Hands to heart, tip over, pull from the front foot, push off the back toes, warrior 3.

Alright. It's exciting. I know. We've got these hops coming up. You make them what you need them to be. Hands come down. Give yourself a little space.

I'm actually gonna pop my foot back a little bit here. This is your spring. This one's your swing. So bend your right knee. Pick up the heel, swing and spring.

And we're not actually trying to get both legs up. We are simply creating this shape here like we had on our back. One more. Chair in hand. Press to stand. Hands to our. Really good.

Feel how you feel. We're gonna do that same thing, that same sequence, with a little more tempo, a little more freedom in health care. Right, Nelis? Halfmoon. Bend your standing leg.

Triangle. Release the right hand down, stretch it a little forward. Vaji Stasana. Exhale Chaturanga. Rise, inhale.

Down dog exhale. Inhale. Right leg back. Bend your left knee look where you're going, hop your left foot forward. Right foot back. Crescent inhale.

Exhale. Hand oh, sorry. Warrior 3. It's okay. We all make mistakes. Hands down, pop it up, and chair.

Good. So sometimes your your bottom line just kinda wants to go up, and that's okay too. If I could get that urge, go for it. Left knee lifts up. Arda Chandrasana.

Inhale. Exhale. Bend your standing leg. Triangle. Exhale, hand down, Vashi Stasana, and Chaturanga. Inhale lift, down dog exhale.

Left leg back inhale, hide your right toes, bend your knee, look forward, pop up. Crescent, inhale. Exhale hands to heart. That sneaky warrior 3 eluded me last time. Lift up.

Hands down. Pop it. Maybe a couple more pops. I got I got stuck up there, and then share with your inhale. Forward fold, separate your feet. Really, really nice work.

If it feels good, maybe lace your hands behind your hips and stretch the fingers away. Nice. Drop down, Malasana. I'm gonna show you 1, maybe 2 rounds of what you're about to do so that you can just simply flow with it, and we'll feel hopefully really good. Okay. So you stay here.

I'm gonna come back into chair. I'm gonna back up just a little bit. We're just gonna do chair hops. Don't overthink it. Don't let your thoughts get in the way of this being fun and you being really successful at it.

So you're going to be in chair. Your hands come down. You go right from chair and you hop. You come right back to chair. So this is your spring.

Hands come down and little hop. Okay. Come with me now. Chair and hail. Exhale. Hop.

Come down. Chair. Inhale. Exhale hands down. Hop. Again, inhale.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Now, of course, if it's there for you, You're welcome to take those legs up. You can cartwheel if you need to chair and he'll That's why you have the wall. Last time, hop it.

And Mala, Sena, please. Just rock around here a little bit. Feel your breath. Feel the effect that this handstanding practice has on your body. Like, it can energize you. It can get energy out I really feel like it's a very balancing practice. Practicing handstands can pick you up can level you.

Childs pose, please. To settle with the breath settle. Feel your heartbeat, feel the intensity of your breath, working like that. Beautiful. Gonna come to sitting.

Okay. Alright. Really nice work. We are going to finish with a nice little hip ditty here, sukhasana is wonderful. You can have your shins crossed. I like to try to get my knees and my feet to kinda, like, match. Like, I always think of this as like a neat little package.

If you want, you can take your front shin instead and bring it up on top. Okay. So I did not cue this, but I have my right leg on top left leg on the bottom. It does not matter which one because I'm gonna cue you based on leg bottom leg, so you're you're golden. Do not force your knee down. Let your knee be happy here.

Same thing here. Instead of pulling the feet back, try to keep the hips I'm sorry, the feet a little bit more forward, you're not trying to pull your feet toward your hip. Keep them in front. Inhale. Rise through your heart.

You're going to lean in the direction of your top or front shin. So I'm gonna go to my right, and I'm gonna bring my left arm up and over. It's getting a nice, big, side bend, lot stretch. And you can take this as deep as it feels good on your body, and you don't need to be rigid in your hips. You don't have to push this hip down, but do you have a sense of anchoring while you still have freedom.

If you notice today, my knee is up. It's not down. So meet your body where it is in this moment. Please don't compare it to your practice yesterday. Or last week or 10 years ago. Just be here now.

Love this body you're in. Rise, inhale. Switch your legs. Don't expect it to feel the same on this side. Be open to needing or doing something different.

Okay. Lift up with your inhale. Get long before you move. So rise through your spine. And then the direction of your top or front leg of that's where we're going. I like to roll open here.

There's nothing wrong with rolling forward. So you can really kind of experiment with where you get the best feedback. We're so unique. It's definitely not a one size fits all practice. And I trust you to have the intuition intellect to make good choices.

Really, that's that's the sign of progress in your practice, not your ability to hold a handstand. But your ability to take care of yourself. And how rise? Soles of the feet are gonna come together. Inhale.

Come forward if it feels nice. So there's a point where you come forward where you probably feel like I really can't come forward anymore. Like, that's that's my max. Okay? Beautiful. Don't force it. But at that point, at that moment, allow softness. Doesn't mean you're not still lengthening your heart forward. It doesn't mean you're not still finding length in your spine.

It just gives you permission to soften it. Your next inhale. Right? Is that Beautiful. So you can finish your practice seated here if you would like, lie down into Shavasana, I'm just gonna give you a little guidance when you are where you wanna be, wherever you are, whichever position you've chosen, Feel all your contact points in the ground. Allow them to take more weight. And as those points take more weight allow everything else to take on equality of softness and ease If you're seated, it's much harder to be completely passive here.

There's a certain amount of muscle that needs to work. If you're lying down in Shavasana, fully surrender to gravity. You can stay for as long as you want. If you're ready to exit the practice, meet me seated if you're not already there. And bring your hands to prayer at your heart.

I encourage you to be interested in how you feel. The more we are interested in ourselves, the more interesting we are. I hope you had fun. I hope you enjoyed this practice. I appreciate you.

Thank you.


Kate M
3 people like this.
Wowwww...! I found this challenging - but your encouragement is so helpful! Also, a very interesting pathway to handstand! Great ideas. Again, so much to play with here! Love, love. 
Christel B
4 people like this.
Yes to not comparing ourselves ten years ago but accepting what we can do in the present. It's always fun to try the hops into a possible handstand. 
Laura M
5 people like this.
You're so beautiful inside and out! Thank you so much for teaching!
3 people like this.
Kate M Thank you for playing with me! I find handstands exhilarating and yes, challenging. I love how I feel when I'm practicing them, even when they allude me. 
3 people like this.
Christel B the possibility of it happening keeps me practicing and present. 
2 people like this.
Laura M thank you very much, that's generous of you. Thank you for trying my class!
Sandra Židan
Thanks for this beautiful and energizing practice, Maeve! It was really interesting to try to do a handstand although I couldn't do it! I wish a happy Easter to you and to everyone here on Yoga Anytime! Kind regards! 🐣❤️🥰🌼
Sandra Židan it doesn't matter if we can do a handstand or not, we can still all enjoy all the nuances that go into it. Maybe someday we do? Maybe not. Thank you for your kind message. I hope your Easter was lovely. 

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