One Armed Handstands Anyone?

Summer is in full bloom which means that there are lots of great outdoor spaces available for practice!  For me, this is the best time of year to work on crazy moves like the one armed handstand.  I find that practicing in a grassy yard or on the beach is much more forgiving than a hardwood floor which makes me feel much less concerned when I invariably topple out of my feeble attempts at this pose.

Originally, I cut this one from the PranaVayu syllabus because I thought that it was too challenging for most normal classes.  Recently though, I ran across a picture of my friend Tiffany Cruikshank rocking the posture out.  Inspired by her, I decided to add it into our advanced level II syllabus for those of you who are inclined to attempt such crazy adventures.

Haven’t seen it before?  Check out Tiffany doing the pose here:

Tiffany Cruikshank demonstrating the one armed handstand

So how do I practice such crazy moves?  

It goes without saying that the handstand is prerequisite to this.  Once you get to the point where you can hold that for five to ten breaths, the secret is to work up to the point where you can take a straddle split from the handstand.   With your legs in this position, you’ll be better able to shift your body’s weight onto one one hand without toppling over.  Once you’ve shifted in this way first practice coming onto the fingertips of the non-weight bearing hand for five breaths.  Once that is going smoothly, then lift the hand for the full expression of the pose.

Check out this clip for a video tutorial:

What about using the wall?  

Using the wall at first can be helpful for strength building, but depending on the wall makes it nearly impossible to develop the balancing aspects of the pose.  If you want to balance without the wall, you need to get rid of the wall!  Because of this, move to the middle of the room as soon as you’ve you’ve built enough strength to hold yourself upright.

Happy practice!

David

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