12 Days of Handstands
A community funded training program
About the Program
Our goal with the YogaSlackers 12 Days of Handstands is to empower participants around the world to train handstands wherever they are with the support of an online community.
In this page you will find this month’s training program. We update this page during the last days of the month. Join our newsletter to receive a notification when the new training program is loaded.
We also recommend you join our Facebook group to connect with our community of supportive and dedicated handstanders around the world.
Funded By People Like You
Thank you for joining the YogaSlackers 12 Days of Handstands. This training program is supported by your contributions.
Make a one-time or monthly contribution to support the creation of handstand training videos, monthly training programs and online support. Any amount helps.
If you prefer to contribute monthly, we set up three different Paypal Subscription plans at $5, $10 and $20 per month. You can cancel your subscription at any time. But we hope seeing that small payment at the beginning of the month serves as an additional incentive to train!
We generate some income from purchases made following these links. They don't negatively affect your final price and quite often, we can publish a discount for you. Win-win!
Practice your handstands on a wood board, hard carpet, or a thin yoga mat. This will help you absorb some of the pressure created on your hands while handstanding, without creating too much instability.
Avoid practicing on soft surfaces – such as thick carpets, puzzle mats or thick yoga mats – as the instability created by them can put your joints in compromised positions.
Nothing fancy is needed. I use a homemade 1/2 in (3.81cm) plywood board.
Clear out some space around a wall or pillar in your home. Make sure to clear up enough space to create a safe fall zone in case you fall in any direction.
Remember to use your thin yoga mat or handstand board during your wall training drills.
We use yoga blocks to help us maintain proper forearm alignment. If you don’t have any, think outside the block and experiment using water bottles, books or boxes.
This Month's Drills
Choosing your Level
The original challenge involves holding cumulative minutes. You will start a timer as soon as your feet leave the ground and stop the timer as soon as your feet return to the ground. During your next handstand you will continue the timer until you accumulate your desire time for the day.
Cumulative handstand holds are about ‘time on your hands’. Form and entrance style are not as important as holding your handstand.
This month enter and exit all your handstands through a straddle.
There are two main ways to do this:
1) Practice one cumulative minute handstand per day of the month until day 12th.
Day 1, 1 cumulative minute.
Day 2, 2 minutes… all the way to
Day 12, 12 minutes.
2) Or spread the 12 days throughout the month. Keeping track of what day you are on.
If you choose to practice the original challenge, attempt all your handstands off the wall. You may use a spotter to avoid catastrophic falls, but if you touch the spotter or the wall, come down immediately and try again. Please not to use the spotter to hold the handstand longer than you can hold it on your own.
This challenge is all about learning to enter a handstand and how to balance a handstand off the wall by doing small movements. If you use a wall or a spotter to go up without control or if you touch the wall and continue holding the handstands then this challenge will be less effective.
If you feel like you need a spotter or a wall to enter the handstand, then we recommend you do not attempt this level yet, and instead attempt level 1.
Full Warm Up Series
Warm ups are very personal. What your body needs to warm up, is probably really different than what is needed by someone else. If you are tight your warm up should focus on opening up your muscles and releasing tension. If you are very flexible, your warm-up may required more strengthening moves. If something hurts, then we need to release and prepare the muscles that support the aching joint.
There are so many variables. With that in mind, try this warm up series. It works for me and several of my students. I am looking forward to hear how it worked for you.
Full Belly to the Wall Practice with Stretching
A timed sequence for you to follow along. It features a 1 minute countdown timer. If you are holding your handstands for less than a minute – use the timer to know when is time to come up. You can even substitute some Belly to the Wall for Belly to the Ground.
It includes some stretching exercises between the Belly to the Wall Holds.
This Month's Drills
Supine Tuck Ups with Wall
This drill will help us understand the pathway we want to follow while entering a handstand through a Tuck Up.
Kneeling Pike with Blocks
Mastering the four variations of this drill will help you master all other handstand entrances.
Belly to the Wall
Belly to the wall is an amazing drill. It may take you some time to make friends with it, but once you do, it will be your handstand’s best friend forever.
Check another video explaining this drill and the use of a spotter in our IG account.
Wall Scissor or Alternating Legs
Let’s find our core while learning to carry our handstands on our hands. You will need a pair of yoga blocks for this drill. They will help you maintain your forearm alignment. Do this drill after a few rounds on the Wall Tightness Drill.
Enter a freestanding handstand. Unspotted.
Start a timer as soon as your feet leave the ground and stop the timer as soon as your feet return to the ground. During your next handstand you will continue the timer until you accumulate your desire time for the day.
End each practice with 5+ minutes of meditation.
Explore how your core engagement helps you stay centered. Observe how the breath can create a shift in your center of gravity. See how you can modify your breath to take full breaths without rocking your body forwards and back. Then apply that change in your breathing pattern to your next handstand practice.
Just like in your handstand, it may be useful to video yourself from the side. This will allow you to see if you are leaning, curling or loosing your line in any way.
Report Your Progress
Post a video, image, quote or support message in our 12 Days of Handstands Facebook Group. It helps us stay inspired to practice! Post your successes, but most importantly post your struggles. Let’s use this group to support each other practices.
Yes, share this page with your friends.