About the Program

YogaSlackers 12 Days of Handstands goal 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.

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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!

Or make a one-time contribution via PayPal or Venmo (@poweredbyyoga)

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Raquel, creator of the YogaSlackers 12 Days of Handstands
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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.

 

You will need to time the length of your handstands. It can be done with a friend and a chronometer or by trimming a video. 

Here are a few of our favorite apps to time our handstands: M Stopwatch, Handstand Quest, and Seconds.

 

Handstand training like any other training stresses your body. Take time after each training session and between training days to massage your body.

We recommend Armaid and RAD rollers. Check out our resource page for discount codes for both.

 

This Month's Training Plan

Train With Us In Person

Choosing your Level

Warm Up

Pre-Handstand Warm Up | Practice Before Wall Series
This video will guide you through a short yoga-inspired warm up series.

Practice this warm up series before any handstand wall series. It focuses on preparing the wrist and shoulders to carry the weight of handstands. While also activating the muscles and body movements to find a straight handstand line.
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.

 

Follow Along | Wall Series

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.

 

Wall Series: Tightness Drill & Belly to the Wall
Incorporates 6 rounds of:

 – 20 sec Wall Tightness Drill
 – 40 seconds of Belly to the Wall

with additional stretching exercises in between repetitions.
Wall Series: Belly to the ground + Tightness Drill + Belly to the Wall
Incorporates 6 rounds of:
– 15 sec Belly to the Ground 
– 20 sec Wall Tightness Drill
– 20 sec Belly to the Wall
with additional stretching exercises in between repetitions.

This Month's Drills

Practicing freestanding Headstands is a great way to build your balance. This drill will help you learn to balance using your core, to keep your line and to feel where you are in space.

 

Forearm Balance is a great tool to learn to balance a handstand. In a sense your forearm will act as a giant hand. The balance will come from there, and with time you will learn to dial in the balance and need less space to balance… aka, move towards balancing with your hands.

 

Supine Pike Ups
This drill is a good way to work on our body mechanics while waking up the hamstrings and core. Throughout the entire movement focus on keeping a hollow body position. Ribs in and lower back flush on the ground.

 

This drill will help us find the compression and back roll required to jump, press and hold certain handstand shapes. The focus of this drill is strengthening our back muscles and increasing our shoulder and upper back mobility. Yes, you will feel it on your hamstrings too, but that’s a secondary benefit! Use blocks next to your forearms to make sure that as the leg reaches the ground the shoulders stay on top of the hands. Avoid bypassing the shoulder strength by moving the ribs close to the wall. Attempt to keep the hips over the shoulders for as long as possible. This will be limited by your hamstring flexibility.

 

Wall Tightness Drill
This is a short and effective drill to help us engage our core while being upside down. 
Practice this drill after a few rounds of belly to the ground and before practicing belly to the wall.


 

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.

 

1st Position Hold on Wall
This drill is a tough and effective one. Useful for those that want to learn how to press a handstand, open shoulders, gain endurance and have some awesome fun with a wall.

 

Kneeling Pike with Blocks
Mastering the four variations of this drill will help you master all other handstand entrances.

 

Wall Tuck or Tuck Hold on Wall
Entering and exiting your handstand through a cartwheel helps to train your sideways stability and can help you feel more comfortable to bail out of handstands. Keep straight arms and use the power of the legs to drive yourself up into the handstand.

 

Pike Ups with Blocks
Piking up can be a challenging drill. To make this drill a little easier, let’s use a spotter and blocks. The spotter is there to help us enter our handstand in one fluid motion. While the blocks are there to remind us to roll into the position instead of moving the shoulders too far over hands.

 

Play Video
Cumulative Handstands
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.

Suggested Shape Variations

Meditation

End each practice with 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.

 

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