Elaine de souza handstand yoga yogobe

What's up with all those Handstands? A lot.

24 elokuu 2020 | By Elaine De Souza

More and more of us do it. We practice and practice to get the perfect one. Handstands. It's not a circus exclusive anymore, it's out there. Get some insight about all the parts of our bodies included in a handstand, and how we can prevent these parts from getting injured when practicing! 



Yoga inversions – handstands for everyone

Wild guess, you haven't missed it. People are getting down and up into inversions everywhere. Downdogs, planks, handstands and more in a huge variety of shapes and styles. It's not a circus exclusive anymore, it's out there. 

We are fascinated with hand balancing. They defy gravity and intrigues us, we instinctually know it requires time and skills to conquer them. You need a brave both body and mind a big portion of character to stay in the training to conquer the more advanced poses. They are visually appealing and can express many different artistic styles and emotions. Beyond this, there's something with hand balancing that goes even deeper into how we humans are set up physically.

The photo shows the neuro sensory proportions and how much of the brain is used to control movements in different parts of the body. As you can see, we are hard wired to pick up information from our hands, and to use them in our daily life. Not only for hand balancing. This is why we can so many things from brushing our teeth to sending a text, handstand or play the piano.

Each hand contains plus or minus, everyone is different:

  • 29 major and minor bones
  • 29 major joints
  • At least 123 named ligaments
  • 34 Muscles which move the fingers and thumb
  • 48 named nerves
  • 30 named arteries and nearly as many smaller named branches

Handstand and injuries such as wrist issues 

Yes, obviously this is a complex area. I meet a lot of people with wrist issues. Not only when doing Yoga, handstands or in the gym, but everywhere, like the other day at dinner with friends. When they found out I work with my body and that I do a lot of handstands the following often happens:

  • They tell me they have wrist problems, restrictions or pain and how they avoid things in life because of it. Of course, it also becomes a limitation to even start or to get good progression in movement training like Yoga, hand balancing and similar form of training.
  • They tell me how they can't, won't or just don't know how to address it.

Preparations & build up – how to do a handstand

Well, you can't rest yourself out of this one. You need to start using your hands. More. Daily.

  • Basic function and flexibility. Do an honest check in with the basics. Can you flex and point your wrists, circle them, spread your fingers wide, make a fist, connect with each finger. Massage your wrists and palms, play air piano, be creative and move your hands in as many different way as you can come up with.
  • Add intensity and resistance. Once you have the basic skills it's time to add more resistance. Touch the floor, hang from something, carry things that are heavy. Basically do things that requires you to make an effort with your hands.
  • Advanced skills and programming. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again – Get a skilled professional. When you want better progress, when you get stuck, if it hurts or if you want something special, get the best professionals and teachers to learn from. It's a life long investment.

Touch the ground, the sky and your heart everyday.

Learn more 

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Elaine de Souza

Elaine is the previous dancer who now is the yogi specializing in handstands. She teaches classes, workshops and personal training within yoga, handstands and movement training.

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