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SDYogi

Fear Of Falling In Handstand

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I just recently started going upside down during yoga class. Right now I'm able to balance in a bound headstand with my knees bent, but not straight up. i am working on building strength in my core and shoulders and I progress a little each class. 

 

I am afraid, however, of handstand. In class the instructor will ask us to put our mats against the wall and try to kick up into a handstand. I just practice my bound headstand instead, but I know I need to break out of my comfort zone. Any tips for beginners? I know the wall will keep me from falling over, but I'm afraid of collapsing or going sideways or falling onto my face! 

Oak, YogaByCandace, Meugenio and 1 other like this

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I just recently started going upside down during yoga class. Right now I'm able to balance in a bound headstand with my knees bent, but not straight up. i am working on building strength in my core and shoulders and I progress a little each class. 

 

I am afraid, however, of handstand. In class the instructor will ask us to put our mats against the wall and try to kick up into a handstand. I just practice my bound headstand instead, but I know I need to break out of my comfort zone. Any tips for beginners? I know the wall will keep me from falling over, but I'm afraid of collapsing or going sideways or falling onto my face! 

I'm going to answer this in detail in today's Ask a Yoga Question because I have a lot to say and pictures will help, so stay tuned, but of course check back here as other members might weigh in with advice.  :54:

 

Edited to say: Technical difficulties  :43:  - Ask a Yoga Question will be on Monday of next week. Sorry!

Meugenio, Nix, Reggi and 1 other like this

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I watch every instruction and video on the subject of handstand in case someone will give me some fabulous advice that will miraculously send me into handstand with out any effort what so ever. So far I am still struggling. I can get up against the wall but away from the wall I am up just a couple of seconds. I'm not giving up!!!

laceyd, Turi, Reggi and 1 other like this

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I declared this week as "just do it!"-week to myself and did unsupported headstand in the middle of the room for the first time on Monday.

 

I tried to tune my thoughts out and when it was time for headstand, without any further ado I did it- and fell over :blink: .

And then I did it again right away and managed to actually stand straight for at least one minute. Gee, I was so smug afterwards, what an experience, ha ha :D !

 

So my advice: just give it a try if you feel that you technically have the strength. It might cost quite an effort and you will probably fall but in my opinion that's part of the process: learning that things can go wrong but that it doesn't cause you harm ;)

Nix, laceyd, dianeteresa and 3 others like this

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I vividly remember how difficult it was to start kicking up to a handstand against the wall. I was sure I would never make it! The idea of falling on my head was terrifying. Luckily I had a friend who assisted me for the first couple of times and that made a huge difference. Could you ask your yoga teacher to help you too?

 

Now I'm just as frightened to do handstands in the middle of the room. I've been to a couple of workshops and the progression is slowly coming, but still need more courage and, of course, practice, practice, practice...

Turi and laceyd like this

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This isn't exactly yoga-ish, but I love this progression! I am working on stage 2, and it has helped me overcome my fear of falling SO much!!

 

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/10/24/how-to-handstand-better-than-luke-skywalker/

 

This is interesting because my husband wanted to learn how to do push ups in handstand, and he found a similar guide to this method.  I dislike it for myself and think it's scarier because I don't know how to "fall out of it" safely when tired. Do you just walk back down into a plank? That seems so hard! My husband does this against the wall, which is right next to our mattress (on the floor, no bed frame), and so after he's done, he just falls out sideways onto the mattress.  It's a nice safety net, but I guess people who have bed furniture can pile some blankets on the side instead?

 

The planks against the wall method seems to be a good option for those not as flexible.  When I tried to show my husband my preferred method, doing downward dog against the wall (right angle), he couldn't do it because his hamstrings aren't flexible enough to straighten his legs (which prevents his shoulders from extending over his hands).

 

I think everyone is different, but measuring where to place my hands in downward dog against the wall helped me tremendously (steps 1 and 2 in the above link). It built my shoulder strength so much that after I did a few weeks, I was able to lift into wheel pose for the first time.  This is very valid good option (some teachers told me harder than regular handstand) if you don't feel comfortable kicking up in class yet when it's crowded.  In fact, one of my teachers wants us to use our core to lift into handstand instead of kicking up using sheer momentum, so I do downward dog against the wall instead of inverting until I can control my core more. Once you feel more secure, you can lift one leg at a time (not both) from that position to get used to the alignment and that might help you from feeling like you'll fall sideways.

 

The last tip was that the yoga teacher said if you have a hallway at home that is clear, you can get up to handstand by walking your feet up like downward dog against the wall, and then lift your legs up, and as you try to balance, you just ping pong safely between the two walls.  I tried it once at my old place, it was fun to explore but it was too much wiggle room for me.

dianeteresa likes this

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Downdog against a wall is a modification one of my teacher suggests too.  I've also tired some of the modifications in that nerd fitness article.  Either way it sounds like you're afraid of falling and I think practicing a method that allows you a bit more control for getting in/out of handstand will help.  I find that downdog modification to be pretty easy to get in/out of so that could be a good place to start.

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I'm looking forward to that Ask A Yoga Teacher, I'm also having that fear. It's not exactly fear of falling, but more fear of falling and breaking my neck.

SDYogi and dianeteresa like this

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I'm going to answer this in detail in today's Ask a Yoga Question because I have a lot to say and pictures will help, so stay tuned, but of course check back here as other members might weigh in with advice.  :54:

 

Edited to say: Technical difficulties  :43:  - Ask a Yoga Question will be on Monday of next week. Sorry!

 

Reading carefully and looking forward to your post! More than fear of falling  I have problems with my wrists. I broke both (with 1 month of difference between my right and my left) and had surgery in my right wrist. The right didn't heal very well  and it gives me some problems from time to time :(  so I'm terrified at headstands and arm balances because of this.

yogagrammy likes this

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Thanks for the input everyone. I will try out the downward dog against the wall technique and see how it feels. Looking forward to your post on this on Monday, Candace! 

dianeteresa likes this

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