Yoga Video: Tips For Doing Handstand Away From The Wall

How to do Handstand Away From the Wall by Engaging Your Core!

Hi Yogis, Are you having a tough time doing handstand away from the security of the wall?

Do you have a tough time engaging your core upside down?

Don’t worry, you are not alone!

A lot of us bendy folk have über flexible lower backs and it can slow us down in our endeavors to balance in handstand away from the wall.

Never fear!

Here is a Handstand trick for engaging your core!

In this two-minute video I will explain how pulling one knee to your chest after your lift off helps to immediately engage your core muscles and help you balance.

Enjoy this quick video on how to move away from the security of the wall while handstanding and out into the center of the room.

I promise if you continue to practice what you learn in this video it will have you floating and flying with confidence!

Happy Handstanding Yogis!

Yoga Inspiration ~ Reach Your Heart Forward

Yoga Teacher Marysia Weiss in Handstand to Planche’!

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk”

~ Dalia Lama

“Reach your heart forward!” This is the mantra for getting into Planche’ from Handstand.

In yoga, as in life you will not get much out of something if you don’t put your whole heart into it. You can’t just dip a nervous toe into the ocean of yoga and expect enlightenment, peace and joy to wash over like a tsunami of zen.

Rather, these things are hard won victories paid for by many sweat-soaked hours in Warrior 2 and various other means of yogic torture. (oh did I say torture? I meant bliss…of course..)

Likewise putting your heart out there usually means risking it being hurt or worse metaphorically  speaking when it comes to matters of the heart.

Of all the difficult things you will learn in life and in yoga one of the hardest is letting your heart lead the way, risking it, or being vulnerable. The great conundrum, is how can I give it all, yet still stand in my strength?

This is the work of Handstand to Planche’,…talk about putting your heart into something, and “out there ” while maintaing your strength. It is a wonderful thing when yoga and life mirror each other. Hope this inspires you lovers and yogis to do the same.

Put your whole heart into whatever t is you are seeking. Planche’ your heart out past what feels safe. If you are waiting for the right moment, stop waiting, that perfect moment never arrives.You have to go for it!  All the while maintain your core values, your dignity and your strength.

“You’ve been walking the oceans edge holding up your robes to keep them dry. You must dive deeper under, a thousand times deeper!”

~ Rumi

Heart and Core Via K.O. Yoga Blog

Angela Kukhahn in Handstand. Photo by Leelu Morris

Props to handstanding yogini Kristin Olson of the K.O. Yoga Blog for writing this amazing post on handstand….

While working on handstands in Brock Cahill‘s Flight Club class at Yogis Anonymous, I was chatting with other students about handstand tips. We were talking about how hard it is to manage simultaneously two of the tricks to finding balance in a handstand: engaging your core while opening your heart. Thinking about it after class, I was pondering about how these two principles apply in life. Read More…

Yoga Inspiration ~ Never Stop Lifting!

Crow To Handstand Yoga Transition with Angela Kukhahn in Brock Cahill’s Class at Yogis Anonymous!

“Never Stop Lifting!” is the advice my teacher Krista Cahill gave me what felt like a million times as I attempted (and failed) at this seemingly impossible transition from Crow Pose (Bakasana) to Handstand.

Physically its all about shifting your weight forward by moving your pelvis up and forward and bringing your knees towards your chest.

Mentally it is all about never giving up, even when something looks and feels impossible!

This transition serves as a great reminder to never ever, ever give up! 

What poses inspire you? What have you learned from them?

Yoga Inspiration: Kristin Olson Presses to Handstand!

Here is some more handstand press up yoga inspiration!

Ironically, me and my yoga teacher friend Kristin Olson (check her out over at the K.O. Yoga blog and read her post on the Top 10 Reasons that Handstands are Awesome!) both got our press to handstand the very same night at my friends Brock Cahill’s class over at Yogis Anonymous. I have always been told that good things happen in three’s, so I guess that means you are next!

Yoga Inspiration: Press Handstand to Crow Pose

In this video I do a press handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) to crow pose (Bakasana). Handstand press is something that I have wanted to get for quite sometime now and I am so stoked! The key to the press is shoulder integration, full external rotation of the arm bones, and core strength. I am extremely fortunate to have amazing teachers like Brock and Krista Cahill who have guided me all the way. Anything is possible with steady practice, determination and a little faith. What are some poses or transitions that you would like to know more about? I would love to know!

“Corelicious” Full Length Online Yoga Class via Yogis Anonymous Class 4/24/2011

Here is another Full length online yoga class via the Yogis Anonymous website. This class focuses building core strength with plank variations,ab work and crow pose. We then explore dolphin, a fun variation on headstand for the beginner or inflexible student and handstands! The music for this class is Yoga Music Playlist No. 10. Enjoy!

Angela Kukhahn in Upward Facing Dog in the Tuscan sunflower fields (yoga pose) photo by Tara Rice

Yoga Inspiration: Advanced Yoga Demo with Heather Seiniger

Hey yogis! If you are like me  you believe that anything is possible with a little faith, courage and hard work (tapas/practice) First of all though you need to start with some inspiration!

Luckily for me living in Santa Monica I am surrounded by a ton of inspiring yogis, yoginis, teachers and downright gurus!

Here is some yoga inspiration for today! Watch as local Yogaworks teacher trainer Heather Seiniger demonstrates the advanced yoga transition Crow Pose (Bakasana) to Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) back to Crow Pose (Bakasana) to  low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana) and through the vinyasa.

If you would like to master these transitions here is the most logical way to go about it:

1. Learn Crow Pose

2. Learn to jump back from Crow to low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana)

3. Corework, Corework, Do a boatload of boat pose (Navasana), and half boat Ardha Navasana…everyday!

4. Learn Handstand (Watch my tutorials on handstand to get a good start and start practicing the actions of handstand in every pose!

5. Practice lowering to crow from handstand (use a yoga strap on your upper arms just above the elbows so your arms don’t splay out!) Just mastered this thanks to my teacher Krista Cahill  and I am so stoked!

6. Practice scooping your hips under, squeezing the knees to the midline and pressing into your hands to life back up to handstand. (You will prob need someone to help you with this by spotting you. Use your yoga strap! I am currently working on this myself, so far just a lift off, but not all the way up on my own.

7. Believe in yourself and of course practice, practice, practice! Good Luck!

Handstands Tutorial Part 5: Handstands with an Excercise Ball with Angela Kukhahn and Marysia Weiss

Hopefully you have watched Handstands tutorial Part 1 Handstand Prep, Part 2 Handstand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Part 3 Finding Handstand in your Plank Pose, and Part 4 Handstand in Downward Facing Dog to get a good foundation and also we hope you have been practicing the principles of alignement in all of your basic poses while doing your regular yoga practice.

As we know, its about 99% sweat, practice and faith and 1% theory so keep that in mind. I never got to personally meet the amazing father of Ashtanga yoga Pattabhi Jois but I love his saying “Practice, all is coming”. Meaning of course, just DO your practice! Don’t worry over the details, just get on your mat, show up for yourself every day, be earnest and it will happen! Have faith! All the theory in the world won’t help a bit  without a regular, dedicated, faithful practice.

In this short video me and my good friend, yoga teacher and co-author of the Hot and Healthy blog introduce the use of a round excercise ball in helping you in your quest to practice your Handstands away from the wall.

This was first taught to me by beautiful, talented, and legendary Krista Cahill (yes, I said legendary! And if you know her I am sure you feel the same way, this lady knows her yoga!)

The ball is a great tool in training you to get your chest far enough forward to float into handstands with ease and mimmicks the feeling of a press up handstand. Enjoy!

The video was filmed by our good friend and wellness expert Sean Trace at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, CA.