Looking to get more airtime when you’re upside down? Learn from the handstand pro, Marysia Do.
Marysia Do is an Instagram yogi who showcases her hand balancing skills to all her followers. Through her 14-year long handstand journey, she has found some of the best ways to increase strength and stability in handstands.
After moving to Singapore with the dream of becoming a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, Marysia realised that she couldn’t due to the language barrier. Although she had studied for four years and passed five state and national board exams, the Acupuncture and Herbology courses were conducted in Mandarin in Singapore.
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She had been practising yoga for a while and thought of it as a hobby, but ended up building a big handstand community here. She loves handstands because they make her feel powerful and free. Plus, doing handstands makes everyone feel more confident especially when they didn’t think they were capable of doing it at first. Read on to find out her best handstand tips.
(Also read: Where to Go for Handstands Classes)
Patience is key
One of the most used yoga hashtags on Instagram is “Practice and all is coming”, so the yoga community definitely knows that everything takes time. Don’t be discouraged when you fail at first. Instead, learn to be both determined and patient at the same time.
Marysia says that failure is part of the learning process, and that feeling discouraged will just drain more of your energy. Trust the process, have fun, and practise daily – even if it’s just five minutes.
(Also read: Why You Should Do Yoga First Thing in The Morning)
Engage your core
Now that the mental aspect is covered, many of you might be wondering about practical tips that you can apply to your own practice. “Sinking in the lower back is the most common mistake. When kicking up to handstand with the back to the wall, most yogis will thrust their hips forward, leaving just their toe tips on the wall and compressing their lower back,” Marysia says.
To fix this mistake, she recommends lifting just one leg off the wall while you bend the other to support you. Moving your hips closer to the wall will help you engage your hip flexors, core, and keep your body engaged. It’s very important to keep your core tight as that will help you to stay straight, stack your hips over your shoulders, and activate the other muscles in your body.
Find your centre
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Balance takes time to find, and it’s different for everybody. Some people might be able to keep their bodies straight with their feet flexed, while others might feel more comfortable having their toes pointed. The different feet angles will emphasise engagement on different areas of your legs.
Finding your own alignment will help you to trust your instincts and have a more efficient handstand journey. It can be scary process that is challenging, but it’s also empowering.
(Also read: 7 Standing Yoga Poses That Will Improve Your Balance)