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The easiest way to get kids to start their handstand practice is to have them in about a 2/3 Downward Facing Dog with their feet at the wall, and simply have them walk their feet up the wall behind them. I call this the “backwards handstand” and about 95% of the kids ages three and up that I work with have a natural instinct for the pose. A lot of two-year-olds pop right into it, as well!
(If you are not familiar with this pose, you can see a demo by clicking here).
Every once in a while, though, I work with a kid who tries and tries and just keeps sliding down the wall. Perhaps you’ve worked with some, too.
Here is what I tell them in order to help them work past the “slide” and into the hold:
1. Press your hands into the floor so hard, it’s like you’re trying to push the floor right out of the room.
2. As you press your hands, think about pushing your whole body back towards the wall.
3. Step your feet as high up the wall as you can. Higher will be easier. (Be sure the hips lift, too!)
4. Just like you are trying to press the floor out of the room with your hands, you also want to press your feet so hard into the wall, it’s like you are trying to knock it down.
Bottom line is, leverage is key. The more you press, the more the leverage sustains the pose. The less you press, the more prone your feet are to sliding down the wall like chutes and ladders.
And that’s the mini yogis minute tip of the week. Check back every week to learn something new!
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