8 Yoga Poses to Help You Get Your Handstand On

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If you have your heart set on getting upside down, here are eight moves to practice. They'll help you build strength and stability, so you'll be standing on your hands in no time!

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Push-Ups: It may seem like Handstands are all about balance, but in order to be able to hold your body straight upside down, you need major upper body strength. Push-ups are by far the best exercise since they'll target your arms, shoulders, upper back, and core. Basic push-ups work great, but you can strengthen other areas of your body by throwing some push-up variations into your weekly routine as well.

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Backbend Push-Ups: Here's another push-up variation that will really target your shoulders and upper back, as well as your quads and core. It'll also get you used to being upside down. Do three sets of 10 a few times a week and you'll really notice a difference in your upper body strength.

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground, hips-width distance apart, and the heels as close to the butt as possible.

Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the ground above your shoulders, fingertips facing your feet.

Inhale, press into your palms and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, placing the crown of your head on the mat. Check to make sure your hands and feet are parallel.

Take a deep inhale as you straighten your arms and lift your head off the ground, coming into Full Wheel. Try to walk your hands and feet a little closer together — this will make it easier to do push-ups in this position.

As you exhale, bend your elbows and lower the top of your head toward the floor, stopping before it touches. Then inhale to straighten your arms, coming back into Wheel. Move slowly and with control, completing as many backbend push-ups as you can with correct form.

Slowly lower your hips to the mat. Hug your knees into your chest to release your lower back.

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Headstand: Since the Handstand is a pretty advanced inversion, it's good to work on the most stable inversion first, Headstand. Try this one known as Bound Headstand to build your strength and balance.

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Forearm Stand: After mastering a Headstand, a Forearm Stand is the next hardest inversion, but not as hard as the Handstand. Since you're resting on your forearms, there's more surface area to balance on. Do this move in front of a wall at first to prevent falling, and then move to the middle of the room.

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Crow: Crow pose is a great next step since it requires upper body strength, balance, and core strength. It's like a little mini-Handstand, and a great way to get your hands and wrists used to holding up your body weight.

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Handstand Split: Although the goal of the Handstand in yoga is to be able to hold your body in one straight line, it's really difficult to find that balance at first. Doing a Handstand with your legs in a split position is much easier. Do it in front of a wall with your toes leaning for support, and eventually move away when you master the balance.

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Handstand: After mastering Handstand against the wall, you're ready to move to an open area to work on balancing without any help. Kick up with control into Handstand Split, and slowly scissor your legs together. Concentrate on holding your gaze at one point on the floor below you, keeping the hips stacked over the shoulders, fingers spread wide. Hold for as long as you can.

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