How to do a Handstand with Matt Ryan

18th January 2017 by Matt Ryan

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To watch the video tutorial please click on the play button (in the middle of the screen) on the box immediately above.

I have no idea why but when I first started to practice the handstand, I never used to have any fear of falling over as I always confident I could twist around and land on my feet –maybe I was a cat in a previous life : )

When I first started Yoga I remember going to a class and watching in awe as my teacher placed his on the floor and floated up into a handstand from a standing position with straight legs. It was pretty darn cool and I always thought I’d like to be able to do that. And remember folks these were the days before online you tube tutorials – it was all trial and error – mainly error on my part and lots of laughing at how useless I was.

I’m not sure when the penny dropped but eventually it did – and maybe it was my Dad (RIP) who mentioned the main drawbacks of the kicking up one leg at a time method I was using to try and master the handstand. This was having to find the balance point twice (one for each leg!) so I sussed out that if I could find a way of jumping up both legs at the same time I might have cracked the handstand code.

And like all buildings needing a solid foundation, the handstand was no different and also working on the premise that if I was able to do a full handstand surely I need to be able to do the half handstand ie have the legs bent rather than straight. And slowly – very slowly things started to happen. I kicked up both legs bent hold for a breath then come down , 1 breath turned to 2 then to 5 and so until I got to half a minute balancing on my hands with knees bent. A solid foundation was created so that I could slowly start to straighten the leg and remain steady and secure without falling over.

It was very simple but very effective – no nonsense. I have watched online tutorials on handstand but found them to be too long winded, to over descriptive. I find this method  to be much more straight to the point – hope you enjoy it – have fun and remember Guruji’s famous  words ‘Yoga is 99% practice 1% theory’ (and I like to think this handstand method most definitely fits into that category).

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By Matt Ryan

I have practised Ashtanga Yoga for over 18 years and taught for the last 17. I am based in Manchester, I have also taught in both India and Europe as well as all over the UK. Over the last 18 years I successfully launched…

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