How To Overcome Your Fear Of Handstands

You wish you could stand on your hands but at the same time, you are scared shitless when you think of being upside down?

Look, I get it. If you’re reading this, we most likely have one thing in common:
We didn’t grow up in a family of circus artists. As a handstand newbie, it’s completely normal to feel uncomfortable since you are only used to standing on your feet.

Before we jump into what you can do to overcome your fear(s), I’d like you to ask yourself:

„What exactly is it, that I am so afraid of?“

From my own experience, and from my experience as a yoga teacher & handstand coach, it’s usually one of the following:

– You are scared of looking stupid.
– You (think that you) are not strong enough.
– You are scared of falling.

Fear is the ONLY thing that is holding you back. And the only way is through.

So how can you move through your fear?

If you’re scared of looking stupid…

We all feel insecure when we do something we’ve never done before. I love the quote „Be brave enough to be bad at something new.“ by Jon Acuff. I missed out on so many opportunities for growth and fun when I was younger, simply because I was scared of making a fool of myself.

Is that you? Are you holding back because you’re scared of looking stupid?

This advice comes from the bottom of my heart:
When you want something, go for it. Don’t let your perfectionism get in the way of trying things outside your comfort zone. No one is born a master.

Learning how to do a handstand is a journey.  Dream big, but take one tiny step at a time. That way you create a sense of achievement, which allows you to build up your confidence & your self-trust. We overcome fear by repetition and slowly expanding our comfort zone. Practice will improve your skillset, and you will learn valuable lessons along the way.
Your potential to grow and learn is infinite!

If you (think that you) are not strong enough…

Maybe you’re right, and you don’t have the necessary strength to hold yourself up in a handstand – yet!

The main body parts that are involved in holding a handstand are the wrists, the shoulders/arms & the core. Before attempting a handstand it’s important to strengthen these areas and to practice full-body engagement.

Here are a few exercises I recommend:

Wrist Push-Ups
High Plank
Hollow Body Progressions
Crow Pose

Practicing crow is a great way to get started with balancing your body weight on your hands. It allows you to feel the weight in your hands while staying relatively low to the ground. And you can always place some pillows in front of you, just in case.

Go ahead, take a leap of faith! You got this.

If you are scared of falling…

You want to take your handstand away from the wall but you are scared of falling over on your back?
Falling is inevitable on your journey to holding a handstand. It’s in the falling where your body learns, what to do differently the next time. To let go of the fear and to save yourself from injuries, you need to know how to land on your feet. Only when you trust yourself with catching yourself, you’re ready to practice freestanding handstands in the middle of the room by yourself.
There will be another blog post about how to fall out of handstands safely coming soon – so stay tuned!

One last thing…

Do a little every day & listen to your body. Especially when you’re new to hand-balancing/inversions, your body will need time to adjust. Make it about compassion for yourself, instead of nailing the pose. When you fall in love with the journey then there is no need to rush.

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