Accelerated Handstand Development



Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.  

Whether a handstand is part of our regular asana practice or not, there is always room for improvement. Learning and understanding the intricate skill sets are imperative. These are the things that will expedite our development. This doesn’t mean that it will happen fast but that we are equipped with more knowledge to apply to our physical practice, which will enhance our results.  

There are a number of different areas for improvement when it comes to a better handstand, and one that might be overlooked is pelvic alignment. The drills and skills from today’s video provide the roadmap towards the final destination of a well-balanced handstand (pun intended lol).


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In an upright position, knowing the difference between anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis may be easier to negotiate. At other times, it may be harder to determine. In the full class, Matt explains that many of us have the tendency to posteriorly tilt the pelvis when standing, which may be because we are trying to find the least amount of energy exertion by placing more weight into the hip joints. 

The opposite is true when upside down in a handstand. Here, the tendency may be to anteriorly tilt the pelvis (especially if there is a wall behind us). We might feel that the safer place to be is behind us, so the hips move in that direction. This tendency does not serve us in a balanced handstand away from a wall. In this case, the posterior tilt of the pelvis is a must.




To find balance in a handstand off the wall, we must polish our pelvic alignment. We don’t start by trying this in handstand; first, we must strengthen and train the appropriate muscles in other postures and drills. In today’s video, Matt begins by demonstrating 2 ways to implement this strengthening and training in our regular practice.

Sphinx to Hollow Body

In this demonstration, we are guided through 4 phases. It is a very slow and controlled process that not only strengthens the core and upper body, it also helps us understand how to effectively isolate and articulate the movements of the rib cage and pelvis.

Crescent Pose

Here we really learn to train and develop the tucking of the tailbone—the posterior tilt of the pelvis—against straightening and lengthening the back leg. When doing this, we’re activating the quadricep and gluteal muscles at the same time. This will translate well when transitioning upside down.

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Included in the process of handstand development is the practicing of pelvic alignment when we’re inverted in the context of drills. The handstand drills in today’s video are done against a wall. They provide the opportunity to place our feet on the wall in order to focus on the placement of the pelvis into a posterior-tilt position.

  1. First, without any props, we gain the understanding of how important it is to push through the shoulders to initiate greater movement of the rib cage back, which initiates the desired “straight stacking” of the body. When the action of the posterior tilt takes place, our feet become lighter.
  2. This is the same drill with the use of a chair, which can assist by offering more control to get upright. The exit here can also assist in practicing a safer exit when we start practicing away from a wall.
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We can never escape going through the processes our bodies need when we’re working towards a given yoga posture, and those processes are always individual. The muscles we need to train, the techniques we need to develop, and the knowledge we need to acquire will vary at different times throughout the process.  

Matt always says that a posture like a handstand is evidence that we have tapped into increased mastery of the understanding of our own bodies. This is the true gift of the process on the journey towards transformation, not achievement.

Matt’s 10-Day Handstand Program works to systematically expose our greatest potential.  

Transform your relationship with handstand by registering today!

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Handstand & Meditation Immersion

1 Comment

  1. matt

    yes it of course comes down to individual experience because our individual experience is based on our past experiences/practices. However your future experience depends on how you train now. Certainly getting a double stag handstand is easier for many people because you can balance with your legs and pelvis which is a more familiar feeling for everyone because we’ve been trained to do that our whole life. That doesn’t mean however that its a better way to train. Its like doing handstand at the wall – many people will find that easier and have more “success” but that doesn’t mean its better than doing drills that create the building blocks that may not every use the wall. It really comes down to the question of your goal and intent. If its to experience some balance now, than yes double stag for some people, or L-pose, or frog legs, or diamond shape will all be easier to balance. If the goal is to have a consistent steady handstand that is predictable and requires no counter balancing than practicing drills for hollow body or straight body positioning without the balance is the better method.


  1. Double Stag Handstand - THEYOGIMATT - […] Last week’s blog delves into the position of the pelvis for Straight-Back (posterior tilt).  Due to the backbend quality…

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