Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

balance

DOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND

Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes! 

Ok, from appearances alone, this option may still appear inconceivable, but the “easier option” of Double Stag Handstand may be that variation of an inversion that offers us the fortitude to continue on the journey towards Straight-Back Handstand.

Of course, we are all individuals, so the opposite may be true for any one of us. If we’re in a position where neither Double Stag Handstand nor Straight-Back are a part of our practice, today’s video will outline some reasons why exploring this option first may be our ticket to success in ultimately conquering both variations over time.  

In addition, understanding that Double Stag Handstand incorporates more of a backbend position than Straight-Back will keep us on the right track.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

10-DAY HANDSTAND PROGRAM

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

  • Safe, systematic, and effective
  • 10-day training plan with guided daily tutorials
  • 2 livestream workshops: Replays are automatically included if you cannot attend live
  • Learn the most anatomically aligned and efficient handstand
  • Acrobatic training skills made easy and accessible for regular people
  • All levels appropriate
  • Build YOUR handstand, honoring your body and its unique strengths and challenges
  • No experience required
  • Variations for all levels, from 0 experience to professional hand balancers
  • BONUS: Zoom meeting (available to waitlist members only for the first 24 hours of registration opening): On Day 3, we will meet on Zoom for group coaching and personalized feedback!
  • SPACE IS LIMITED FOR THIS TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST SUPPORT POSSIBLE

SHOULDER PREPARATION

One of the most valuable lessons we learn along the track of preparing for an ambitious posture like Double Stag Handstand is how to dial back and prepare appropriately. 

 Here are 2 ways to prepare the shoulders:

Child’s Pose

Matt’s demonstration in the video outlines the importance of lifting the armpits up to make sure that the head of the humerus isn’t pinching into the acromion process, a bony projection on the shoulder blade. This will help to reduce the possibility of shoulder impingement.

Anahatasana Against a Wall

We can progress this patterning in our bodies by practicing the lift of the armpits at a wall in Anahatasana. In both Child’s Pose and Anahatasana, it can be common to drop into the posture by allowing the chest to fall through without lifting the armpits and activating the muscles of the shoulders, but it’s imperative that we strengthen the shoulder muscles before attempting to go upside down. 

WATCH THE VIDEO

DOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND: IS IT EASIER THAN A STRAIGHT-BACK HANDSTAND?

GROUNDWORK FOR THE LEGS AND SPINE

The chest moving ahead of the arms is important for the backbend quality Double Stag Handstand requires, but we also need to create the increased flexibility for deeper extension in the hips and spine.

Here are 2 variations of Low Lunge: 

Low Lunge With a Side Bend 

When practicing with Matt, we become very familiar with drawing the feet towards one another in postures like Low Lunge. This action creates a facilitated stretch. The strengthening aspect of this technique results in increased flexibility. The additional side bend and backbend encourage the lengthening required for the spine, even though the amount of backbend in Double Stag Handstand is not as extensive as in some other heart openers.

Anjaneyasana Preparation With Cactus Arms

Here, we develop the use of the transversus abdominis while training the backbend. In the video, you’ll see how Matt teaches us how to avoid compression in the spine.

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3 POSTURES TO FURTHER THE FOUNDATION

Double Stag Legs in Shoulderstand

This is a nice way to practice the positioning of the legs for the counterbalance in Double Stag Handstand. This counterbalance is arguably why it may be easier to access the ability to balance in a handstand.  

Double Stag Headstand

Here’s where we start to put a few of the foundations to the test. In the video, Matt emphasizes that keeping the leg that is on the same side as the front body a little lower will help to maintain a more optimal pelvic position. The strengthening of hip flexion and extension is valuable in this negotiation of balance.

Double Stag Forearm Stand

There’s a short demonstration in the video of this variation. This option is potentially more challenging due to the “tightness” required in the shoulders and the increased requirement of activation in the body for balance.  

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300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
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  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

STRAIGHT-BACK VERSUS STAG HANDSTAND

Last week’s blog delves into the position of the pelvis for Straight-Back Handstand (posterior tilt). Due to the backbend quality of Double Stag Handstand, the opposite is true (anterior tilt of the pelvis). The positioning of the legs in Double Stag offers a broader body shape for counter balance and therefore more room for play and negotiation. Attempting to stay completely vertical in Straight-Back leaves us more vulnerable to favouring a lean to one side and potentially losing balance more easily. No matter what, it still comes down to our own individual experience.

Preparation for Double Stag may not be glamorous, but that’s not what it’s about. What’s truly glamorous are the benefits of a deeper understanding of our bodies and the strength and longevity we foster.

You can still register to embark on a journey of a deeper understanding of your body and its potential in Matt’s 10-Day Handstand Program.

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Inversion Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

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Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more

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Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

inversion

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).

 

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

10-DAY HANDSTAND PROGRAM

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

  • Safe, systematic, and effective
  • 10-day training plan with guided daily tutorials
  • 2 livestream workshops: Replays are automatically included if you cannot attend live
  • Learn the most anatomically aligned and efficient handstand
  • Acrobatic training skills made easy and accessible for regular people
  • All levels appropriate
  • Build YOUR handstand, honoring your body and its unique strengths and challenges
  • No experience required
  • Variations for all levels, from 0 experience to professional hand balancers
  • BONUS: Zoom meeting (available to waitlist members only for the first 24 hours of registration opening): On Day 3, we will meet on Zoom for group coaching and personalized feedback!
  • SPACE IS LIMITED FOR THIS TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST SUPPORT POSSIBLE

PELVIC ALIGNMENT TENDENCIES

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.

WATCH THE VIDEO

ACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT: POLISHING PELVIC ALIGNMENT

SPHINX TO HOLLOW BODY & CRESENT POSE

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.

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

  • Deepen your yoga practice
  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

HANDSTAND WALL DRILLS

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.
300 hour teacher training online

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

PROCESS & TRANSFORMATION

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!

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Handstand & Meditation Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

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Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP OPENING WITHOUT KNEE PAIN "Hip opening” in a yoga class just sounds glorious if we feel confined or constricted in this area of the body and our intention is to transform this experience. The term may not sound glorious,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

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Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
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read more
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Titibhasana Techniquesfirefly poseTITIBHASANA TECHNIQUES There are some general rules to follow when executing arm balance postures. To find optimal balance, most require us not to shy away from leaning forward. They also demand a considerable degree of upper body...

read more
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read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
  • exclusive online course discounts
  • exclusive blogs and videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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