How to learn advanced Yoga poses like a Handstand or Split?

If you have a specific pose in mind, that still feels impossible but you would like to achieve in time, there is a way to speed up the learning process. There are three things you have to understand. Most Yoga classes are not designed to really work this one skill over time. Secondly, you must learn how to break down a pose into separate exercises. Thirdly, you will have to commit to practice these exercises separate to your usual flow classes.

Split at Sennen Beach in Cornwall

I don’t believe that a split or a handstand just appears…

Some muscle groups are getting stretched or worked out cumulatively in Vinyasa flows – such as the hamstrings. No wonder people with tight hamstrings enter the class like boxers enter the ring, ready to face ongoing pain.

Other muscle groups are more likely to be neglected children. Like the front of our thighs, which you will work for a straight split.

#1 Tip: Find separate “pro”-exercises

I recommend to find exercises that target aspects of the pose you are working on. Some of these exercises might come from gymnasts or dancers. If I would want to learn how to handstand, I would do exercises from someone who is a professional in that skill.

Only 2 of 100s of different handstand preps.

#2 Tip: Basic anatomical knowledge

Studying anatomy and getting an overview of how bones and muscles interact has really helped me in my teaching and personal practice. I don’t mean to infer that memorizing the entire atlas is necessary. But, let’s say you are working on a posture and then you might feel that there are areas that are either not strong or stretched enough. With that rather intuitive knowledge, you can investigate these parts and find out what movements you could perform to target that specific structure.

Each pose is a journey in itself.

By looking into other disciplines you can foster a deep understanding of movements and later on, this new knowledge can be transferred back to your Yoga Practice.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment or book a private where I can help you to work on a skill. xx

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *