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Level 1/2
60 min

Build Up to Handstand Mentally & Physically

Anusara | By Noah Mazé on Jun 03 2011
Get educated and systematically prepared for handstand with sun salutations, shoulder openers, standing poses, and work at the wall. Whether you are a proficient handstander, or whether you wish for the courage to start a handstand practice, this class will help you engage and refine this powerful pose, while increasing your confidence and trust in yourself.


Get educated and systematically prepared for handstand with sun salutations, shoulder openers, standing poses, and work at the wall. Whether you are a proficient handstander, or whether you wish for the courage to start a handstand practice, this class will help you engage and refine this powerful pose, while increasing your confidence and trust in yourself.


  • Deborah Teske     Aug 21st, 2014
    This was a great tutorial for handstand. I love how you go through the directions with straight arms and legs. I'm still not there but getting closer and closer. My brother-in-law died this morning and this helped me to concentrate on something else. Thank you for getting my day back on track. ;)
    • Noah Maze     Aug 21st, 2014
      I am so sorry for your loss Deborah. Every time tragedy strikes in my life I turn to yoga....I'm glad this class was able to help you in some small way. Thanks for taking class -- you and yours will be in my thoughts. xo
  • eline vanoutrive     May 21st, 2014
    First time feeling quite ready to try a handstand class after one year of practicing.
    You nailed it, trust is the key! I'm going to keep doing this class, I love it.
    Thank you so much Noah, and thank you for making me smile. <3
    • Noah Maze     May 27th, 2014
      Yes indeed Eline, TRUST is the key! Thanks for practicing. Keep working on it and let me know how it goes! :)
  • Jessamyn Evans     Mar 20th, 2014
    brilliant! shifted on a lot of levels. Thank you
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      That's wonderful Jessamyn! Hope to "see" you in class again soon. - :)
  • Svetlana Winslow     Mar 11th, 2014
    Fenominal and awesome....exactly what I needed. Thank you.
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Wow - phenomenal AND awesome! Thanks for the kind words Svetlana. Hope to "see" you in class again soon!
  • saori hirota     Mar 10th, 2014
    Hi Noah, I really enjoyed class. I can brig my legs in the air and my arms are straight. But keeping legs in the air is hard. They tend to come down easily. Can you teach me what is the tips for my legs to stay up there?
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Hi Saori! Sorry for my delay in responding. Try to keep your body in a straight, vertical line. Your back will want to go into a backbend - don't let it! Draw the front of your ribcage in, tone your abdominal muscles, squeeze your legs together and drag your heels up the wall to grow taller before you take your heels away from the wall. The same applies for handstand in the center of the room - avoid backbending/stay vertical, hug your muscles in & squeeze your legs together, press your hands down & stretch your heels up. Hope this helps - let me know how it goes! :)
  • Galina Matusovskaya     Mar 8th, 2014
    Thank you very much Noah! I finally got it!!! So happy :-))
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Yay!!!! That's wonderful Galina. - :)
  • Monica Isabell S.Hovind     Jan 29th, 2014
    Thank you!Now i finally have the key, just keep practicing:-)
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Woo hoo! That's wonderful - glad you found the key! Yes, keep practicing - it will get stronger. Namaste~
  • Maggie Farrar     Jan 17th, 2014
    Noah is a great teacher - makes it accessible and has fun with it. Excellent! I have never been able to do a handstand. Finding that dynamic of balance is really hard for me. I, either, overshoot it and end up stomping the wall or I just get intimidated and fearful that that's what will happen that I psyche myself out.

    Noah helps to instill from the get-go that this pose is all about trust in yourself and the environment around you. This class helps to not only build your confidence in both of those elements, but also helps to get you to "feel" how the pose should be and feel like in your upper body before fully going into the pose.

    Thank you Noah!!!
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Thanks for your vote of confidence Maggie! Keep working on it - you'll get it. Hope to "see" you in class again soon. - :)
  • Katrina Rodzon     Dec 22nd, 2013
    Great practice. I defintely have trust with putting my hips over my shoulders but I was getting into it better each time (still not at a handstand). The strength in my arms and straight leg really helped. :) Can't wait to get into this. Thanks Noah.
    I like your light hearted approach to the class. For such a frustrating topic it's good to have smile breaks and points of a relax in focus as well. :)
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Thanks Katrina! Your studentship is inspiring! Keep working on it - it will get easier. Yes, smile breaks are a good idea ANY TIME. :)
  • Tanya Markul     Dec 2nd, 2013
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the class Tanya.
  • Jes Raschella     Jul 7th, 2013
    thank you :)
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      You're welcome Jes! :)
  • saori hirota     Jun 14th, 2013
    What is the tip to keep the legs up there? When I try to bring my legs away from the wall, they tend to fall all the way to the mat..
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Try to keep your body in a straight, vertical line. Your back will want to go into a backbend - don't let it! Draw the front of your ribcage in, tone your abdominal muscles, squeeze your legs together and drag your heels up the wall to grow taller before you take your heels away from the wall. Let me know how it goes! :)
  • saori hirota     Jun 13th, 2013
    I need a kick to bring my pelvis over the shoulder! That really worked on me! First successful headstand on my own. Thank you so much, Noah:) I am so happy☆☆☆
    • Noah Maze     Apr 18th, 2014
      Woo hoo! Glad that instruction brought on such great success! Thanks for taking class. - :)
  • Jaymie Chernoff     May 15th, 2013
    Great class.... "focus and repetition" is what I need and this class is great. Somehow I used to kick up and then 'lost' the ability, or the courage. I am strong enough and his whole hour is one I will do until I get that 'effortless' rise up. I feel closer!
    • Noah Maze     May 16th, 2013
      Jaymie, thanks for taking class. It is a journey, step by step, dedication and patience and courage. Namaste~
  • Janel DuRoss     May 8th, 2013
    Noah, thanks for a great class. Question - while in L shaped stand at the wall, I noticed tightness or limited space between /around my scapula. Would that mean my rhomboids are tight ? or weak? What would you suggest to free up that area as it was not a pleasant feeling. Thank you again : )
    • Noah Maze     May 9th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Janel! Your upper back and shoulders are going to be working intensely in that inverted L pose. Some of it can be the strengthening process required to hold the pose. The thing to be mindful of, is that your upper arms are externally rotating and not turning in. Turn your upper arms from your inner biceps, to your outer biceps to your outer triceps, so that they eyes of your elbows look into each other when your arms are overhead. Let me know :)
  • Sarah Hammond     Apr 25th, 2013
    This was my first practice with you Noah, and I was smiling the whole time!!! Excellent work on my alignment/shoulders, and allowed me to consistently get my hips over my shoulders, and even hold to pose just off the wall. Thank you!!!
    • Noah Maze     Apr 27th, 2013
      AWE-some! That is really great Sarah, thanks for taking class!
  • Rochelle Wilson     Apr 24th, 2013
    Thank you so much for this! My teacher has been working with me on handstand for many weeks. The only way I could kick up was with a bolster against the mirror. She watched your practice the other day, and came to me with the Geeta Iyengar variation. I was able to do it within a couple attempts. I am grateful to you, and my teacher.
    • Noah Maze     Apr 24th, 2013
      Rochelle, THAT IS AWESOME! I am grateful for you, and for your teacher too. Thank you for your commitment to yoga :)
  • Mia Mironov     Mar 24th, 2013
    Yay! Namaste:)
    • Noah Maze     Mar 24th, 2013
  • Aimie Dodson     Mar 11th, 2013
    fantastic! i feel amazing and as abeginner ready to do more handstands! thank you!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 11th, 2013
      Awesome, thanks for taking class Aimie! Pass it forward :)
  • lucy powell     Mar 10th, 2013
    Great Noah, will do! Many thanks, again
  • lucy powell     Mar 9th, 2013
    The straightening arm practice was truly helpful. I am going back to basics after some strain to my shoulder and elbow due to long-term improper alignment. My left elbow is definitely quite weak though and buckles easily - one thing you didn't mention was spiralling of the arms - am I right to be trying to spiral the lower arms inwards and the shoulders outwards here in handstand,something i find helpful for my elbow/shoulder when in plank and downward dog? Thanks Noah!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      Hi Lucy, yes, the strengthening aspects are very important. And yes, the spirals of the arms are the same in Down Dog; turn your forearms in, turn your upper arms out (so that; in the overhead plane, ie down dog and handstand, the eyes of your elbows face each other). Thanks for taking class!
  • Elizabeth McGowan Phillips     Mar 9th, 2013
    This was an amazing practice! Been working with this pose for a while with little progres. I am on the taller side with bigger hips and could just not manage the power to kick up. However, the Geeta variation really helped me to catch a little "hang time" for the first time. I feel so light now and truly empowered. I know I will carry this feeling into the rest of my day and in my interactions with others. Thank you Noah for doing what you do and spreading a little more light into the world.
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Elizabeth. That is awesome; face the day with empowered lightness! And build on that little 'hang time' and each day will be a bit more. Have a great day!
  • Anna Papageorge     Mar 9th, 2013
    I am sorry but this class did not work for me. What was the point of building up to "kick up, the wall is there for you"? I get that from any other class without 50 minutes of preparation.
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      -And thank you for sharing your experience, all voices are welcome :) Thanks for trying!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      Hi Anna, thanks for taking class. The point is that, in the end. In this class, it is also the journey to get there; a process of systematic preparation, deconstruction of the individual aspects of handstand and a steady build up to the pose. I'm sorry it did not work for you.
      • Anna Papageorge     Mar 9th, 2013
        Oh, my God. I feel so guilty about this comment now because I was carried away by my frustration. I am glad this class worked for so many but I guess I need more to overcome my fear. Thank you though.
        • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
          Frustration is a normal experience, especially when you are pushing up against the boundaries of what you know/what you don't know, fear/fearlessness, comfort/discomfort etc. And, as it is a normal experience, it becomes part of the yoga practice. Not every class works for every person, as we know. Again, thank you for voicing your frustration, as it is helpful for me to hear, and thank you for reflecting and engaging the conversation (cause this is where it gets interesting).
  • Amanda Wilkes     Mar 8th, 2013
    Thank you Noah - I had so much fun and made real progress, my foot touched the wall momentarily when I kicked up! Yay! Thank you again and Namaste all the way from London x
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      Yay! That is fantastic! Build upon that next time, and soon, quite soon, you will be kicking up regularly.
  • evelyn jauvart     Mar 8th, 2013
    Thank you Noah, this class was so helpful. I am working on handstand for suuuuuch a long time and your clear instructions helped me to understand the action and importance of straight arms. Namaste!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Evelyn; I'm so glad it was useful for you :)
  • Huda Mussa     Mar 8th, 2013
    Thanks for your lovely sequencing. I was able to do my handstands with my fingertips flush with the wall as the find this variation harder than the regular kicking, and it is a hit or miss with me. The Geeta variation has not been working as well for me; it might be because I am shaped with narrow hips and short arma and legs.
    • Noah Maze     Mar 9th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Huda. The fingertips against the wall is harder, for sure. It makes you take the backbend out of it, otherwise you bounce off the the wall. The run-and-kick-up version takes some getting used to as well. It serves a purpose (get the hips us), and I often use it for fun and do it quickly and continuously.
  • Susan Johnson     Mar 7th, 2013
    You, Noah, are my new hero! I'm a 51-year-old Vinasa Flow teacher with a relatively strong practice but, due to a fall I took as a child, have an irrational fear of doing handstand against the wall. This practice gave me the confidence to attempt it without someone there to catch my hips and I did it twice! Wonderful instruction - thank you!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 7th, 2013
      FANTASTIC SUSAN! 51 years young! Congratulations, that is really, really great. Can I quote your comment on fb?
      • Susan Johnson     Mar 8th, 2013
        Of course you can. Thank you!!
  • Maurey Lancaster     Mar 7th, 2013
    A wonderful class- made it all less intimidating x
    • Noah Maze     Mar 7th, 2013
      Thanks Maurey, i'm very glad to help you in your journey.
  • Keylla capote     Mar 7th, 2013
    Noah that was awesome and hilarious! So, i notice that head hits the wall when I kick up. Thoughts?
    I like that stand up option even though I still didn't get up, it gave me more momentum and my head didn't hit the wall.
    Your classes are awesome. Ever thought about teaching at wanderlust vermont?
    Thanks. K
    • Noah Maze     Mar 7th, 2013
      Hi Keylla, if your head is hitting the wall, it is because you are letting your shoulders and upper back move too much during the kick. This is a natural thing to do, in search of the power and momentum to get the hips over the shoulders. The stand up option does give more momentum; keep that up, as that will likely be the first way you succeed in kicking up. AND, stand a bolster up (vertically) at the wall, so your head is against the bolster instead of bumping the wall. Let me know, k?

      I've taught at Wanderlust Squaw Valley. Vermont is a long way from CA, so now that Wanderlust is more regional, my impression is that they mostly bring teachers in from the region (with a few exceptions).
  • Rafael Kr     Feb 20th, 2013
    • Noah Maze     Mar 5th, 2013
      Rafael, you are welcome. Thanks for coming to class.
  • Lisa Citron     Jan 16th, 2013
    Hi Guy,

    I thought you'd get a kick out of this.

    • Noah Maze     Mar 5th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Lisa!
  • Claire Papevies     Jan 15th, 2013
    Thank you for such a great class! It definitely built my confidence! Namaste
    • Noah Maze     Mar 5th, 2013
      Thanks Claire!
  • Cassandra Hafen     Jul 5th, 2012
    I am building up to being able to do a handstand. I have noticied that my left wrist hurts in the left crease as I am kicking up to it which interferes with trusting I can do the full handstand. I think that I need to be patient, just continue doing the prep for handstand to continue to build up the necessary strength,keep trying-any other suggestions?
    • Noah Maze     Mar 5th, 2013
      Hi Cassandra, how is your wrist doing now? And yes, work on the prep stages until you feel confident to move on to the next stage. Slow and steady wins the race, yes?
  • Patricia Doris     May 5th, 2012
    Noah, you are an amazing teacher! I love the balance of humor and sincerity in your approach. This video is my "go to" for practicing the handstand pose, particularly as it provides both great training but also because it reduces all the anxiety that I feel about inversions. The focus on trust in this video is a perfect complement to the practice. Thanks.
    • Noah Maze     Mar 5th, 2013
      Thank you Patricia!
  • Jane Senda     Sep 1st, 2011
    Fabulous handstand practice! It answered all my questions and puzzling problems about the pose. Love it! I'm loving handstand now. Thank you so much Noah.
  • Myrrhia Wiggins     Aug 24th, 2011
    Fun class! Thank you so much Noah, just went to Wanderlust and now I'm wishing I would have taken your class there, maybe next year. Thank you for this class I already have seen improvement with getting closer into achieving handstand. Learned a lot about alignment in my body when getting into the pose, and preparing my arms for the pose. Once again thank you!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 10th, 2013
      Myrrhia, I look forward to having you in class in person one day. Meanwhile, keep trying. It's a hard pose for so many people. I'm so glad you are dedicated to working on it. Thanks for taking class.
  • Shawna Manning Marcontell     Jul 27th, 2011
    Thank you for the all of the directed prep for this pose. I found it very helpful. The Geeta Iyengar method is works great and makes much more sense after your explanation of shoulder/arm and back integration.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to increase the flexibility of the wrist (top side, center of the crease)? I haven't had a wrist injury, but am tight in the wrists and forearms. I have difficulty maintaining the downward pressure thru the wrist. This action, whether in down dog, crow, or handstand, causes pain. My hands resist being at a 90 degree angle to my forearms. Thoughts?
  • Jessica Whitehead     Jul 24th, 2011
    Noah, thank you so much for this practice! I have been frustrated for a long time that I was unable to get handstand while I was able to do other poses like full wheel and headstand. The Geeta Iyengar tip was a godsend and I think the static way to get into the pose just does not work for me. Thanks!
  • Noah Maze     Jul 15th, 2011
    Lillian, thank you for your studentship!

    Y Pays, i love that!-Can I quote you on that?

    Kate, thanks for the note, and see you online and in Calgary again!

    Courtenay, this pose is a process, for sure, so celebrate every step of progress.

    Thanks Julie!

    Craig, AWESOME!

    Salmona, pushing back the edge of fear, YES!

  • salmona l jahja     Jul 13th, 2011
    thank you Noah - i love the option of getting to kick up from standing up.. it scares me at first but great when i did it.. still learning though
    • Noah Maze     Mar 10th, 2013
      Mona, your handstand is looking good these days!
  • Craig Holliday     Jul 8th, 2011
    thanks noah, first time i did handstand and really got it.
    • Noah Maze     Mar 10th, 2013
      Craig! Fantastic! how's your practice now? Is it part of your regular repertoire these days?
  • Julie Schuette     Jul 3rd, 2011
    Thank you Noah!

    This lesson on letting go of the fear and trusting was beautiful.. Thank you so very much for your guidance.

  • Kim Grybos     Jun 28th, 2011
    "Invest in getting your shit together, then trust in your competence." I love it!
  • Courtenay Morgan     Jun 25th, 2011
    Wonderful instructions. I'm much closer to actually doing the asana.
  • Kate Gerry     Jun 21st, 2011
    Dear Noah,

    Good to hear the message about trust and it was a great handstand tutorial. I like the way you break it down, it helps to learn it on the less coordinated side. Thanks for coming to Calgary to teach the workshop June 4-6, 2011. I learned lots of new tricks, especially the 'armpit grab' and your squishy monkey squat to prep into Bakasana. No space under these pits! I absolutely love the Hanuman theme and stories. Hope you will consider coming again. I have just discovered yogaglo since that time.

    Kate Gerry
  • Y Pays     Jun 19th, 2011
    I feel like an X man standing in my own grace and you are my teacher kind of like Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy)...only better and cooler and smarter!
  • Noah Maze     Jun 14th, 2011

    I honor the essence of Being, the Auspicious Once, the luminous teacher within and without,

    who assumes the forms of Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss,

    is never absent, full of peace,

    ultimately free and sparkles with a divine luster.

  • Noah Maze     Jun 14th, 2011
    Thanks all of you for your enthusiasm!
    And thanks for indulging my silliness with the water bottle...
    Julianna, thanks for the reminder on the strap, I do use that sometimes.
  • Amelia Ramler     Jun 9th, 2011
    Thanks so much Noah. I love the kick-up drill and the Geeta Iyengar drill. I've always been told not to do the step up to the wall for momentum and have thus felt like I was never going to get into handstand. You have a very nice way of saying that not every approach will work for everyone. You're energy comes through the internet so nicely!
  • rebecca briggs     Jun 7th, 2011
    Brillant as always. You are my hero, with your flow of words so poignant and direct in instruction of the heart and body.
  • Linsey Krolik     Jun 6th, 2011
    Lover this tutorial. I just added an afternoon inversion session to my daily practice and have decided to work on the handstand kicking drills. Wow, what a difference for me between the right side and the left side! It is amazing to see - thanks for making us do BOTH sides! Some work ahead...
  • B. Juliánna Nagy     Jun 6th, 2011
    Noah, you are my hero of the day! What a delight to deconstruct handstand! Stellar instruction through and through.

    Perhaps a quick Iyengar tip (that you may choose to ignore): instead of your bottle between the upper arms, how about using a belt mid-shoulder width just above the elbow? Once up in handstand, you work the arms hugging them toward each other instead of pushing into the belt.
    I can personally attest to the usefulness of it :-)

    Love and light,
  • YogaGlo     Jun 5th, 2011
    Cathy - If you are not hearing audio, here are a few possible solutions that might help if you haven't tried already:

    Put your mouse over the video player and adjust the volume control on the timeline control bar.

    Have you updated your flash player lately? Please try that via this link:

    If you continue to experience problems email us at and we'll help you troubleshoot.
  • Cathy Benthagen     Jun 5th, 2011
    Brian...I haven't been able to access any volume from my Yogaglo programs for the last two you have any suggestions... I have tested my computer and the volume works on everything else...thank you for any help...Cathy B.
  • Lisa Danielsen     Jun 5th, 2011
    As someone who has always (unknowingly) practiced Geeta Iyengar's method and thought it was not a "real" handstand because I wasn't able to kick up statically, I really appreciate this class!! Proportional difficulties notwithstanding I will continue to work on static kicks but thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for validating my practice!! :)
  • Jeanette Darbyshire     Jun 5th, 2011
    Thanks - that was fun. Defintiely have a few more awareness tools in the toolbox for handstand. You kind of looked like a puppy dog when you were trying to sort that water bottle out between your arms. Very cute!
  • Sudhakar majety     Jun 4th, 2011
    What a great idea! I have been asking around for a teacher who can partner with me for practicing at 4 AM everyday but nobody would come forward although one came forward and we were able to do for a month but he could not continue as it is messing his everyday life :)
    This looks like a good alternative for me. I would like to check and see..
  • Alison Lloyd-Nijjar     Jun 4th, 2011
    loved the theme and sequence...and the handstand teaching as per Geeta Iyengar was a lot of fun!
  • Mira Clark     Jun 3rd, 2011
    This was all kinds of awesome - thank you so much!
  • Alysha Findley     Jun 3rd, 2011
    That was an awesome tutorial Noah, thank you. Can you do that with Pincha Mayurasana too?!
  • Patti MacPherson     Jun 3rd, 2011
    great class! I am loving learning the principles of Anusara from you here on Yogaglo...such deep work. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Can you tell me the translation of the Anusara invocation?
  • Ellen Kaplow     Jun 3rd, 2011
    always a wonderful practice...wheter you are a beginner or advanced student ...this was a wonderful practice...thanks and see you in Jersey...