With so many Instagram girls going upside down, you’d think the handstand was an easy pose to master. Hardly the case — but we’ve asked yogi Sophie Jaffe to walk us though the ins and outs of getting ourselves into this challenging and empowering pose…

Conquering the handstand is work. To nail this pose, it takes a lot of strength building. But that’s what makes it such a thrill to do. When you’re finally in it, you’re on top of the world, like you can take anything on – because you truly can. Beyond being incredible for your psyche, hopping upside down and flipping your perspective also boosts your circulation and promotes detoxification. By following these five tips, you’ll slowly but surely make your way into this empowering pose!

Create a strong core

Building core strength is essential to landing that handstand. My favorite ways to strengthen my core are boat pose (navasana) and doing short circuits of slow and fast bicycle.

Do wrist stretches

When you first start doing yoga, your wrists are always in pain. The same thing goes for handstands. Stretch your wrists out and give them some love as often as you can. Even a few minutes makes a world of difference.

Plank often

Build your arm strength while also building core strength by doing plank pose. If your wrists ar e bothering you, go down to your forearms – and don’t forget to breathe.

Get your chest to the wall

Take a downward dog pose with your booty towards the wall. Place your feet on the wall, and walk your hands towards the wall so that your chest eventually kisses the wall. Hold for 10-20 seconds. To get out of this pose, walk your hands back out or do a sideways cartwheel.

Have a friend support you

When you’re finally ready to take the leap, have a friend support you. Have her hold onto one foot while you attempt to hop up with the other. Then when you feel balanced, have her move her hand between your ankles and make a fist. This will help you to connect internally and lock. Bandha is a Sanskrit word meaning “lock,” “seal” or “bind.” There are three bandhas, and they are essentially muscular contractions that help you to breathe, focus on your awareness, keep your body strong and give you a sense of lightness as you move through postures.

Bottom banner image
From our friends