8 tips to master advanced yoga poses: Learn handstands and splits

Mastering advanced yoga poses like handstands and splits is no easy feat.

It’s about more than just flexibility and balance.

It’s about understanding your own body, pushing your limits in the right way, and most importantly, having the right guidance.

Now, as someone who has practiced yoga for years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to nailing these complex poses.

And yes, I’m ready to share them with you.

So, get ready to dive into the world of advanced yoga with me, as I reveal my top 8 tips to conquer those handstands and splits.

1) Respect your body’s limits

When starting off with advanced yoga poses, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and push your body too hard.

This is a common mistake, and trust me, I’ve been there too.

The reality is, every body is different.

Your flexibility and strength will differ from the person practicing next to you.

And that’s perfectly okay.

Respecting your body’s limits is the first key step in mastering advanced yoga poses like handstands and splits.

It’s about understanding your body’s signals and not forcing it into a pose it’s not ready for.

Yoga is not a competition.

It’s a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement.

So take your time, listen to your body, and progress at a pace that feels right for you.

2) Practice, practice, practice

When it comes to yoga, there’s no substitute for consistent practice.

Let me share a personal experience.

When I first started attempting handstands, I could barely hold myself up for a few seconds.

It was frustrating and disheartening, to say the least.

But instead of giving up, I made a commitment to myself.

I decided to integrate handstands into my daily yoga practice.

Every single day, I would spend a few minutes just trying to get into the pose and hold it.

And believe me, it wasn’t easy.

There were days when I felt like I was making no progress at all.

But I stuck with it.

Slowly but surely, I began to see improvements.

My balance got better, my arms got stronger, and before I knew it, I could hold a handstand for a solid minute.

So remember, there’s no magic trick to mastering advanced yoga poses.

It’s all about consistent and dedicated practice.

Be patient with yourself and keep at it. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.

3) Warm up and cool down

Jumping straight into advanced yoga poses can be tempting, but it’s a surefire way to invite injuries.

Warming up your body before diving into intense poses like handstands and splits is crucial.

A proper warm-up increases the temperature of your muscles, which not only enhances flexibility but also reduces the risk of strains and pulls.

The same goes for cooling down.

After your practice, take some time to stretch and relax your muscles.

This helps to prevent stiffness and soreness, making it easier for you to get back on the mat the next day.

4) Use props wisely

Yoga props aren’t just for beginners.

Even advanced practitioners can benefit from using them in their practice.

Props like yoga blocks, straps, and bolsters can provide the support you need to safely and effectively execute advanced poses.

They can help you maintain alignment, deepen your stretches, and even provide a sense of stability when you’re trying something new.

For instance, using a wall for support while practicing handstands can be a game-changer.

It provides you with the safety and confidence to fully extend your body without the fear of falling.

There’s no shame in using props.

They’re tools designed to enhance your practice, not crutches that signify weakness or inexperience.

5) Embrace the journey

Sometimes in our quest to achieve, we forget to appreciate the journey.

This is especially true when it comes to mastering advanced yoga poses.

It’s easy to get caught up in the end goal of nailing that perfect handstand or split.

But yoga is more than just achieving a pose.

It’s about the self-growth you experience and the lessons you learn along the way.

Every stumble, every fall, every moment of frustration – they’re all part of your journey.

They are opportunities to learn, grow and improve. And they make the moment of achievement all the more sweet.

Celebrate your small victories, learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

6) Find a supportive community

When I first started my journey towards mastering advanced yoga poses, I felt a bit isolated.

My friends weren’t really into yoga, and I often found myself practicing alone.

Then, I joined a local yoga studio.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by people who shared my passion and understood my struggles.

They offered me tips, gave me feedback, and most importantly, they offered encouragement when things got tough.

That sense of community was transformative.

It not only boosted my motivation but also made my yoga practice more enjoyable.

So if you’re feeling alone in your journey, seek out a supportive community.

It could be a local yoga studio, an online group, or even a virtual class.

7) Focus on your breathing

Breathing plays a crucial role in yoga.

It not only helps to calm the mind but also aids in holding and transitioning between poses.

In advanced poses like handstands and splits, maintaining a steady, deep breath can make a world of difference.

It can help you find balance, maintain focus, and even deepen your stretch.

Try to sync your movements with your breath. As you inhale, lengthen and expand.

As you exhale, deepen and release.

This rhythmic pattern can bring a sense of harmony and fluidity to your practice.

8) Patience is key

When it comes to mastering advanced yoga poses, there’s no shortcut.

It’s a process that requires time, dedication, and above all, patience.

You won’t be able to do a perfect handstand or split overnight.

It might take weeks, months, or even years of consistent practice. But that’s okay.

Yoga is not a race.

It’s a personal journey of growth and self-discovery.

So don’t rush the process.

Allow yourself the time and space to grow at your own pace.

Patience is the key to mastering advanced yoga poses, and ultimately, it’s the key to mastering yoga itself.

Embrace the journey

The path to mastering advanced yoga poses, just like yoga itself, is a journey.

It’s a journey that goes beyond just physical strength and flexibility.

It’s about understanding your body, respecting its limits, and pushing those limits in a safe and mindful way.

It’s about patience, consistency, and unwavering dedication.

Most importantly, it’s about embracing the journey.

Every stumble, every fall, every moment of frustration – they’re all part of your growth.

They’re stepping stones towards your goal.

So as you embark on this journey towards mastering handstands and splits, remember this: It’s not just about the destination.

It’s about who you become along the way.

Bree Lennon

Bree Lennon

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