Half Handstand

Definition - What does Half Handstand mean?

Half handstand is an inverted yoga posture, which can also be known as right angle pose at the wall or downward-facing dog at the wall. It is entered from downward-facing dog with the heels on the wall. The yogi then steps both feet up the wall and straightens their legs so that their legs are parallel with the ground and their arms and torso are parallel to the wall.

This is an important posture in yoga for building the strength and confidence for other inversions, such as handstand or forearm balance. It can be a challenging posture for beginners because of its inverted nature, and it requires flexibility in the chest, shoulders and legs.

Yogapedia explains Half Handstand

Some of the many benefits of this relatively challenging pose include:

  • Strengthens arms, legs and core

  • Releases tension in the shoulders

  • Stretches the chest

  • Prepares the body and mind for full handstand

It is important to measure the length of the legs away from the wall in order to determine where to place the hands before coming into this posture.

One modification of the half handstand is the half forearm stand, where the forearms are brought to the floor instead of just the hands. This can take the pressure off the wrists, but may feel more challenging for the shoulders. Half handstand can also be modified by just taking one leg up the wall initially.

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