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How to Prepare to Do a Press Handstand in Yoga

Learn how to do a magic carpet ride, an exercise to prepare for the press handstand, from yoga instructor Chelsey Korus in this Howcast video.


So, we're going to come into, like a press hand stand. And a little disclaimer, a little story beforehand. When I started doing yoga, nine and a half years ago, I had a yoga teacher named Matt, and he would just like float. He'd get his feet up and he'd just float into a hand stand and he'd just float into Khachaturian.

And I would look at him like, how is that possible? And I would try and I felt like my arms were like this much too short. And I didn't realize that it wasn't about the arm strength, it was about the relationship with the core and using the core in a certain way. So, first thing I'm going to show you before the press hand stand is a core exercise that helped me figure out that relationship. And I call it the magic carpet ride.

Okay? So, what you're going to do is come to the edge of the mat and set your hands when you come into a high plank pose. You're going to need a blanket or a towel and a slippery surface. This surface I'm on is kind of sticky, so you'll see that the blanket will kind of catch a little. Yours won't do that because you'll be on a slippery surface. Okay, so you're going to do your high plank pose. Take just your toes to a blanket. And then you're going to work the blanket back. So you're going to high plank pose. First thing, I'm going to drag the blanket and bring my knees in between my chest and then take the blanket back.

And knees between my chest and take the blanket back. For more intensity and for more practice in your press hand stand, you'll take it into a downward facing dog. So come to downward facing dog, shoulders over wrists, squeezed in, back to high plank. Shoulders over wrists, and back to high plank. And shoulders over wrists and back to high plank. So that is the magic carpet ride. Try to do it 8-10 times. Do the knees first. The knees squeezing in first, keeping the belly in. Don't let the hips drop, don't let the belly drop. Keep everything nice and tight in. And then you can work the downward facing dog variation.

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