How to Yoga: Do A Straddle Press Handstand


energyHandstands may be considered advanced poses, but I think it is important even for beginners to see what is possible in the body. When I was a beginner, I found it very inspirational to be in a class with others doing poses I could not do yet… and now I can do those very poses!

Inversions are powerfully beneficial for the body. They reverse the flow of gravity, helping to send fresh blood and prana (energy) to all the upper chakras, or energy centers/wheels.

Handstands are a very active type of inversion- there are much simpler ones, such as throwing your legs up the wall. When you start to learn a handstand, it is helpful to work against a wall for support. From there, you can learn in the middle of the room with one leg at a time, balancing the energy of having enough oomph to get up while not projecting enough so as to topple over. After you learn with one leg at a time, you should learn with both legs (I’ll do another video on that).

After all that, you are ready to work your straddle press handstand, with no kicking up at all, which is what I demonstrate in this video. I used to think there was not enough space to get off the ground without kicking up, but I was able to do it for the first time a few weeks ago! Next, I’m going to work pressing up with both legs behind me. See? There is always somewhere to go. I’m so grateful for the practice and all that it teaches me.

Enjoy, and stay inspired in your own practice! Om Shanti.




Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Jia Ni

    Amazing, Kim!! Please do more yoga videos – I love them, and I’m sure I speak for lots of your readers as well. Inversions are great – they help me shift my perspective and allow me to think and see things more clearly. I was just able to do headstands a few weeks ago, and I have been hooked. They just feel so good!

    Hope all is well with you! xo

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Thanks love! Inversions are amazing, and yes I’ll do more mini videos! :)

  • Kristen

    You’re making this look really easy. I can’t wait to work on it – which will be tonight when I maybe have someone around in case I crash and burn – but I’ll think positive! :) Goal is to do this on a stand up paddle board by the end of the summer!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      This is the result of a lot of work.

      It also helps to think about “spreading out” pushing the energy out, which helps me in not bunching my shoulders up around my ears. That makes it harder to rise. xx

  • Julia

    Kymberley, you are sooooooo inspirational! Thank you!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Thank you Julia!

  • Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition

    I just attempted this! No way yet- I can finally do a headstand but I guess I’ll have to still work towards this : )

    Do you ever teach classes in NYC?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Think about spreading out, and lifting the arches of your feet also.

      Not at the moment, but I hope one day to have time to do workshops! xx

  • Nicole

    Hi Kim!

    A couple of questions for you 😉

    Would this smoothie be ok to drink? (On an empty stomach, of course)
    * 11 ounces coconut water
    * 1/3 cup frozen peaches
    * 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
    * 1/2 a frozen banana
    * 1/2 cup ice
    * 1 Tbsp lemon juice

    You mentioned in the Beauty Detox Solution that ground flaxseed can be added to salads. What other foods to you recommend adding it to? Would quinoa be ok?

    Lastly, I noticed the dark chocolate bar (72% cacao) that I bought has 53% saturated fat per serving (3 squares). Is this ok?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Nicole,
      that is a nice fruity smoothie if Candida is not an issue.
      I add flaxseed to soups also, though nowadays I mostly eat chia seeds.

      Don’t eat chocolate every day! Reserve it for treats only. xx

  • Kymm Cummins

    You make this look so easy! I am not anywhere near trying this pose, but hope to be able to do it some day with the grace and poise you’ve just done it. Since my accident 30 years ago when I broke my neck and back and all the subsequent surgeries that left me fused throughout my cervical and lumbar spinal area, my greatest fear is falling or being pushed from behind and experiencing a whiplash type injury! At this point I’m fearful of standing in lines at the grocery store, bank, amusement park with my grandchildren or anywhere there’s a group of people behind me that could push forward and into me, so standing on my hands, something I used to do all the time as a child or when I was a cheerleader in high school, is a fear I must conquer in my head before I attempt it on the mat!

    Thank you for the motivation!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Kymm,
      Yes, it sounds like you have some work in letting go, which you should focus on! Doing “scary” things might be really helpful to you, to make you realize you are safe. Try working with a wall, so you can feel its solid support there for you. Then you can work towards the middle of room. xx

  • Emerald

    Super great video! Can’t wait to be able to do this myself, I love handstands!!
    Would love to see the one legged version.
    Any tips on palming the floor while on your tip toes? Or even flat footed? That’s an area where my progress is slow.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      great idea! I’ll do the one-legged version too! xx

  • Kimberly

    Love all of your yoga posts! So inspiring :)

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Thank you!

  • michelle

    Hi Kimberly,
    Thanks for this video! I always feel like I need stronger core muscles to the head/shoulder stands.

    Anyway, I came across this in one of your older comments, but I lost it. Do you have a list of books/novels that you recommend? Fiction, inspiration, adventurous, or health-related! Just wanted to hear your thoughts!


    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Michelle,
      I should do a book post soon! I go in waves. Right now I’m editing the second book, so I haven’t been reading as much.

      But recently I read Joan Didion’s ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’ and loved it. I will share more on that. Remind me!

      Also, with a handstand, it also has to do with your hamstring strength as well. xx

      • michelle

        Thanks for the book recommendation!
        I look forward to reading your new book! I know I haven’t completedly followed all the rules you mentioned in your first book (eating out, restaurants, parities are just so hard, and I’ve been giving myself “breaks” once or twice a week).

        you also mentioned a fiction about funny/adventures I think. i forgot what it was called, but it’d be great if you could do a “my favourite reads” post =D

  • norma

    I want to start yoga but wondering if i should go to a studio or is the gym classes okay. also, how often should i do yoga to get the best benefits. i already run 4-5 times a week and do boot camp 3xweek.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Yoga would be a great balance to your cardio. It depends on where you can find a great instructor. There are some great ones at gyms! I would try to do at least 2-3 times a week, if possible.

  • Liz

    Wow! I’m impressed – there’s hope for me :)

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Yes always, for everyone!

  • shanti

    Anyone using a wonderful face lotion they recommend, I am using the BWC lotion and its making me break out.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Tata Harper makes a great moisturizer.

  • Ashley

    I’m loving these yoga video segments. =) Keep them going!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Great thanks I will!

  • jenny

    Love, love, loving all these great posts on yoga! I was wondering if the benefits of hot yoga for detoxification are as good as using a FIR sauna? I’d rather do yoga and detox at the same time if possible :) Thanks Kim!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi love, no not the same. Far Infrared penetrates deep into the dermis. Try to make time for both. xx

  • Irena

    I’ve been doing yoga for 8 years and have yet to be able to do a hand stand. It’s the most difficult thing for me to do. You make it look so easy. Thanks for the demonstration!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Irena,
      It is easier to master forearm stand first, so you get the feeling of balance without your head down. Have you tried that yet? xx

  • Amy

    Thanks again!!! Keep yhe Yoga coming!!! :)

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Yes I will Amy. OM!

  • Glenda

    Hello Kimberly,

    I’ve had your book for the past year and I’ve been keeping up with your blogs ever since. I have to say that since I’ve included GGS into my diet, overall I truly feel better. I know that because I’m more focused at work and I don’t need coffee to keep me going. Not only that, it’s also reflecting positively on my studies and grades. The body/mind connection is a really powerful thing. So thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and the world!

    That being said, now I’m starting to explore Yoga, and I was wondering if you have recommendations for any books, music and home videos to start off with?


  • Julie

    Hi Kimberly,

    I use to be a figure competitor and fitness model until I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolosis from overtraining for a show and consuming too much protien. Since then I stopped the heavy weight training and through reading your book have began to get the majority of my protein from plant based foods rather then meat products. I have had pretty much everyone in the health/fitness industry encourage me to start yoga. I am extremely stiff and not very flexible due to the heavy lifting and bulking of muscle. . I would like to give yoga a try but don’t know where to start. I also have IBS and was told yoga could help with relaxing my stomach muscles as well as decreasing stress. Can you recommend videos I should start with to ease my way into this and learn the basics. I have had the mentality that if I am not grunting or hurting then I am not working so this new calmer form of exercise is a reach for me but one I am interested in seeing the benefits it may offer me.
    Thank you so much for all that you offer!

    • Kim K

      Hi Julie,
      I’m kind of a yoga fiend, so I hope this helps. If flexibility is what you are looking to gain, any kind of beginner’s class would be a good start. If you have a yin yoga class in your area, this would also be great. Yin yoga is great for gaining flexibility, it gets into the deeper connective tissues. Since you are a fitness buff and someone who likes a challenge, I’d suggest trying to find an Ashtanga studio. Ashtanga is a very phyiscally demanding practice that builds great flexibility but also a strength that can not be developed from weight lifting, especially in the small muscles for balance. I hope this helps!

      • Kim K

        Julie – Sorry I just noticed you asked for videos. I found that I don’t like doing videos very much, it’s nothing like being at a studio. Having a certified yoga instructor while you’re a beginner is very important so you have correct alignment in the poses. Once you’ve learned the alignment, Rodney Yee videos are good and also The Pursuit of Happy Hips from Eoinn Finn is also a good one.

  • kat

    hey Kimberly, how can we strengthen our core? I want to do forearmstand /handstand but can’t make it. I love your another video on forearm stand demo too (some time ago). Its reaaly strong and beautiful. Thanks, hk

  • Caitlin

    Hi! This is the best demonstration I have seen of pressing up into a handstand, you explain in a way that makes me feel I can begin to practice it! Thank you! I have mastered handstands against the wall and can even stand free of the wall for several seconds. I will take you advice and start to practice my handstands without the wall before moving on to the trying to press up. Your 3-step approach to getting there makes great sense and I am inspired to try it! Thanks again. Great video!

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