“Handstands are NOT yoga…we just put them in yoga. It’s acrobatics.” When Kerri Verna came to Dallas to teach a handstand workshop, I jumped at the chance to learn from her. Verna says, “If you want a handstand, you have to be on your hands everyday.” She recommends twenty minutes a day of handstand practice…it’s better than two hours on Saturday.
When I’m vacationing at the beach, I always feel the need to do a handstand in the sand. After Kerri’s workshop, I find myself practicing handstands even in the winter.
She suggests to keep your hands flat…no spider fingers and to prep yourself by holding Bakasana with STRAIGHT arms before going into your handstand. If you come up and don’t have balance, simply come back down. “Balance in the ball of the hand.” She says that this is key…”Don’t balance with your body, balance in the ball of the heel of the hand and keep your posterior tilt.” Try placing the tongue to the roof of your mouth so you don’t strain the neck and also point the feet because it engages more muscles.
Every time you practice handstands, aim to do it in the middle of the room. The body is building a neurological pathway in the brain and if you set up this pathway on the wall, you won’t find it in the center of the room. Kerri says, “Don’t depend on the wall for balance.”
It was refreshing to see that she is authentic and easy to relate too. I noticed her tanktop right away…”No perfect people allowed.” She’s a mom in her forties, has ADD, lives with fibromyalgia, holds multiple teaching certifications: spinning, personal training, stand-up paddle board yoga, kickboxing, tai chi, Pilates, and yoga. She’s now offering a spirit led yoga 200 hour teacher training in Delray Beach, Florida. Kerri’s instagram account shows off her photography skills…with 1.1 million followers, she’s obviously hugely talented.
Kerri Verna’s yoga sequencing goes something like this:
- breath work
- sun salutations (surya A)
- standing postures (do the legs first…biggest muscle group)
- balance postures
- hip openers
- core work-then twisting
- forward bends (always at the end)
- inversion (blood is full of oxygen at the end…better for you)
- heart opener
Kerri Verna is an inspirational yoga teacher and I’m so thrilled that I had the chance to learn from her. Look to see when she’s in your area.