The most challenging aspect of practicing handstands is that I've had to come to terms with the fundamental realization that I am poorly suited to the endeavor — a point that is made more clear every time I see myself do it!
One shoulder strengthening and balance-building drill is to climb up a pair handstand blocks; eventually, it's hoped, it develops the awareness for the one-arm handstand.
A lot of handstand (handbalance) practice involves the use of handstand blocks; it's fair to say they're literally essential to the practice. They can be terrifically fun, and offer novel stimulus, as compared to practice on the floor or on a bench.
As you can see, I am not stabilizing or keeping my shoulders elevated as I move from block to block.
Also note: that sharp point in my ribs, where my back is arched, is painful to see.
Regardless of my own shortcomings (it's a lengthy list), I thought some of you might get a kick out of this sort of thing.
Now you can learn from the abuse I have inflicted on myself during the last 5 or 6 years! I am offering a series of handstand classes in December on Sundays (December 4, 11, and 18 only) --- NEW LOCATION: Blue Ox Fitness.
Time will be 10:30a.m.–noon, so 90 minutes! Guided warm-up, hand-spotting and custom drills, guided finishing sequence. Class size capped at 8! Cost is $90. You can enroll here.
If you have wrist or shoulder pain, it might not be a great fit for you.
Also, more info on the page. Email me if you have questions.
Jason owns and directs Portland Ashtanga Yoga.