Inversions are challenging and, yes, a little scary, but this sequence can help you learn freestanding Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)—as in, no wall, in the middle of a room as your practice progresses. Work with a partner who can spot whether your ankles, hips, and hands aren't aligned—common form mistakes that topple Handstand. (Leave hands-on adjustments to an experienced teacher.) To ensure you have enough strength to work toward Handstand, first be sure you can hold Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) or Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) for about 5 minutes.
Whether you’re a longtime inversion fan or total newbie, this step-by-step approach to Handstand will help you learn how to really "stick" it.
See also Headstand
Step 1: Standing L Shape
Stand about one-leg’s distance from a wall, aligned in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Lift your right leg to hip height and straighten to place your foot flat on the wall, directly ahead of your right hip, so that the leg is parallel to the ground. Keep your foot vertical. Make sure your standing leg is directly under your left hip. You want to create a right angle between your femur bones. Reach your arms up alongside your ears, keeping them shoulder-distance apart. Finally, flex your wrists so that your palms face the ceiling as if you were doing Handstand. After 5 breaths, repeat with the left leg raised.
Tip: If the foot of your raised leg is higher than your hip when your standing foot is directly under its corresponding hip, move farther from the wall.
See also Turn Your Practice Upside Down: A Yogi’s Guide to Inversions