This blog post is in response to a student who wanted to practice this posture at home. If you're going to give it a go too remember to back off if anything hurts, and if you're at all unsure maybe have someone nearby to spot you the first time you try it! L-Pose is a great way to build your upper strength in preparation for handstand, without having to worry too much about your balance. And if you want to know when we run our next handstand workshop to help you build your confidence and proficiency in this challenging posture send us a message and let us know!
So if you're ready, start on your hands and knees with the soles of your feet flat against a wall....
Photo 1: Check that your knees are directly under your hips, and your hands are under your shoulders. You can see that my hands are mistakenly a little too far forward here - it’s much easier if you have a mirror or someone to spot you! Rather than letting your chest sink passively down to the floor, actively push the floor away from you. Activate your core muscles by drawing your lower ribs in towards your spine.
Photo 2: keep your hands and feet where they are and come into a slightly odd, too short downward dog at the wall. If you have tighter hamstrings you may have to bend your knees quite a bit.
Photo 3: place one foot on the wall at about hip height. If it's too low, your foot will just slide down the wall. And if it's too high you'll end up in a diagonal line rather than the ninety degree angle we're looking for here.
Photo 4: actively push your top foot into the wall. In the photo it looks like I'm walking my feet up the wall. But if you look closely, you can see my bottom foot is in mid air. As you push with your top foot, it will send your hips away from the wall and more over your wrists, which will make your bottom foot lift.
Photo 5: place your bottom foot next to your top foot. If you know you're a little tighter in your hamstrings it's completely fine to keep your knees bent a little. Push the wall away with your feet, and the floor away with your hands. You can see that having my hands slightly too far forward when I started has meant they aren't underneath my hips here. If you haven't got a friend nearby to spot you maybe try filming yourself on your phone to check how your upside down 'L' looks!
It's super common for people to take their feet too high and their hands too far forward when they first attempt this posture. That way they end up in a diagonal line (which is fine sometimes, but not what we're after here!). It happens because when you first straighten your legs and send your hips over your hands, if you're not used to being in that position it feels like your hips are going way too far. So moving your hands and feet feels much safer! If that step (shown in photo 4) does freak you out at first, know that it's perfectly valid to just practice that until you feel comfortable. There's never any pressure to come into the full posture until you're ready. And just ask if you have any questions!