Feeling sunny: handstands & recipes from Rachel Brathen

Yoga Girl Surfboard

Handstand Insights and Raw Vegan Bounty Bliss Recipe from Rachel Brathen, Yoga Girl

Adho Muka Vrksasana/ Handstand

Yoga Girl Handstands

Begin in Downward-Facing Dog. Take a step forward and lift one leg up. You want the shoulders to align with the wrists and the thumbs pressing down on the mat. Wrap the triceps back, keep the hips squared and engage the lifted leg. Gaze forward and come to the ball of the standing foot. Bend the bottom knee and kick up off the floor, bringing the heel to the sit bone. Try this a couple of times, soft kicks off the floor without too much expectation of what your handstand kicks should look like. In the beginning, focus on simply lifting the leg off the floor! If you’re worried about falling over, use a wall. Once you find your balance with the hips stacked over the shoulders, extend both legs straight up toward the sky. Pull the lower belly in if you want to feel your core engaged! Think about decreasing the space between the floating ribs and the two frontal points of the hips. Actively press the floor away from you and breathe!

Important things to think about when working on your handstand:

  • Shoulders line up with wrists
  • Spread the fingers wide
  • Press the thumbs and the index fingers down properly
  • Arms are straight but don’t lock the elbows in!
  • Squared hips
  • Top leg straight and strong- don’t bend the knee of the lifted leg
  • Shoulders away from the ears
  • Gaze forward so you know where you’re going
  • Kick yourself in the butt (heel to sit bone) to make balancing easier

When you’ve been practising your handstands for a while and feel comfortable balancing upside down, you can start working on different variations. Try bending your knees into your chest or split your legs open! Breathe deeply and smile.

Yoga Girl Handstands 2

Recharge after practise with these delicious treats!

Raw Vegan Bounty Bliss

Ingredients

1 (400ml) can of organic milk

120ml melted coconut oil

225g raw cacao powder

pinch Himalayan salt

40g unsweetened shredded coconut

8 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

To make the coconut cream, place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, or at least for a few hours. When you open the can, a thick layer of ‘cream’ will have gathered at the very top of the can, and the water will have sunk to the bottom. You want to use all of this cream!

Mix coconut oil, cacao powder, Himalayan salt, 5 tablespoons of the maple syrup and the coconut cream in a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour half of the chocolate mixture into a tin and put in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix shredded coconut with the remaining maple syrup until it becomes a thick paste. Take the tin out of the freezer and spread the coconut mixture on top. Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture into the tin. Put the mixture back into the freezer for 30 minutes, then cut into pieces and enjoy!

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Yoga Girl

Uplifting memoir and lifestyle advice from the yoga instructor turned Instagram superstar, Rachel Brathen AKA Yoga Girl, who inspires millions on Instagram every day.


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