Hollowback Handstand


A hollowback handstand is characterized by an arched back and a deep curve in the spine, resembling an elegant arch. Unlike a traditional handstand with a straight line from wrists to feet, the hollowback variation involves bending at the hips and creating a graceful curvature.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Warm-up and Shoulder Mobility: Prior to attempting the hollowback handstand, ensure your shoulders are adequately warmed up and mobile. Shoulder stretches and mobility exercises are essential.
Step 2
Build Core Strength: Strengthen your core through exercises like hollow body holds and variations of boat pose to support the arched position.
Step 3
Hip Flexor and Spine Mobility: Develop hip flexibility and spine mobility through stretches like bridge pose, camel pose, and other backbends.
Step 4
Progressive Hollowbacks: Begin by practicing hollowbacks against a wall for support. Gradually work on achieving the arch without leaning on the wall.
Step 5
Alignment and Balance: Focus on aligning your shoulders over your wrists and lifting your hips while maintaining the arched back. Engage your core and find balance.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthening the Back and Core

Opening the Heart and Shoulders

Enhancing Body Awareness

Elevating Artistry


Back Issues

Shoulder Problems

Neck Problems

Lack of Core Strength

Hip Flexor Tightness

Wrist Issues

Blood Pressure Concerns


Challenges and Tips

  • Shoulder and Back Flexibility: Consistent stretching and mobility work for the shoulders and spine are key to achieving the hollowback shape.
  • Balance and Entry: Finding balance in the hollowback position can be challenging. Practice controlled entries and exits to build stability.
  • Mindful Breathing: Maintain steady and mindful breath throughout the pose to enhance relaxation and focus.

Final Thoughts

The hollowback handstand transcends the physical realm, embodying strength, grace, and artistry. As you embark on the journey to master this pose, remember that patience, dedication, and a deep connection with your body are paramount. Whether you’re drawn to its visual allure or the challenge it presents, the hollowback handstand offers an opportunity to elevate your yoga practice to new heights, both physically and artistically.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a hollowback handstand suitable for beginners?

Hollowback handstands are considered advanced poses. It’s recommended that beginners build a strong foundation in handstands, backbends, and core strength before attempting the hollowback variation.

How do I find balance in a hollowback handstand?

Balancing in a hollowback handstand requires core engagement, shoulder stability, and proper alignment. Practice against a wall initially, and gradually work on maintaining balance in the pose.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in hollowback handstands?

Common mistakes include overarching the lower back, collapsing in the shoulders, and losing engagement in the core. Practitioners should focus on maintaining the arch while evenly distributing weight through the hands.

How can I safely exit a hollowback handstand?

To exit safely, lower one leg at a time while maintaining control and engaging your core. Practice controlled exits against a wall to build confidence.

Can I transition from a regular handstand to a hollowback handstand?

Transitioning from a regular handstand to a hollowback handstand requires advanced core strength and back flexibility. It’s recommended to first master both poses individually before attempting the transition.

How can I progress in my hollowback handstand practice?

Progression involves consistent practice of preparatory exercises, refining your technique, and seeking guidance from experienced yoga instructors or attending workshops focused on advanced inversions.

Variations and Progressions

  • Hollowback with Straight Legs
  • Press to Hollowback
  • Hollowback Forearm Stand

Top Follow-Up Exercises

  • Straddle Hollowback Handstand
  • Pike Hollowback Presses
  • Hollowback Straightening the Legs
  • Forearm Stand Hollowbacks:

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.