Why Handstands Are Hard

Yesterday I realized: handstands are hard because you can’t see yourself at all. You stare at the floor between your hands, and even if you wanted to turn and look at your alignment, you couldn’t. Even with a mirror, you can get only cursory information. You need a teacher to tell you what you’re actually doing.

They also take full-body strength. You push your feet towards the ceiling as if you’re trying to leave footprints, squeeze your legs together, contract your whole torso towards your navel, anchor the shoulder blades together, straighten the arms strongly, press through the whole hand… it takes a while for all those muscles to be even.

[I started learning at the wall, to get oriented, and then L-shaped handstands, to get used to having my back towards an empty room, and then full handstands in the park, where the landing was softer.]

Like any pose, they will eventually be easy. You get over the fear. You learn how to fall out of them. You learn to “flow up” kick up towards the ceiling, not up-and-over.

[That last one I learned Monday at Studio Anya with Derek. He can jump into a floating Crow (knees off of arms), then press up into handstand, before you even figure out where the trip wires are located. Budokon!!!]

And there is something psychological about learning to stand on your own two hands. I’m getting my work life together in a way I never have before, and it’s funny that once I started telling myself “I can do this!” in handstand, repeating it until there was no space in my head for any other option, the same was true for running my own business.

Happy handstanding!