Hesitating Handstand, Hesitant Heart

inversionI used to dislike inversions – wheel pose, fish pose, headstand and handstand to name a few, for fear of the dizziness it may cause and I disdain that feeling. Over time, experience and practice, I realized it is nothing of that sort, though I still do fear of such, minimally. Now, I enjoy getting into the few simple poses (not handstand) and feel even more delightful when I can hold the poses.   Having learnt how to get into the pose made it a lot less difficult and gave me the strength to hold the poses with comfort. Breathing played a huge part as well – through the diaphragm, the lungs, and the intercostal muscles between each rib, which in turn, can assist in bringing breathing deep breaths in our daily lives. Whereby the ujjayi breath or ocean breath, ujjayi meaning victory over self, introduced the elements of calmness and staying present.   Handstand, to balance not on fours but two hands, can be quite a challenge. During the 200hr YTT course, we were taught to do handstands by kicking up to the wall. Even though with the wall’s support, I was afraid to jump my legs up over my hips, it took me quite some time to get up the wall. In life, there are a lot of hesitations, even though the solution is right in front of you – to just get up the wall. Being fearless is definitely something I have to master. As we progressed further, we did partner work, where 2 people hold the “wall” and 1 person kick up into handstand. I found that this worked better for me, knowing that there were extra hands to support me, which led me to push and hold better in my handstand.   I remember during our first week of practice where we were forced to the walls, stretching and holding poses that made us scream and want to give up. It was a mental torture which we know we had to overcome, that benefitted us in our stretching and going deeper into the poses. I had the advantage of flexibility, just need to work on building up my core, eventually gaining strength. I feel stronger each day, learning how to push back up from chaturanga, instead of sinking back down and messing up my posture during the sequence.   Once Hui Yan mentioned, focus on what you can do. I still can’t get into full split, or pincha or drop back but I can get into headstand, wheel and shoulder stand. Certainly, there’d be things you can do and can’t do, it all comes with practice.   One day, I will be able to walk in my handstand. I just know it. Slowly but surely.   Denise Leong 200hr YTT Weekday (March 2015)