Thursday, September 1, 2011

Push your limits- Handstands!

 After months and months (ok more than a year) of consistent practice- I have just held a freestanding handstand for 15 seconds! I know that doesn’t seem too impressive or even that difficult, but believe me- when you have a super flexible, bendy body it is! I have always been able to come into a handstand for a second or two- or hold it for a long time against a wall.. but the freestanding handstand has been something that I have been working on forever! Each time I practice yoga at home I do a handstanding section where I try to get into and hold a handstand 20 times. Now sometimes that means I just get up there and come right back down- sometimes I don’t even make it up, but just the action of trying to get into it- and come down with control,  is great practice. Learning to handstand is all about the numbers.. The more you try the more likely you will have success.
   A great example: My friend Flip and I drove cross country just a month ago as you remember… and at each and every stop on the drive out we had decided that we would do conditioning.. That included 10 handstands at first, along with some other things like planks, hollow body holds, rolling vinyasa’s (All things I will show you at some point soon) After the first few times- we amped it up and did 20 handstands at each stop- I have video of us doing them at 4 in the morning after I had just driven for 4 hours and wanted to kill her for holding me accountable and making me do it. We did over 140 handstands in total- that was just what we counted!
   Sure, handstands aren’t for everyone- but they are one of my favorite things to do.. Yes I can’t always do them as well as I hope.. but I have seen so much improvement and look forward to being able to hold them for 30 seconds at a time, every time. In your yoga practice sometimes you can get bored… Yes I’m saying it, BORED. I mean let’s get real here for a second- you can only do so many sun salutes, warriors and vinyasa’s- before you are looking for something to challenge you (Maybe its just me?) I think for me because I teach I get burned out pretty quickly and don’t really get why people like to stay in their comfort zone- well duh, it’s comfortable! However my personal philosophy is about pushing limits and questioning everything- it’s the only way to grow! While I encourage my students to do the same, I really try to hold myself to impossible standards in an effort to achieve greatness, whatever that might be.
   So I challenge you- Take a look at yourself. Are you pushing yourself and your limits each and every day? 

Do you ever practice handstands? Did you do them as a kid? I call myself a backyard gymnast. Although I took gymnastics for a little bit as a kid- I would mostly just flip around on my own.. To this day I’m always working on my “skills” which sometimes means I fall flat on my face- or entertain random drunk people at parties, haha. Heck, sometimes I’m the one half in the bag which is why I’m jumping and flipping around in the first place!
Do you have any backyard gymnastical skills?

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