Why do we love doing handstands?
Why do we love doing handstands?! Whenever SharedSpace is invited to teach at an event, we know that if we teach handstands, we’ll have a packed class. So here, I’ll unpack why.
Let’s be honest - most of us reading this will never be able to balance in the middle of the room. A professional handbalancer spends tens of thousands of hours perfecting his/her craft, clocking in hours of practice daily. Those are the practitioners we see on Instagram. Most of us have a different organisation of time - so why chase the handstand?
In Katonah Yoga®’s concept of the body as the abode, our living quarters, the body is split into 3 floors - Stability (Bottom), Ability (Middle), Vision (Top). The focus, in a handstand, is on the middle level - the level of our ability, competency. To feel able, we pump our hearts, fill our lungs, and use our hands to handle the world. Literally being on our hands in a handstand, shows us that we can handle it all. And when we can handle it all, we are powerful and fearless.
Young people need to feel powerful - they want to stand on their own two feet, have a voice, foot the bill, be out in the world… It’s a lot to handle. Feeling better able to handle it all helps.
And older people? Well older people often like to feel young - not to bear the anxiety of having to figure life out, but to feel vibrant, forever young, and forget that they will get old.
The handstand addresses all of this. A handstand removes the usual effort of the lower body in a physical practice, it shows us our potential to handle things, remind us of our power. For most of us, it’s not about balancing the handstand in the middle of the room, but about experiencing what is possible.
So if you’re working on your handstand, don’t let not leaving the wall get you down. And know that a handstand doesn’t make us more powerful, it simply reminds us of our power to handle it all. So, in your practice, do handstands, don’t do handstands… It really doesn’t matter. Do whatever helps you to remember, or remember to remember, whatever is important to you.