Quick Class and Handstand

Today's practice was Embodying Fearlessness with Sara Kline at Yoga Today. The class was just over 58 minutes, and featured lots of shoulder openers and backbends in preparation for urdhva dhanurasana. It was labeled a "hatha flow" style class, but vinyasas were really only used as warmups, and they were done mostly on the knees. I missed the flow of the vinyasa throughout the practice, but did have the opportunity to try a couple of fun things I don't often try unless prompted. One sequence involved jumping into crow, then lowering the head to the floor into tripod, lifting into headstand, then back into crow, and jumping back into chaturanga. This sequence was performed twice. I have not yet achieved the jumping transition into crow, but I was able to enter tripod from crow with control both times. I was hesitant about where to place my head, and I did not try to lift up into headstand the second time. I also tried rolling onto either side in full bow pose, something I've never bothered to try before. It felt good to rest my head on the floor as my shoulders opened up.

After the class, I did some handstand preps, jumping into pike position several times, then doing a similar exercise I've come to know as "donkey-kicks"-- jumping onto the hands, lifting the hips and tucking the heels to the bum. These felt good, so I tried kicking up into handstand about six inches from the wall. After several times kicking up, straightening my legs, hovering for a second or two, and coming back down hard, I was able to get my feet to the the wall and begin to feel out the correct shoulder positioning. I did this twice, about 8-10 breaths each time. Major progress, and yet...

I'm no good at existing upside down. It's completely disorienting. I forget everything I know, and my elbows turn to jelly. Today was the first time I was able to compose myself enough to balance against the wall. And you know what did it? Good ol' drishti. I focused on finding my gaze (in the center of the big gong - another dumpster find!) in down dog, before thinking about kicking up, then, like magic I was upside down. The few times that I've tried handstand in the past, I've always wanted to look at the floor between my hands, or indeed, at the wall behind me that my heels were soon to be crashing against. It's never turned out well. I've almost collapsed right onto my head a couple of times... not good. But today was different. I think I'm going to like handstand.


  1. Thought I'd stop by your site...thanks for your post yesterday and I love what you're doing here...

  2. found you from ecoyogini. welcome to bloglandia!

  3. Tina - Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your writing, by the way. It's thoughtful and understated.

    Emma - Thanks for the warm welcome!