Thursday, March 13, 2014

Handstand 365 Challenge Update

  In the beginning, secretly,  I thought that practicing a handstand every day would be the fast track to being able to pop up into a handstand at any time and hold it for ages.  It was all about BADASSERY.   What I learned was that that goal was secondary to self acceptance.  That damn self acceptance getting in the way of badassery haha! 

  A year is a long time but I like the routine and having something I do every day.  These kinds of challenges suit me.   I thought it would be easy, relatively speaking.   I wasn't able to predict how I would feel about it almost at the end.    I didn't realize that it would be subtle change and lots of letting go.   The boring kinds of stuff that doesn't really make for exciting blog fodder but it's profound none the less. 

  Just like when learning a new running form,  handstands take time for the body to adapt to that kind of movement.  It has taken a long time AND  I'm still not where I want to be.   I am happy with and accept where I am but I'm not done yet. 

  I have had to remind myself that one of  the reason  I was doing this daily craziness was that it would bring playfulness and daily joy to my life.  

  Handstands have brought me joy and with it,  humility and self introspection.    I have been forced to hold my temper and practice speaking to myself kindly.   I have had to tell myself that it's ok to be right where I am in my practice and in any part of my life.  

  There are two ideas that I had to come to terms with.  Wanting to get better at something and yet accepting where I am right now.

  They go hand in hand and are not competing ideas.  You can't really have one without the other, the desire go to grow and yet accept where you are right now.   Just because you accept where you are, does not equate to complacency.  It just makes the idea of maybe not going as fast as you want ok and easier to handle. 

  Days when I have aha moments,  I have had those too!   


Day 318 in Manchester with Seattle in the background

  It's fun that I have conditioned my family to expect me to ask them to take yoga pictures for me when we are out and my boys see that I am not, usually anyways, afraid to do my thing in public. 

  Physically, I learned that my hips go over my shoulders.  Thats just how the weight is distributed for balance.   Arms straight and biceps turned out.  Shoulder blades suck in and down the back.  A lot of work has been done in my shoulders.  Eyes gaze between your hands and the neck is relaxed but active.   There is a lot to think about all at once and while upside down!  It takes some getting used to but your neurons will fire faster as you practice. 

  If you are just starting out, try facing the wall upside down in a down dog close to the wall and then walk your feet up the wall.  You can also use a chair or table and face that as well and make an L shape with one leg straight out towards the chair and work on raising your other leg straight above.  Eventually you will find balance and be able to lift the other leg up straight.   There is no shame in using Paul Wall! EVER!

  The big thing though, is having an exit strategy.  Finding your way of bailing on a handstand or falling gracefully without injury.  I will lift my right hand and it makes me fall to that side.  I can catch myself and I don't crash and 95% of the time land on my feet.    Some super bendy people can go all the way over into wheel pose.  Someday......

Day 317 in my lovely blue kitchen with the boys talking about something with the Superhero while I play. 

  So, whats next for me?  I am going to keep going.   I have been toying with the idea of doing more than just handstands and doing #inversion365 instead which would include pincha and headstands as well which compliment handstands.  Especially raising up into them from pike position.   But I don't want to stop doing handstands daily either.   Maybe I will do both.   For sure I will do #handstand365x2

  Anyone and everyone is welcome to join me!  I would love YOU to join me!    You can start a handstand challenge right now if you want.  Tag me in your posts so I can cheer you on.   I am @angiebeehotz at instagram.   You can find me on statigram.com which is a way that you can comment and like pictures on instagram from a pc or laptop. 

  Use hashtags #handstand365 and #inversion365 and tag me @angiebeehotz so I can cheer you on!   If you are new to yoga, check out my post on Essential Gear for the Beginner Yogi. 


Happy Inverting!  xoxo!

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