I Wanna Hold Your Hand(stand)

My handstand, like my drawing skills, is a work in progress.

My handstand, like my drawing skills, is a work in progress.

Towards the end of yesterday’s yoga class, my head was filled with so many cues (verbal reminders) to get into and hold the many challenging sequences, poses, and headstand versions. So when it was time to get into a handstand at the wall, I was swimming in all these asana (yoga posture) prompts.

My sweaty palms pressed firmly into my mat, my right leg was up in the air, and my left foot was pushing into the floor, but I couldn’t seem to get my left foot off the ground. I was too concerned about not knocking off the tall lamp next to me, about forcefully pushing my left foot into the floor, and about getting into the final pose, that I didn’t realize I was doing too much than what was required. “Sometimes we do more than what we need to, to get into a handstand,” said Martin. I paused. “That’s so deep,” I said out loud. It’s a good thing my classmates were too busy with their handstands to hear me.

And so I let go of all other concerns. Instead of putting too much attention on the other unnecessary details (pushing off hard enough, not bumping my neighbor, not falling), I simply straightened my right leg high into the ceiling. What do you know, my hips casually went over my shoulders, my left leg followed, and I was up.

The nugget of wisdom I brought home with me is that sometimes we complicate things so much that we lose sight of the simplest things that make us happy. We busy ourselves with unimportant details that distract us from the end goal. It’s a challenge, I know, but if we learn to focus on one important thing at a time, we avoid being overwhelmed or weighed down, and eventually we get both feet off the ground!