Headstands! Part 1/5


Well, first things first, I'm blushing. Last week, I asked you guys what fun new challenge you'd like to see me tackle, and I heard from a lot of you. That meant, well, a lot! Thanks for being the best group of friends/family/readers out there!!

The race was tight, but in the end, "handstands and yoga" won out by a single vote. Cool! So here is it! Your very first update on my handstands- let's do it!

A little bit of background: I don't really do yoga. Sure, I'll take the occasional class, but I don't really subscribe to the whole vibe. I'd rather throw myself up a rock wall than stretch, so this new challenge will be a struggle. 

Luckily for me, I happen to have a couple of friends who kill it in the yoga area. One of them, Laura, invited me to Wanderlust (a running/yoga/meditation triathlon) where I was hoping to get a little more insight into the whole upside down thing. 

Sadly, it was way too wet and cold to suggest practicing there, but I did convince her to come over later in the week to teach me the basics. I asked her what she thought the most challenging aspect of handstands were.

"The hardest part of handstands is putting it all together," she told me. She also mentioned:

  • pushing the floor away

  • aligning your pointer fingers to the wall

  • spreading your fingers

  • engage fingers, abs, butt

  • breath naturally

  • look between hands

  • point toes

Basically, it sounds harder than I thought.

The good news? "As climbers, we tend to have a one-up on balance and muscles in our shoulders and abs." Phew, well at least there is that.

I also tapped another handstand guru, my husband. Andy comes at inversions from breakdancing, which approaches handstands slightly differently. Andy can get into a handstand from sitting cross-legged, can walk in handstand, and once upon a time, only use a single arm. His advice? "Try it 10 times a night. Just kick up, 10 times a day. That's it." 

Ah, the ole' patience grasshopper. Ok, I'll give it a go. This week, I'll focus on following Laura's tips while trying to kick up 10 times a day. In addition to my attempts, I will warm up and stretch with a quick practice that will get my body ready to move in this new way. This will also help build stability for when I am ready to jump into running full force. Wish me luck!

Pssst: Want to hear something cool? I ran this weekend for the first time in months. Now that my stress fracture is officially mended, my doctor gave me a running program to re-enter training. This week I am walk/running 20 minutes, 3 times. It's been amazing. But more on that later!

Special thanks to Laura for all the tips and tricks. You can follow her practice on insta at @yogi_goal