Handstand 365 journey

Happy new year, I hope you all had a fab xmas and new years?

I'm now back in the studio teaching after having some time off to rest and reflect and part of my reflections are about my journey with inversions with a personal challenge of inverting every day during the year.

Handstands or other forms of inversions have never been part of my practice, to tell the truth have always terrified me! If they were part of a class practice I either spent that time in childs pose or sat out and watched as other people leapt about on their mats.

In one of my jobs I worked with Physios and one was very much into practicing handstands even to the point that we got told off by the boss for using the wall at work! Oops! But this got me started with the L shaped handstand by walking my feet up the wall rather than trying to jump or hop into an inversion.

I decided to sign up to a few workshops in which I learnt some great tips, one being to push the floor away rather than jumping up into an inversion, and I slowly started to build my confidence. However what really helped me get comfortable with being upside down was treating myself to the 'feet up' prop and in time I started to use the prop less as I worked with 'donkey kicks' with my back to the wall to support me if I lifted up with too much force.

Come the end of 2016 I decided that my intention for 2017 was to invert every day to build up my confidence and through my love of Instagram I found a handstand challenge that ran for 10 days offering 10 different variations along with hints and tips and I have loved following it as it continued to run through out the year.

In my advance class on Tuesday evenings we started practicing inversions, whether handstand, headstand, tripod or what was fast becoming my favourite, forearm stand. Seeing my students enthusiasm and improvement kept me going in my own practice and I've even started to have a go away from the wall and when there was no wall at all.

Though I've not been able to hold my inversion for more than a few seconds at a time, my technique, confidence and love for handstands has really grown over the past year.

I hope to share the hints, tips and joy during an inversion workshop which I plan to run around April/May. If you are interested please get in touch to express your interest and keep an eye on the website for more details.

Rachael Wagstaffe