One of my new year resolutions for this year is a handstand - the king of asanas in yoga, and possibly one of the eye candies for a lot of body-weight trainers. It is an ironic pose to choose for some people as many will say that "hey! I can do a handstand". However, what I often see are back bending / banana body handstand or leg-bend-and-walk-all-over handstand (walking to balance is easier than standing still for some people). My goal is the get a clean straight-line handstand, which is quite tough!
Handstand is a king of asanas (poses) for many reasons. It is a perfect example of how in yoga, or any sports really, you need both flexibility and strength (in this case balance also). You need a very flexible and open shoulder to be able to get your hands over the head without turning your body banana. You need strength in wrists, arms, and shoulders to balance the body. You may also need to have a very open back body and hamstring if your goal is to press or straddle. It's a lot of work!
Where was I with handstand before?
Just like many other forms of poses, I have a love-hate relationship with handstand - and still do! The thought of falling over scares me, and I have injured my wrists so many times from falling. I have never really felt light when I was in pose. Plus, a lot of my photos / videos of handstand back then were results of jumping up and down and try to snap the magic split second - not of holding, but when all the stars aligned.
I was lucky enough once, however, to manage to hold for 10 seconds with legs apart once. However, I could not achieve anything near that state again. Frustrating isn't it?
I had one funny memory with handstand during my training with Briohny and Dice though: During the morning practice on the last day of the training, I decided to "fxxx this! I'm going to jump to handstand" during the transition, and man! I jump very high... my hip pike up... it was probably a very straight line.... and.... BAMM! I fell very UNgraciously on the floor. My friends around me went "Sea! Are you okay???" "Oh my gosh! Sea!"
Bri glanced, and said calmly "Sea is fine. He tried and learned how to fall. Good job Sea."
I chuckled in my head. I didn't really learn how to fall properly though, but hey, I didn't hurt myself :D
Begining of 2020 handstand journey
Handstand has been on my list for 2020 resolution for a while after I started to get a hang of forearm stand last year. However, the video recording and serious commitment did not come until I ran into an online program (thanks Instagram) by Kyle Weiger. Being guilty of impulse purchases, I decided to buy all programs at once (from beginner to elite). Although, being the arrogant practitioner that I am, I thought I might not need the 4 Handstand Essential Program, I decided to just start with it because I already purchased the (damn) program - this is sunk cost fallacy for anyone who studied business haha. (Not so) ironically, it was the right decision to start with the basics. I actually found out that I was still very weak at some of the basics such as hollow body, wall handstand, and I improved a lot in a period of one month.
Kyle is a great teacher. Having trained with Dice and Bri before, I questioned my purchase decision at first (although I don't know why that question did not appear during my impulse "purchase" clicking). I have seen a video of him practicing one-hand hand balance, while Dice is already at that level. However, the 4 Basic Handstand Elements were very well planned with small progression, the warmups were very useful, and the drills have really improved my strengths and mobility.
The fact that I have seen improvement does not really prevent me from frustrations through the journey so far whatsoever. I somehow always have that anchor of 10 seconds hold in my head, and I was very annoyed that I couldn't hold that long again. However, I think I also need to recognize the fact that I am more consistent, I can pull legs together, and I can get a much better alignment. As my coach Jo used to tell me "You need to give yourself more credit." Now, I have to self-hypnotize: Practice, and all is coming.
So here is my journey of the first 4 weeks with handstand: