This is guest blogger, Suzanne, here to tell you about my journey with handstand. I have been practicing Iyengar yoga for two years. When I first began, I knew that this philosophy of yoga appealed to me. The frequent instructions while getting into a pose and while in the pose were soothing. I found that the more I listened and followed the cues, the more relaxed and focused I became. After several months, Aaron began headstand instruction. I remember dreading the moment. I knew that much of Iyengar yoga concentrated on inversions and I knew that if I really wanted to progress, I would have to face my fear of going upside down. Headstand was scary but not difficult and once up, I realized that I needed to perfect the pose and “tweak” it in order to be able to stay in the pose longer and achieve the true benefits of an inversion. I continue to work on this pose. I knew that the next hurdle for me would be handstand. Often Aaron would give us hints that we were going to try to do this pose. Finally, the “kick” practice came and I laughed inside and said…”OK… I’ll try this, but we all know that Suzanne will never be able to do it”..and that I would continue in Iyengar yoga without being a handstander.
Secretly, I had a challenge…and if nothing else it was to be able to kick into the handstand pose. I was quite sure that once up, I would never be able to stay in the pose for long. Well, I have been wrong with myself on both counts. One day, in the privacy of my own home (carpeted room), I achieved my goal and kicked into the pose. I continued to practice the kick and sometimes I could do it and sometimes not….but the progress was gradual until, I could kick up everyday. The next goal was to stay in the pose for a minute. I have achieved this goal. I continue to perfect the pose. Aaron’s instruction is sneaky. Often, you don’t realize that poses that you are doing and doing fine are preparation for a much more complex pose. His preparation is superb and subtle. There is a sequence to everything.