I remember it like it was yesterday. Summer 2011. The scene was my regular super sweaty 6:00am Power Vinyasa class in Denver. I hit up that class every Thursday morning before shuffling off to work at my cushy sales job.
Now, at this point, I had been hand standing at the wall for a few months, and could never quite work up the courage to pull my feet away…I tend to like what’s familiar and safe. You never get that way, do you?
We were about 40 minutes into class with an absolute gem of a teacher named Jessi. This little yoga angel loved to invert a lot, so I found myself in her class religiously to feed my addiction.
Per usual, we pulled our mats over to the wall and all started kicking up. Being the seasoned wall-slut that I was, I got up no problem. I was against that vertical drywall crutch and I relied on it, like a toddler relying on mom to make everything ok when you get a boo-boo.
Then, without any provocation or stimulus, something clicked. I pulled one foot off and stayed for a bit, when all of the sudden, I was overcome with an entirely new sensation. I couldn’t identify it. I couldn’t relate it to anything else I had ever experienced before. Then it hit me.
“Holy shit. Holy shit. It’s happening. It’s actually happening!”
This new feeling was the kinesthetic realization that I was actually floating a Handstand AWAY FROM THE WALL! The feeling only lasted a few seconds since the mere excitement of the moment caused me to lose focus and balance. But I didn’t care. I finally did it.
Class ended and I was on cloud nine.
I headed to the locker room to shower up and get ready for work. Then, a very strange and curious string of events started to happened.
Love Life After Nailing Handstand
First, I checked my phone. There it was! A text message from my super hot crush. It read, “Hey Kyle, heard about your Handstand a few minutes ago. Would you like to come over to my place tonight and perform hours of insane sexual acts on each other? Do you mind if my roommate joins in too? She’s a model.”
Wow. This is amazing. Can’t text back right now though. Gotta head to work. Stay focused man.
Work Life After Nailing Handstand
I walked into work that morning walking a little taller, only to be greeted by a company-wide standing ovation. The CEO then pulled me into his office, shut the door behind me, and let me know that he’d be stepping down in order to make room for me to run the company in any way I see fit. We poured two glasses of very expensive Bourbon and clinked glasses to my new-found state of perfection. Seems normal for 8:00am.
It’s all coming together. Time to crush it at work.
I ran through my morning routine including coffee and checking emails before hitting the phones for client calls. Oddly enough, every client that I was scheduled to call that day had already emailed me. They all said that they heard about my Handstand and they would do anything to sign all my open contracts as quickly as possible. Some of them had already priority mailed cash payments, with a 15% tip, off the books of course. Perfect.
At this point, I’m on fire. Just winning at life. #nbd
Finances After Nailing Handstand
On my lunch break, I logged into my online banking to find a random deposit into my checking account. Normally, banks will give a detailed account of all the debits and credits into your account, and from which vendor the transaction was initiated. This one just read: HANDSTAND: $100,000. Weird.
My crush wants me. My clients think I’m God’s gift to sales. My coworkers idolize me. And now I have tons of extra cash on hand. Thank you, Handstand.
Well, in all fairness…this story isn’t entirely true…..
The Truth Is…
The first part about getting my feet off the wall and my subsequent excitement, is definitely a true-life account of the facts. The rest of it might be slightly exaggerated.
Here’s the truth about this pose… and every other yoga pose: No one in the real world cares if you can do a Handstand. Plain and simple.
Your colleagues don’t care. Your crush doesn’t care. Your mailman doesn’t care. The guy who just cut you off in traffic doesn’t care.
I say it over and over again to my Handstand students around the world; Handstands are a fun and empowering way to prove to yourself that you are stronger than you think. But if you’re looking for external validation from learning how to do this particular physical skill, you won’t get it.
Rather, I’ll offer you the following. Handstand is a teaching tool, a mirror of sorts. It will reflect every other challenge you have in your life. It will show you exactly how you react when faced with discomfort in other scenarios.
Learning how to do this skill will give you a sense of personal empowerment and confidence. You will have committed yourself to something, and then seen it through to the end. It doesn’t, however, accomplish any of the other scenarios listed above.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I fucking love Handstand. I often joke on social media that my relationship status is Handstand. I mean, she’s pretty much down to play whenever I am and always makes me feel good… Insert obnoxious kissy-face emoji here.
That said, practicing being a good person, a good listener, and a good friend should all come long before practicing Handstand. Kindness, patience, and gratitude will get you much farther in this world than Handstand. I promise. Trust me, I’ve done the research.
You got this.