Written by Abbe Ciulla
Owner of Troy City Yoga, Wonderland Yoga and The Solar Flow Yoga School
It was about 10 years ago that I decided to learn handstand. Admittedly, I was seduced by photos of yogis suspended upside down, seeming to defy gravity. I was so hungry for it that I neglected any semblance of form or technique. The goal was to get upside down, I didn't care how I got there or how it looked once I arrived. I was attached to the idea that once I nailed the pose, I would be a bona-fide yogi.
And so it went for months. Attachment and egotism dueled it out as my legs went up over and over again with nightmarish form. Eventually, I registered for a Handstand Workshop, mostly to show off my new skill. When the teacher was dolling out the foundational drills and preparatory exercises, I was frustrated and impatient. I already knew how to handstand, I didn't need these.
My teacher noticed my impatience right away. He firmly informed me that, although I could get upside-down, my form was sloppy and lacked the refinement necessary for a sustainable handstand practice. He told me that I should return to the foundational preparatory exercises, and rebuild my handstands from the ground up.
I was crushed. He could see my frustration and then sat down to talk about the Kleshas. This was a pivotal moment for my yoga journey, it allowed me to uncover the emotional work behind the physical practice... (click below to read more)