Day 34: Standing on my Hands

January 2010, I set my one and only New Year's Resolution to get into a yoga handstand all by myself. You'll also notice this was on my list of goals that I wrote in this blog. I have been working on getting into a handstand since starting yoga in 2008, fully believing that I would never be able to do it. My mind likes to believe that the wall is going to move away from me at any moment and leave me dead and flopped over on my back--or something similarly irrational.

I've gotten much, much closer to a yoga handstand recently, simply by doing it a couple times a week for the past two years now. I was so dangerously close on Thursday that I knew that the next time I practiced, I would arrive upright on my hands. On Sunday, the teacher didn't do yoga handstands in class; and while I was a little disappointed, I already had a blog post, so I didn't have to fight between two wonderful accomplishments.

Today, however, it was game time. I was determined, excited, sure that the teacher would include them in class, and most critically, I didn't have a blog post lined up, giving me extra pressure to step up to the task. I walked into class trying not to hype myself up, as I am prone to doing, and didn't want to wear my arms out with sun salutations so I took it a little easy. But my efforts were lost, because the class just wasn't pacing itself towards handstands.

After this sad realization, the remainder of the yoga class was shot and my meditative mind was anything but. I spent the rest of class thinking up "new things" that I could do cheaply at home and on limited time. It was the ultimate defeat to my personal accomplishments and to the blog.

When I got back to the apartment I saw my last hope-a beautiful open wall--perfect for executing handstands. After almost giving up again, I had a flash of brilliance, and I produced a perfect handstand ALL BY MYSELF.

Literally my first handstand I did by myself ever. Thank goodness Mark was there with my camera!!


  1. That's awesome! We are working on handstands in my yoga class as well but I'm definitely not there yet. I'm still trying to get wheel going on a more consistent basis. :o) Congrats!

  2. Thanks Katie! Keep up the good work too :) Yoga isn't as easy as people think it should be.

  3. Mark (the boyfriend)October 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    I'd like to add something as the only witness to this occasion....When Leah got into this FIRST handstand, I was in the kitchen checking on dinner. Leah's camera was in a bag, which was in her purse, whose location was unknown to me. So Leah got into the handstand and held it long enough to tell at me to take a pic, instructed where her purse was, and where the camera was in her purse. Impressive.

  4. I have come across you blog, because the universe has guiding me to your site. I love the concept and title 'doing one new thing every day for a year' I have wanted to create a personal blog for a while but a name or concept was never truly right until I saw yours. However I shall not proceed with the title without informing you or giving you credit, as my MUSE.

    The Yoga story is how I discovered your blog and the handstand journey, via Kristen Shepherd blog on yoga journal. It is a fantastic achievement. I too practice yoga with great vigour and spiritual guidance but still feel as though I fall short in many of the asana. I must mention your partner for managing dinner and taking a photo thus providing evidence for your followers and posterity.

    Continue with a great blog and your pursuit and mantra ' If you learn by doing, I am going to DO!' I love this statement.


    Stokely Sawyers

  5. Stokely,

    I am so pleased that I, in some small way, led you to your own writing project. I derive so much joy from this and hope that you will too. To know that I inspire just one person makes this whole mission worthwhile.

    Keep in touch and let me know when you start your adventure.