I recently completed a full year of handstands. Yes, I did a handstand every single day in 2016 and documented it. Every single day. The world looks different now.
1) You will make incredible progress on your handstand journey!
My orginal handstand goal on Janurary 1st, 2016 was, "work up to a 10 second hold and leg variations."
I have gotten a lot stonger and a lot more consistent in my handstands. I have to tell you right away that I have not yet acheived my original goal. I am a lot closer. I can consistently hold a handstand now for 1-3 seconds. I can't yet really do any intentional leg variations.
I thought I would reach my goal, but I can assure you, I am in no way dissappointed in myself. I am actually very proud of myself for staying committed and for the progress I have made.
2) You will explore your city, and the world and yourself.
It was interesting how motivating the art of the challenge was for me. It enticed me to explore my city more than I normally would and take more trips. I also observed how it was fueling me as an artist.
Taking a picture every day for to share on social media was a unique motivator for a lot of reasons. Publically announcing my self-imposed challenge via social media kept me accountable and not only motivated to perservere, but also make my challenge as artistic as possible.
I am a fanatic about Instagrm and also the layout of my gallery. The idea of creating a grid that would flow together beautifully also played a role in mt journey. It drove me to seek out new places, different lighting, and explore different variations to keep my IG gallery beautiful. I don't think I would have stuck to the challenge if it hadn't been for my public comittment via social media, and I know it wouldn't have been so fun and motivating.
Every single day was opportunity to observe my emotions and attachments to this practice. Some days I was excited and motivited to stick my handstand and some days I went through the full gamut of excuses and justifications to avoid it completely. During #MyYearOfHandstands there was a lot of opportunity for Svadhyaya, the practice of self-observation.
3) It helps you look at life with a fresh perspective, literally upside down.
I think some things that are notable about my handstand challenge as far as transformation is that I literally flipped upside down everyday and it changed me. I would love to share with you an excerpt from on of my favorite yoga books, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, by Swami Satyananda Saraswasti.
Inverted asanas reverse the action of gravity on the body; instead of everything being pulled toward the feet , the orientation shifts towards
the head. Similarily, on the emotional and psychic levels, inverted
asanas turn everything upside down, throwing new light on old patterns
of behavior and being.
I knew in theory the transformational benefits going into the challenge, but I had no idea what an enormous effect this would really have on me throughout the year in practice.
In 2016 I have expanded my businesses, Healing Media LLC., and Yoga Camp, in ways I wouldn't have thought of before. I have traveled to: New Orleans, Wassau, Detroit, Winnipeg, Calgary, Banff, Washington, The North Shore of Lake Superior, led a Yoga Retreat to Madeline Island, traveled cross country to Savannah, and finally to Cuba. I also felt compelled to sit Vipassanå, a silent 10 day meditation retreat. I don't think I would have done all these things had it not been for the constant blood to my brain, challenging me everyday to have a new perspective on life.
4) A handstand a day will gain you followers and you can use that for the good of the world if you choose.
The above photo, a handstand in a sexy dress and heels was my most liked post of the year. As frustrating as this may seem at first, I chose to use it to my advantage. If you have a platfrom, it gives you a voice. If a sexy photo gets me noticed, great, then maybe that same person who noticed the above photo will notice some of my more political photos.
Pick someting you are passionate about and use your platform for the good of the world. There are so many imporatnt causes, pick something that resonates with you. It could be: organic food, breast feeding in public, transgender rights, social justice, environmentalism, art or whateveryou are passionate about! Please, do your best to make our world a better place.
I have used my social media platform for social justice, handstanding on I-94 in a peaceful Black Lives Matter Protest, and peacefully praying at Standing Rock.
A quick shoutout to my friend, Rachel Hiltsley, who encourged me to use my platform for good, even more than I was doing. I cannot thank her enough.
5) You will experience play in a way you haven't for years.
Instagram spurred me on to keep exploring new destinations in the coolest ways. Most days, I would seek out a new place in Minneapolis, or sometimes, it even motivated me to take a trip or go get a handstand picture with a friend. I would even venture outside in sub-zero weather to get a cool picture rather than just do the same old thing.
This challenge got me out of my office, out of my house, off my mat and into the world! It sasiated my internal wanderluster and nourished my adventurer seeker, and inspired my artist self.
6) You will fall down a lot. Practicing failing and falling will help you immensely.
Falling is good for you