“What I learned in my quest to do a handstand in yoga class” – by guest blogger Lee from SimpLee Healthy

I am so excited to introduce a new guest blogger to Cook Global. Eat at Home!

Lee is a great friend of mine and workout partner. Like me, she loves the outdoors so we often go biking or hiking on the weekends. We get to enjoy beautiful, sunny days while working out and burning off some calories. Especially these days when I am so busy, I am all about killing two birds with one stone. Well, it’s more like five birds once you add catching up with a friend, getting a tan and some vitamin D, activating some other vitamins in your system, etc.

I’ve learned the hard way that no matter how healthy my diet has been, if I don’t work out, I don’t lose weight. Like many of you out there, I’ve battled several types of wars against weight throughout my life and the best diet I can suggest is the no-diet. Simply try to eat healthy and exercise!  If you think finding a workout partner would motivate you more and help achieve your goal, do it! I know it helps me.

I have to confess that I’ve never tried Yoga before. I think part of me is intimidated by it (Hello! a quiet room, deep breaths?? I’m more of a Zumba type LOL) but I have always been curious about it. Don’t worry, I’ve heard how amazing it is and how perfect it would be for a person like me. I think I am going to have to listen to Lee and give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy her guest blog post. She is always up-to-date with the latest wellness news and trends and shares her insight and personal experiences on her very own blog: SimpLee Healthy. Make sure to check her out!


What I learned in my quest to do a handstand in yoga class

I love practicing yoga.  It’s exhilarating, enlightening and manages to teach you big things about yourself and life when you’re busy trying to stand on your hands.

Like everyone else, there are some postures that come easily and I can magically turn myself into a perfect pretzel or balance myself on one foot forever and others where my “creation” looks absolutely nothing like its supposed to look.  I think my hamstrings are over achievers in tension.  But there is one part of every class where I always feel the dread: inversions!  Way too intimidating and let’s face it -impossible. I resolved that was just going to be part of yoga that was not for me.

I don’t have a lot of arm strength, certainly not enough to hoist my whole body upside down and then balance on my hands.   There was just no conceivable way that I could see that happening.  So each time, I elected to take the “legs up the wall” pose.  This is technically a pose, but it’s pretty much laying on your back with your feet up the wall.  Until one day, I don’t know what possessed me (I am going to blame the caffeine in my Starbucks chai latte) but I decided to test out how ridiculous it would be if I tried. – for fun, I’m always up for a good laugh, especially at myself.   Plus, to be honest, I really, really want to be able to do it!

They always give a few options for varying levels of experience.  I try the “L pose” handstand thinking I stand the best chance with that one.  You basically make your body into an “L” with your hands on the ground handstand style and your feet are flat on the wall.  (see my primitive illustration below).

Anyway, I try it and it’s such a strange and unsettling feeling.  Any second I know I’m going to topple over feet over head. Not to mention my shaking arms, clearly warning me that if I don’t get down quick I will fall on my head.   As I look around and everyone else focused on their own graceful inversions, I wonder what do they all know that I don’t?  So I keep trying and laughing because my efforts are pretty laughable.

It takes me a couple more classes but I eventually get it.  I’m super proud of myself but it’s not the “real” handstand and I am no longer willing to accept my limitations.  I’ve had a taste of the inverted world and I want more!

No matter how hard I try, I just can’t get my legs up.  There’s something I’m missing.  Lucky for me, this time I am in class where a teacher has us use a ‘buddy’ who will support our bottom leg and we can push against their hands to get both legs up.  My partner effortlessly lifts to a handstand  and her legs perfectly straight, no wobbles.  I’m impressed.  Ok, my turn.

This kind lady is supporting my thigh and shin with her hands and now I just have to kick up.  Yep, any minute now.  Still trying to kick.  WHAT?!  How is this possible?  What is wrong with me?  Finally she suggests I USE her hands and push against them.  And our teacher mentions we need to use our core not our arms…. Voila!  Oh My Gosh!  I’m UP!  And then back down.  Incredible!  I’m in shock.  So now, I try it alone.  The true test.   And to my surprise, I can still do it.  This five second handstand is one of my biggest achievements – and life lessons.

First, you have to believe in yourself.  Second, if you keep trying to use the wrong muscles to do something, no matter how hard you try it won’t work. Finally, sometimes it helps to lean on a friend.

Make sure to follow SimpLee Healthy on twitter (@simpleehealthy ) and to check out http://www.simpleehealthy.com for more posts!

One thought on ““What I learned in my quest to do a handstand in yoga class” – by guest blogger Lee from SimpLee Healthy

  1. Pingback: Check out my guest post at Cook Global Eat At Home! « SimpLee Healthy

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