How I Learned Non Attachment in Handstand

Our practice often speaks so much about our mental state, we just need to take the time to listen.  Several months ago, I was pretty excited about handstands.  I was practicing them regularly, and felt fairly strong.  I attempted to move slowly away from the wall, felt myself shifting off balance and knew I should come down.  Instead, I was attached to the result of nailing that handstand for a few more moments and tried to correct myself.  Down I came with a loud crash, hyperextending my wrist, and leaving one nasty mat burn (like a rug burn, only worse) on my shoulder.  My body hurt, and my pride was crushed.  

In the months that followed, I became well aquainted with the basics.  I learned that instead of becoming totally wrapped up in attaining full wheel pose (impossible with my wrist injury), I could explore the subtle actions that are available in bridge, and I loved it.  I learned that a chair assisted wheel feels amazing, and opens up my heart center in a whole new way.  Due to my injury, listening to my body and becoming less attached to achieving some final result became a necessity.

Time has gone by, and I just finished a handstand workshop at a local expo.  Fears came up as I was asked to trust my assistant (not the wall) and turn my world upsidedown.  Things went better when I stopped thinking about the final result, and really invested myself in the present moment.  I noticed subtle things like my gaze and the action of the muscles in my inner ankles and wrists.  It played a big part in my comfort in the pose.  Most of all, I was able to  lose the attachment to the result and enjoy the moment.  A yoga practice is really about what you learn about yourself and how you feel.  While I may not be bearing weight on my hands unassisted, I learned to become more comfortable in a difficult situation.  This is worth way more than any handstand ever!

Do your practice and all is coming.
— Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

  Namaste - Beth