Getting upside down is hella scary! If you disagree and you've got this, I can only say from the most sincerest place, BIG UP YOUR CHEST, innit,! If you're happily playing with your handstand throw some secrets my way, I beg!
Unlike what feels like everyone to me, I missed out on the fast and eager action of tucking in your blue, gingham school summer dress into your shorts, to cartwheel-handstand-headstand in the playground stage of life, and basically, I'm pissed, and now paying the price. I'm pissed because fear has well and truly nestled it's way into my body and I'm not even sure when he/she/it arrived. All I know is, the fear has been real!
The first time I got upside down, I thought, this is what it must feel like being a bathroom scale. You're minding your own business, the world makes sense to you and then suddenly a weight like no other hastily decides to rest itself on you and expects you to act normal and handle it like a bawse without your glass screen cracking under the pressure (or more like my elbows giving way).
The funny thing is, if you have ever stepped on a scale you've probably found yourself holding your breath, squeezing everything in and trying to stand really still as if at gun point, probably super aware of the slightest movement and desperately gasping for air. THIS is kinda what you end up doing when you first get upside down and it's NOT helpful. But what is helpful is breathing, allowing your natural movement - trying to tune in to it, whilst engaging every muscle and thinking upwards, IS helpful. I can't lie, that isn't to say that the feeling of your life being in the hands of a 5 year old playing Jenga, with your leg being their next move will go away completely, but it does help.
Eighteen months ago getting upside down on my hands, was about as likely as seeing me put relaxer back on my head. Na-ah! I didn’t have the confidence to play in this position or the strength to maintain being on my hands. Getting upside down is f*cking scary. Never before have I been so aware of my ass and hips and centre of gravity, not even in a Kim K style bodycon dress. I've felt disorientated, on occasion dizzy, I've openly cussed in class and then lay on the floor exhausted. All that and we haven't even discussed the fact that my tight hamstrings don't allow my legs to get as close to my face as I'd like, which helps and is generally how it's taught, making this whole "playing with handstand" thing, even more of a joke.
But, it's getting easier, those feelings are few and far between, more time I feel like a badass and I've actually found small moments of stillness and clarity - who knew! There aint no thing such as a fixed pose, so I'm trying more and more to embrace the movement, ride the wave of my breath (yeah, wanky I know), squeeze everything that mama gave me and listen to my fingers. In the words of one of my favourite teachers, Calli, "your fingers are your brakes".
The next step is falling and learning to fall properly... erm yeah... that might take a while.
Holla. S. x