I know a freestanding handstand is scary. Gravity can be a painful seducer when you don’t know how to act around it. But what if you did know? What if you could dangle your handstand just past the tipping point and right before gravity claims you in its painful embrace, you fall in the most graceful manner?
Most people logically reason that jumping is all in the legs. While the legs do carry a lot of the work, the rest of the body plays a crucial role in the amount of power, momentum, and distance generated.
Oftentimes I turn to literature for answers. Books have always opened the door to a new level of understanding, and The Tao of Pooh (a book on Taoism conveyed through Winnie the Pooh) became an unexpected source of wisdom on movement. I started reading this book off the suggestion of a close friend, and within a few pages, realized exactly why this book found me.
There are many approaches to learning a handstand. Depending on the teacher, or the school of movement, you will likely be given different drills and cues to follow. Ultimately though, all high level hand balancers follow the same core concepts. The ART Principle is a helpful way towards understanding the fundamentals of a handstand.
One of the most common methods of generating power and speed, push & pull can be found in many movement forms. The technique, quite simply put, involves the simultaneous pushing of one side while pulling with the other.
I was given a gift when TED selected me to be a speaker. Wrapped in acknowledgement and containing opportunity was this one simple email with “Congratulations” in the subject header. After years of training and introspection I was finally getting the nod that I was ready to give back to the universe.
I touch the floor. It’s hard, but with a little bit of yield, just enough for me to feel… safe, assured. That was my way of saying “hello”. Standing up, I take in the rest of the sight. Spread before me like an empty black canvas, there is only one contrasting feature: the fuzzy red dot.
I look out the window to a familiar view. It hasn’t changed much since the first time I looked upon it 27 years ago. A dark city below illuminated with flickering lights, enticing my then six year old eyes with the prospect of adventure and possibility. It seems as if a lifetime has passed, and in many ways it has.