Last year on my birthday I decided to do something crazy: stop, drop and handstand. Every day for the past year, I've done a handstand and posted it online and it's been such a fun journey. I never would have guessed that a simple act of silliness could bring so much joy to my life.
What has handstanding every day for almost 365 days in a row taught me?
1. I’ve learned that it is OK to talk to strangers.
Spending a year engaging with strangers about my handstands has showed me that it's a pretty fun way to bring a smile to someone else’s face. I’ve learned to trust people with both creative direction and valuable mobile devices. This seems to both surprise and delight bystanders. When asking a random person on the street to photograph you, most don’t expect the subject to suddenly flip upside down. The laughter, questions, shrugs and funny faces I’ve seen have pushed me forward and kept me going on this adventure. It has even led to impromptu pop-up handstand workshops in the streets. Connecting with new people has been a major blessing!
2. I’ve realized how quickly time passes.
By counting each day on this journey, I have noticed that days and months can go by in an instant if we don't stop to appreciate the little moments in them. I feel almost as if I have blinked and 365 days just flew by! This challenge has allowed me to slow down, contemplate past days and take to heart that the present moment is what really matters most. Time is so fleeting. We must cherish the special moments. It has been an equally great reminder that the challenging moments can pass as quickly as the exciting ones. Good or bad, everything passes. Breathe it all in. Exhale only love.
3. Creating community can be as simple as flipping upside down.
When I put out a call to action asking if others wanted to join the challenge, I was shocked and excited at the response! Hundreds of yogis and aspiring yogis from all over the globe rose up. Many took on the challenge to work their way up to a handstand, documenting progress over a year. Others did it to share their every day lives. Some have come in as a family, and done handstands daily with their kiddos, while others have taken it on as a way to conquer fears.
During the 365-day handstand challenge, I handstanded in over a dozen states, 4 countries, many airports, on countless sidewalks and with hundreds of new friends…
This challenge, it isn’t just about handstands in cool places (as fun as that is) and it isn’t just about me.
To date, there are over 16,400 photos of handstanders spanning the earth! Each person, each handstand has contributed to this wonderfully positive crew. I have observed so much encouragement, lovely camaraderie and cross-global praise. We have broken down barriers of race, religion, and class. People have found this urge to rise up, feet to sky, hands to ground, and a community has ignited.
I am so proud of the progress and commitment I have seen from the people participating. I have been impressed by the joy we spread among each other. I have been uplifted when I felt I couldn't lift up. My ego left my practice when I realized that handstands don't define my yoga practice, love does.
I am still amazed at how something that seemed so silly and simple — Handstanding once a day — has brought so much positivity into my life and allowed me to connect with so many others. Thank you to everyone involved. Whether you have liked a photo, commented, offered encouragement or joined the challenge yourself, thank you. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and looking forward to the next 365 days… continually inspired, forever awed.
Want to join the challenge? It's never too late. Pick a day to start and commit to a handstand a day for 365 days. Today could be your day 1 #handstand365!
The past year has been such a fun journey. I never would have guessed that a simple act of silliness could bring so much joy into life.