Updated: Jul 11, 2020
By Allison Ray Jeraci
Photo by Andrea Killam
Handstand (adho mukha vrksasana) is an adventurous and exhilarating pose that requires commitment, focus, and courage. I was introduced to handstands at the age of five, through gymnastics. I remember practicing for hours—placing my hands on the ground, kicking up, falling over, and starting over until I was finally able to bear all of my weight on my hands.
I sustained my handstand practice over the years. But as I grew older I realized that there was still much work to be done. I could almost walk better on my hands than on my feet, but I could never hold still in the pose. So I decided to begin working at the wall and relearning how to align my handstand, step by step, to find the stability I needed for stillness. With time, I got much better at staying planted, but that journey toward a well-aligned and stable handstand has taken 25 years. Some days it’s still a challenge to hold this pose, and on other days it feels more natural to be on my hands than on my feet.