My Handstand Feature in Yoga Journal

March 21st, 2008 — 8:06pm

The piece I wrote on my fear of kicking into Handstand is coming out in the April/May issue of Yoga Journal any day. I found the subject matter tough. Not the Handstand part, but how I felt about my body within the context of this pose. Writing this piece forced me to confront my negative body image — one that I had been trying to hide under black blazers and sweaters. As I wrote this piece, I started finding fewer places to hide from myself– a process that continues, and one that is interesting, valuable and discomfiting.

I was thrilled that the model they chose to illustrate this piece is, like me, in her mid-forties, and, like me, curvy (though less so). The layout and model choice felt like a gift to me. I hugged the art director when he showed me the spreads. Just the mere image of a curvy woman in a national magazine is a gift.

If you get a chance to read it, write me and let me know what you think.

Category: Uncategorized 5 comments »

5 Responses to “My Handstand Feature in Yoga Journal”

  1. Sally Bradley


    I read your article about handstands today. I kept saying, “Yes, me too!” all the way through.
    Thank you for writing this article. It has given me the courage to focus on this one move. I liked what Ana Forrest said to you when she got you into headstand. I am not sure why I have my fear but I want to find out, move past it.

    Thank you again!

    Palms sweating,

    Sally Bradley

  2. Lynn

    Hi Dayna..

    Well I have only been practicing Yoga since August of 2007 – I’m very new! I figured that in about 5 years I might be up to doing handstand however now I realize it may not happen that soon. You’re article actually made me feel very positive because it helps to assure me that everyone has struggles – no matter how experienced. I don’t have to feel badly about myself if I can’t do something or do it all that well, I just need to keep working and trying! I too by the way, am very curvy and I know what that is like as well.

    Take care, you’re article was wonderfully written and I hope you’re having success with your handstand!


  3. Mary

    Hello Dayna!
    I loved your article on handstand. I have been involved with Anusara yoga for about 4 years, and one day, after toppling out of a handstand at the wall, all my fear of the pose returned with a vengence. Your article was so helpful to me. Since that article, I went to a workshop with Todd Norian and didn’t trust anyone else but him to support me, and I allowed myself to feel my fear and just be present (but upside down!)

    I’ve shared the article with many people. I commend you on your writiing and on the subject matter- showing the process of transformation with a specific asana.


  4. Akasha

    That was a great article! Although kicking up into handstand was easy for me, I can relate because I can’t balance off the wall for more than about three seconds. You made me remember the fear in leaving the wall and the joy I felt when I did it without the wall. It’s now one of my favorite moves, even if I never get the balance right in handstand.

    The real beauty in your article was how it can be applied to any asana with which any of us struggle, and with which we feel frustrated and think “I’ll never do this.” And what you wrote can be applied to areas of life beyond asana. You did a terrific job writing about handstand specifically, and about transformation in general.

    I agree, having a curvy model was a real gift. We are so bombarded with images of perfection that it becomes so easy to say “I’m fat, ugly, old, worthless…(you name it)” by comparing ourselves to these images of models and lose sight of how very very few women look like models (who of course are assisted in their perfection by professional makeup artists, photographers, etc). I struggle with body image problems too; actually I think most women do, and it’s something we need to be more open about.

    Great job, Dayna! Please write more articles for YJ.

    BTW, I loved your “Eat Like a Yogi” article too! I thought it was gracefully written and well-balanced, and after reading about Ana Forrest and Scott Blossom, I feel better about my repeated failures at becoming a vegetarian. Thank you for not being afraid to address controversial topics that need to be discussed.

  5. Paula

    Dayna, I read your handstands article in YJ and loved it. In my opinion, it was the best, most relatable piece that this magazine has featured in a long, long time.

    I, too, have been doing yoga forever and have only recently confronted the fears (and all the attendant shame and self-consciousness) that come up during handstands.

    Thank you for your honesty and good writing.

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