How I Got Started In Handstands

Las Vegas. What images does that name conjure up for you when you hear it? Casinos, shows, gambling, clubs? How about handstands?

Since 2011, we’ve been celebrating the art of the handstand with this whimsical event. It’s caught on and people from all over the world and share their love for inversions on social media. It’s been grand.

I got started in handstands in the circus. I trained at the National Circus School when I was a younger lad and learned how to do a handstand there. At that time we had one lovely Russian instructor who was barely half my weight but as strict as a whip. She could leverage the big boys into contorted and excruciating inversions without barely lifting a finger. On occasion we’d look over and see her effortlessly in a one-arm handstand. Just chillin’.

I teach a handstand class at a yoga studio my wife Jada and I started 7 years ago here in Las Vegas called Barefoot Sanctuary. It’s a beginner handstand class, but we have students who have stuck with it for years. Craig was once a beginner with a crooked, walk-all-over-the-room handstand but now busts out 90-second handstands, presses in a pike and is just a super awesome dude. Amazing, whatta transformation!

My first handstand was about 5-seconds long, arched as a ripe banana with zero, I mean zero, technique. And I didn’t have the luxury of starting as a little kid trained in Chinese bootcamp from the age of 3. I started when I was an adult, not aged but not out of the womb either – 19 years old.

There’s lots of fun exercises but in the end it’s about consistency and just doing it over and over and over and over and over again. But – the fun! I hope you’ll join us on June 25.

Namaste,
Alvin.

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