Is a Handstand Yoga?

 One of my students informed me that she was looking in to the Rocket system and reading about Larry Schultz on the internet.  She commented on the number of inversions within the Rocket  sequences and then asked  ‘What’s the point of handstand’?  ‘Is doing a handstand yoga’?  She was right.  Doing a handstand is not the point of yoga, but I teach handstand regularly.  

Traditionally yoga is a spiritual tool for exploring the purpose of our existence.  The physical practice is only one aspect of a larger complicated deep philosophy.  But it is the physical practice that has captured the imagination of the Western world.  However,  the physical practice is more than movement, it is the cultivation of movement and breath  that creates the journey within to our true potentials.

But where does handstand fit into this.  ‘The Rocket’ is never about the final pose.  It is about finding our own physical edge with an attitude of acceptance, humility and devotion.  It’s about stepping outside our comfort zone and trying something new.  Something that the external chatter in our minds  tells us we can't do.  Maybe we can, maybe we can't.   It doesn’t matter.  In ‘the Rocket’,  if we can't or don't want to, we try or we do something else.  What is important is that we release the ego and practice gratitude, purpose and acceptance of the present moment whatever the pose.  This is yoga.  By cultivating the pose with breath, bandhas and dristhi, the practice develops and takes us to places we never imagined.  Now, we are practising yoga and maybe a handstand.