Handstand: Change Your Perspective

A Metaphor for Transformation, Faith, and Shifting Perspectives - By Dana Damara

Reading time: 4 minutes

Handstand is about:



  • Vulnerability: suspension between action and stillness.
  • Sacrificing the illusion of safety or sure footing for illuminating clarity.
  • Turning your perception upside down without expectation or attachment to the outcome.
  • Forever shifting your perspective.

Handstand is inaccessible to many not because of lack of physical strength, but instead because of fear. It is unnatural to be upside down, or is it really?

Over the past year and half, my life has been completely turned upside down. To be honest, although the road was quite challenging, nothing in my life has felt more natural. Ironically, as I write this, it is the one-year anniversary of my magical trip to Tahoe, which marks the physical shift from my marriage to single life.

I remember last year in Tahoe very clearly. There was no way I could get into Handstand. I could not even consider Crow pose, to be honest. Basically, I couldn’t perform one single pose on my hands. And believe me; it wasn’t because I wasn’t strong enough. It was fear—complete, deep, penetrating fear.

Where did this fear come from? Well, after many hours on my mat, on the phone with my mother, sitting in attorney offices across from my now ex-husband, and coddling crying children, I realize it was my deeply rooted beliefs that I could not support myself on many levels. It came from carrying so many responsibilities that to give up my life, as it was, for the freedom of the unknown, seemed absurd.

I was so afraid of loss, deep loss. Loss of respect, loss of my children, loss of financial security and friends. I was afraid of looking like a fool, both on my mat and off my mat. I know this resonates with many people out there, because I have seen you, connected with you, talked with you, and cried with you. I have listened to you while you too have had the carpet ripped out from beneath your “secure” lifestyle.

It is not easy to give up security and safety for the unknown.

But isn’t that faith?

Isn’t that listening to your heart?

Isn’t that really what every religion preaches... blind faith?

And, funny... this is EXACTLY what it requires to shift your life or stand on your hands: blind faith. But oddly, when you do go upside down, or balance in any arm balance for that matter, you completely shift your perspective. You shift your perspective on so many levels that, once you do this, you are forever changed.

This posture supposedly supports all the chakras through the heart chakra... of course it does. Why? Because we MUST allow our hearts—not our heads—to lead us. Again, both on and off the mat.

Fear is an illusion based on our mind creation. Love is not. I know what it is like to be afraid. I sat many an evening alone, sobbing uncontrollably, not knowing what to do next. I would wonder, “Where are all my friends? Why am I all alone in this?”

But knowing beyond everything else there was infinite love and protection. That it had to be a journey I took alone.

Just like a handstand, or an arm balance, an instructor can’t help you until you can support yourself. And funny thing, this is a true story, the day after I signed my divorce papers, I flew up into Crow and Handstand with ease and grace. Just did it, all on my own.

I’m telling you, you can do this. Listen to your heart. The ground will always be there. And when you choose to change the ground you walk on, all your faith will carry you until you find a new “home.”

Dana Damara

Dana Damara is a speaker, author, global yoga trainer, and sound healer.

She is a leadership coach, Reiki Master, Doterra© Team Leader, and astrologist offering her services worldwide