Handstand is not a particularly difficult pose physically, although it does require a certain level of flexibility and strength. Instead, the real challenge of Handstand for many students is working on the necessary physical skills in a calm, focused manner while confronting the primal human fear of falling. For a beginning inverter, the seemingly simple act of kicking the legs up to a supporting wall can be frightening. Even for more advanced Handstanders, going to a next level with the pose—say, leaping up with both legs at once or balancing in the center of the room—presents challenges that call up the fear factor.
If Handstand engenders feelings of anxiety in so many people, why bother to learn it at all? The challenges of the pose are precisely what make it so valuable. Since Handstand brings you face to face with your insecurities and fears, it provides a wonderful laboratory where you can observe and work on overcoming all such emotions. Handstand offers a controlled situation in which you can develop self-confidence, courage, and a somewhat playful and curious approach to solving challenges. In addition, it increases your understanding and control of your body because it turns your world upside down and requires you to master an unfamiliar relationship with gravity.