Category: News

The Subconscious Motivation To Master Handstand

The Subconscious Motivation To Master Handstand

Handstand Rey CardenasI’ve been thinking about handstand and why so many people (myself included) are inspired to master this pose. Even as a child I remember being drawn to the innate potential of balancing on my hands. It seems to me that people are fascinated, perhaps on an unconscious level, by handstand because it is an embodied metaphor for keeping it together in a state of chaos. I want to unpack this idea a bit and hear your thoughts on the matter.

In chaos, your world is flipped upside down (**obvious connection alert**), and perhaps you don’t know where you are. For example, you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, and you find out your partner is cheating and leaving you. All of a sudden, every aspect of your carefully crafted existence has been shattered including your perceptions of your own identity. You are in chaos, and your nervous system switches you into predatory threat mode.

The question now is, what should you do when you are in a state of chaos? The first thing that you need to do when you don’t know where you are is PAY ATTENTION. One reason being that you don’t know what else might come up and pull you down. Focusing your awareness enables you to learn about where you are and derive value from your circumstance. For example, you might come to understand the ways in which you were complicit in the destruction of your relationship. These insights strengthen you and allow you to establish a new and improved order in your life.

Attention is the requisite action for handstand.

Proprioception, or the use of attention to activate specific muscles in your body, not brute strength, is what enables you to stack your feet over your hips over your shoulders over your hands and hold it. The result: You get stronger. If your attention wanes, gravity will pull you down, and you may injure yourself. Holding handstand forces you to be present.

I want to offer a cautionary disclaimer not to over practice handstand.

It is a super fun, flamboyant pose that garners admiration which can be addicting. Handstand in Sanskrit is adho muhka vrksasana which means downward facing tree. The image itself is chaotic and unsustainable. Our subconscious mind associates trees with ‘home’ because our ancestors used to live in trees. Flipping that upside down reinforces the chaotic metaphor.

When practicing handstand, you must continuously pay attention to how your wrists, neck, shoulders, and back are feeling and be willing to take long breaks when your body tells you to. I have personal experience overdoing handstand and have heard stories of former handstand masters who are now in their 50s and can no longer lift their arms in the overhead plane. Handstand is the application of order onto chaos and should be practiced with great care. After all, spending too much time in chaos can break you.

~ Rey Cardenas, Studio Owner and Instructor

Student Testimonial – Allie Whitworth

Student Testimonial – Allie Whitworth

“Nothing has had such a profound effect on my daily life than the 300hr program at PYA.


If I had to choose a few words to describe my experience during the 300hour PYA training program they would be: inspiring, strengthening, empowering and honestly, life changing. Embarking on a 11 month journey with 10 strangers and 5 incredible teachers gave me such a broad, expansive experience that I will truly never forget.

The quality of teachings, lecture, practice, sharing and lifelong connections provided me with the tools I needed to deepen my practice, spirit and intentions as a student, teacher and human being. Each teacher brought their own personal expertise, including anatomy, meditation, pranayama, regulation of the nervous system, the list goes on and on. Although each teacher had their own approach, their messages coincided so beautifully with each other, which supported my growth throughout the program, off the mat and into my daily life. We took the fundamentals and turned them into life changing conversation, practice and empowering realizations.

This program pushed me to overcome fears, lack of confidence, even relinquishing my expectations of what it means to be a teacher, a student, a human in this complicated world. Without the support of my teachers, mentor and fellow students, I’m not sure I would be who I am at this moment. The connections I made with others and myself will last a lifetime and I couldn’t be more grateful for my experience.

This was truly a priceless experience I will never forget. Thank you PYA <3

Allie is currently developing her own lifestyle, health and wellness business, Bodhi by Allie. She also teaches yoga privately, in group settings and corporate wellness workshops on topics such as pranayama, office yoga, emotional wellness, nutrition and even cooking classes.

Learn more about the 300hr teacher training »

Yoga En Español con Isis Jasen

Yoga En Español con Isis Jasen

Yoga en Español

Todos Los Lunes 6:30-7:30
Por Donación

Compartir la practica del yoga en mi lengua nativa es una satisfacción ya que es ofrecer una alternativa a la comunidad hispana y a las personas interesadas en vivir la experiencia del yoga en español, con ese toque latino para re-conectarnos con nuestro cuerpo, como la expresión mas cercana que tenemos con nuestra madre tierra y así invitarnos a valorar, conocer a profundidad, disfrutar y honrar nuestro presente, nuestra existencia.

Parking Update!

Parking Update!

Attention Yogis! The dirt lot across the street from the studio has officially been blocked off and they will be starting on construction soon.

We have a easy peasy parking hack in store for you:

You can park in the Corazon parking garage for 3 hours for FREE if you purchase something and get your ticket validated from Bee Grocery, Spartan Pizza, or any of the other businesses located in the Corazon building. The entrance to the parking garage is on San Marcos St in between 5th & 6th.

If you park on the north side of the garage (closest to 6th) on the ground floor, there is a stairwell that leads up to 6th St and lands you near the studio.


Tell Us What You Think!

Tell Us What You Think!


We’ve got a survey cooked up for you guys!

Take a few minutes out of your day and let us know what we’re doing right and what we need help with. The more feedback we can get, the better we can be at serving you guys! It will only take a minute or two of your time.

Thank you!

Take the Survey »

Shine Your Light Yoga Presents Summer Yoga Camp

Shine Your Light Yoga Presents Summer Yoga Camp

We are pleased to announce a 4 week long summer yoga camp for children! Brought to you by our pals at Shine Your Light Yoga.

Mindfulness and Meditation
Fostering the Mind-Body Connection
Relaxation and Calming Techniques

Session 1 – June 15-26 / 9AM – 1PM
Session 2 – July 6-17 / 9AM – 1PM

Fee is $174 per week per child
$50 non-refundable deposit
25% discount for siblings/friends/educators/instructors
25% multi-week discount

Reserve your spot by emailing

Visit the Shine Your Light Yoga Facebook Page »

Shine Your Light Yoga

200-HR Teacher Training Coming Soon

200-HR Teacher Training Coming Soon

Practice Yoga Austin Yoga Teacher Training Intensive

Join us for our next Absurdly High Quality 200 Hour Teacher Training Program!

When is it?

  • To be announced…

What’s the cost?

$2950 (includes $300 deposit)
**Save $400 each when you sign up with a buddy!!

Who’s teaching?

Lead Teachers: Rey Cardenas and Kiely Rutledge
Guest Teachers: Shanti Kelley, G’nell Price, Anne Schultz, and Leah Cullis

How do I sign up?

In order to secure your spot, we require a $300 non-refundable deposit! Be sure to sign up quick…. we sell out pretty quick!

$300 Deposit »
$2650 Remainder for 1 Person After Deposit »
$5100 Remainder for 2 People After Deposit »

Interested in Learning More?

Send us a note!

Meet Kiely Rutledge!

Meet Kiely Rutledge!

Introducing Kiely Rutledge! One of your esteemed faculty for our up and coming 200 hour absurdly high quality teacher training!

Kiely Rutledge Practice Yoga Austin

In order to get to know Kiely better, we asked her a few questions about life, yoga, and what she’s excited about with the upcoming training.

How did you find yoga? Or did yoga find you?

I first went to yoga while in College, but my journey really started while pregnant with my son. It was suggested that it would help with my sciatica. From there I practiced Ashtanga, then found Vinyasa and finally alignment yoga. It is my longest and most successful relationship.

Biggest challenge as a student/teacher?

As a student I would say the thing I am working on in my practice right now is presence. The asanas are really a doorway to the inner life and for me to walk through that doorway I have to be present. It really doesn’t matter if I can get my foot to my head if I don’t learn anything about myself while doing it. At some point I will lose the outer shapes but the inner wisdom lasts forever.

As a teacher the thing I work on is remembering what my purpose in teaching is. I want to serve my community and help people learn how to do yoga as a way to connect to the great truth that we are divine light. It is hard to not get caught up in the business part of teaching, but every time we chant that first Om and I see a room full of people who are working so hard and honestly I am reminded. It’s the students that mirror the truth of yoga. I feel so lucky to be witness to it.

Any advice for your fellow yogis out there in this big, vast yoga world?

Follow the path that leads you to source. For everyone it is different but you know it when you find it. It feels like coming home. Study the teachings and stay on the path. Keep coming home to practice.

Your favorite part of the upcoming teacher training?

That’s a hard one! I’m very excited about the depth of the program we are creating. The Practice teachers who are joining us are masters in their craft. There is Ayurveda, the philosophical teachings of Pantanjali’s sutras and the Bhakti of the Bhagavad Gita. Self inquiry using the quadrinity model and The Courage to Teach. I’m very proud to use my teacher Christina Sell’s teacher training manual. The practices are going to be amazing too! I’m so honored to share what I’ve have learned. It really is the sweetest gift to teach this beautiful rich tradition.

Come take class with Kiely!
Tues 10:30 Vin II/II, Fri 7:30 Asana Junkies

Mr. January – Mike Matsumura

Mr. January – Mike Matsumura

Mike Matsumura

How did you find yoga?  Or did yoga find you?

Both! I found yoga strictly out of boredom. Back in 2001, I was living in NYC and I wasn’t getting any exercise, so I asked my longtime friend, Manorama, about yoga. Manorama is a Sanskrit scholar who teaches Sanskrit, Yoga Sutra, and yoga philosophy. I wasn’t sure if yoga was for me so I asked her if I should try it. She suggested I try yoga at Jivamukti in NYC. I did and I also remember my first class very well… In a nutshell, I thought I was going to die. It was the most challenging thing I had ever done. Literally, my mantra became, “I am never coming back, I am never coming back, I am never coming back.” I am not sure why I went back, but I knew after a few days that I was hooked. I was on my mat a lot and very consistently ever since then. Yoga definitely found me also and I continue to keep finding myself little by little through practicing and teaching yoga.

Biggest challenge as a student/teacher?

As a student, I always try to remember that it is not about getting every posture. Listening to my body is one of the toughest things for me and I work on this constantly. As a teacher, managing my time in class can be challenging. I enjoy teaching so much that I always feel that the class goes very quickly and sometimes, I go over the time by 5-10 minutes.

Any advice for your fellow yogis out there in this big, vast yoga world?

Keep practicing and don’t worry about “getting the pose.” It will happen by continuous practice and by enjoying the journey on your mat. Yoga is not a week, month, or year practice. It is a lifetime practice, so take your time. Keep an open mind about practice. Like B.K.S. Iyengar mentioned that the mind is the hardest part of the body to adjust. Try to practice outside the box and enjoy the journey to Self-realization.

Favorite place to eat in Austin?

Since I am a vegetarian, I have limited places that I typically eat at. Some of my favorites are local Austin restaurants… Bouldin Creek Cafe, Kerbey Lane and Mother’s Café.

Catch Mike’s class Monday 12, Tuesday 1:15, or Saturday 12.