Coach, Yvette Jain, Talks About Handstands & Health
Founder and creator of the fitness program, HANDSTAND CONFIDENTLY, Yvette Jain began her journey from yoga studios and gyms ten years ago. Since then, she has not stopped believing in the power of physical and mental health evolutions.
A passionate yoga teacher, coach, and mompreneur, Yvette has mastered the art of achieving great things in life through yoga, handstands, and meditation. Her journey has led her to numerous corporate clients, including the NBA. She has also marked her presence in Mantra Magazine, Origins Magazine, and Ashtanga Daily. Thriving on her philosophy, she has empowered countless individuals to experience the transformations and has helped uncover new directions in life. She's also is a keen blog contributor for MindBodyGreen, Red Tricycle, and K-Deer.
Yvette has thoroughly enjoyed her journey by giving back and supporting causes, especially for women, children, and minorities.
We recently caught up with her for our interview series, and here's how it went.
1) Thanks for joining us! Before we know about your coaching, we'd love to get to know you. What inspired you to start your journey as a yoga teacher?
I’ve always loved movement. As a child, I studied martial arts, and throughout high school and into the first year of college, I ran cross country and track. I started practicing yoga nearly 20 years ago, as a way to de-stress from working a corporate job. Since then yoga has been a tool, and a safe space, where I could explore my inner nature, and because of that, I was able to grow and become more of the person I want to be. When I saw how practicing yoga enabled me to move energy throughout my body, how it gave me the space to observe my mind and emotions, and how it allowed me to reflect on myself and the circumstances around me, and even help me make decisions in my daily life from a place of peace and power… well, I knew I just had share it if it could help others, too!
2) What's your aim as a creator of the fitness program, 'HANDSTAND CONFIDENTLY.’?
My mission is to motivate and empower individuals by helping them to believe in their self-worth and abilities, to hone their power, and to bring forth their inner confidence through the practice of handstands and growth mindset.
In action, that would look like helping a beginner handstander -who perhaps has never kicked up to the wall- to believe in herself, and successfully accomplish that …and beyond. For that to happen, we would work together to build a healthy practice, a consistent training schedule, focused exercises, and the courage to keep trying in the face of failure as she tests her physical and mental limits.
3) That's great! What are some interesting and exciting projects you are working on currently? How does it aim to inspire and help people?
Right now, I’m offering 1-1 coaching and LIVE online small group classes. One exciting project I’m working on is offering workshops on specific life skills led by guest experts in the fields of communication, negotiation, personal finance, etc. My goal is to empower individuals to stand confidently in their daily lives beyond handstands - whether they want to show up in a bigger way in their work or with their families. A large part of the proceeds will go charities that support women, children, or minorities.
4) We all start somewhere. How have your habits played a vital role in creating success? Can you share a few pieces of advice that helped you in your journey?
When I first started, I practiced later in the day, but I was usually tired. Now, there were times when the only free time I had to practice was after then kids went to bed, so I did then to get it done. But just practicing earlier in the day, when I had more energy, made a difference in the quality of my practice.
Whatever goal you’re working towards, whether it be handstands, physical fitness, playing a musical instrument, or learning a new language, you have to prioritize it earlier in the day and commit to your goal. Otherwise it’s going to fall a little lower in the totem pole of your things -to-do, and then life will take over and your practice may not happen.
b). Start Small and Commit to Do the Work.
Again when I first started learning handstand, it wasn’t a priority for me in terms of what I had going on in my life, and I had a hard time finding an hour to practice every day.
So I committed to practice for 30 minutes; it was a lot easier to find this block of time in my schedule. As I grew to love it, I extended the time to an hour. And if I happened to have a busy day, I would either do 30 minutes or 45, whatever I can do. But I made sure to get on my hands. When you’re really focused, you can get an efficient practice done in less time. Every practices counts.
Commit to a schedule that works for you, even if you think it’s a short amount of time. You will go further doing 30 minutes a day versus 1.5 hours once a week. Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s better to progress slowly than take on too much, get frustrated, and quit. There are no shortcuts. Doing the work is the shortcut. Just do what you can today, do your best, and be consistent.
c). Mindset is everything.
Like most people, I find handstands to be really challenging. And I used to have a very critical inner voice. I would criticize every handstand, and the more and more I missed attempts, the more frustrated I would get… and it was pretty much a downward spiral. I think I probably gave up earlier than I should have on some practices. I really had to turn my mindset upside down — no pun intended. But once I told myself to stick with the program, detach from the results, and that one day I could do it, there was nothing to stop me. Not the time of day, not how tired I felt, not how many times I missed attempts, not any injuries, not the stress of Covid-19 and homeschooling my kids for a period of time, nothing. And that was one of the most powerful lessons I learned from this practice.
I remember working towards my first pike -jumping into a pike handstand and getting up to the wall. What an agonizingly long process! It took forever. I really had to convince myself that I could do it. I was thinking, My form is correct, I’m getting the momentum I need, I have enough strength…Why can’t I do it?! And it was only when I believed I could, visualized it, committed to it without a doubt — that I did it.
d). Be Kind.
We are all working on different levels and abilities. We can be our worst critic. Comparing yourself to someone else in a journey that is *so unique* to each person will kill your motivation. Just work on you. Acknowledge the other. The lessons you learn may vary greatly from one person to the next. Be kind to yourself and to others.
e). Have fun!
Do your best, and have fun! Make it a game - It’s handstands, not quantum physics. (Although, defying gravity for a sustained period of time, can feel like it is.) Just for fun, sometimes, I will put on music and try to jump I to handstand when a beat drops. Or, I’d try to balance off the wall for a longer air time. Or, I’d match my outfit top and leggings just to keep myself entertained. Take the practice seriously; take yourself lightly.
5) Can you please walk us through your coaching and how it will benefit people who get on board with you?
One of my clients Terri* - a total beginner handstander - showed a real interest and eagerness to learn the skill, but at the onset, she was not committed to the training that was required to see progress. At first, she didn’t practice much on her own, gave a lot of reasons as to why she couldn’t do something, then expected to progress quickly. I listened to her concerns and developed a program that was specifically designed - based on her abilities, previous injuries, personal motivation, and commitment to learning - to help her progress at a rate that she could tangibly see, and that helped her to feel more motivated. I helped her to not only fit handstand practice into her life, but to prioritize it (more), commit to practice 5 days a week, work through injuries with modifications, and best of all, have a lot more fun with it! She told me that within the last couple of months, she’s seen more progress, and that motivates her even more to continue. Bonus - she says that she feels stronger and “the exercises we do in handstands help me in all other movements in my daily activities. I even climbed a tree (picking fruit) the other day, which I could never do before.”
In our first meeting, Sheryl* and I talked about her goals and how she wanted to feel by the end of our sessions. She would send me photos of models in ads -and I thought- why would this perfectly beautiful multidimensional woman want to be like this 2D photo which was likely airbrushed? By the end of our conversation, I could tell she wasn’t as passionate about learning handstands as she was about changing her body, so I developed a program that would incrementally increase her strength and flexibility and threw in some cardio as well. Beyond that, I gave her tips and tools that would help her build healthier habits around eating, sleeping, and boundaries to help her manage overall stress. We trained 1-1 twice a week, and within just 7 months, she lost 30 lbs. Best of all, I helped her to see herself differently, and from there she was able to make the changes on her own. She told me: “I’ve lost at least 30 lbs since I‘ve trained with you. When I’m in the shower, I can hardly believe that my body has changed so much. I used to eat anything and put junk in my mouth; I would eat my kids’ leftovers. And now I make better choices and eat what I actually want. I stand taller when I’m coaching the kids’ baseball games. I’m more confident walking down the street with my kids. You’re right - it’s about the lifestyle, the attitude, the choices you make. Thank you!!!
*name change for anonymity
6) Lastly, what is one thing that you often struggle with in your industry or personal life and how do you plan to change those aspects.
I used to have high expectations for myself and didn’t enjoy the journey a much as I thought I would. With handstands, when I realized that I had to work hard for a long time, seeing minimal progress, I struggled to keep my personal motivation to keep going. When I dropped the expectations for myself and just did the work I needed to do for the day, I saw the progress come. In the process of doing the work, I learned a lot of lessons that apply beyond the handstand practice; I would have never learned those if I looked for shortcuts or quit.
As a society, we are trained to get what we want quickly. So many individuals quit when they realize it takes a long time to get into a handstand. Especially when you are first starting out, just kicking up to the wall can be a challenge. What most people don’t realize is that the journey of Handstands isn’t measured in weeks. Or even months. It’s measured in years. There is so much to learn. So it’s important to have a positive mindset and make good habits to keep yourself motivated. Also, a good coach ;)