Since the major theme of this month has been attending handbalance retreats, I’ve decided to capture some insights and thoughts about each one to share my experiences. Most of the time these retreats cost quite some money and it has helped me for sure to hear somebody elses opinion before commiting my time and ressources.
The first retreat I attended was the launch retreat for a new online program called the Handstand Factory by Mikael Kristiansen and Emmet Louis. I was very happy to be part of this, because I already knew that only good things could come from Mikael Kristiansen and I had only heard positiv things about Emmet Louis, but hadn’t had the chance to work with him yet. Plus, I was really curious about the program since I exactly fit their target group: people with a comfortable two arm handstand who are on their way to learn the straddle one arm handstand.
The online program and the retreat were kind of tied together. As we got invited, we got access to the online program and got the chance to test it.
My opinion on the program itself
it’s the first one I know of that teaches you how to make your own program and incorporates explanations about why it makes sense to incorporate certain exercises. So the thing I like the most about this one is that it teaches you fundamentals of the process of learning a one arm handstand that you can use to gain a broader understanding rather than blindly following a one-size-fits-all program. In my opinion this is especially beneficial if you are a coach yourself. It certainly helps you to understand the skill in a way that it supports your ability to teach different individuals.
the retreat exceeded all of my expectations. Every aspect (except for the wifi) was just perfect. The people being a bunch of likeminded silly handbalancing weirdos, the venue with the outstanding food, pool and sauna, the service (Til, Deniz and their team were just the best hosts!!), the excursions to the beach and old roman ruins, the hall we held our practices at and most of all our teachers Mikael and Emmet. The venue used to be a big family house, so we were all in there together and eventually it did feel like a big family. I loved it!
A bit about the teachers
Mikael I would describe as open minded creative artist who has a great passion for understanding and explaining handbalance to anybody who is interested. His strength in my opinion lies in being able to teach adults who oftentimes benefit from a cognitive understanding of the skill. His main focus when teaching is on the technique of the skill. His goal as a teacher it seems is to help you emancipate yourself for an independent understanding of your body, what you want to achieve and how to get there. He’s very generous with his knowledge and will take the time to give you everything he has. You just need to make sure he has enough coffee inside of him ;). If you want to know more about Mikael, watch my interview with him. It was one of my very first ones :).
My experience with Emmet was very new and exciting. People call him the splits wizard and he has a beard that makes him look like a guru, so you can easily get the idea of him being a superior human being who knows everything. I was surprised when I met him and realized that connecting with him as a human being is pretty easy. And that his “magic tricks” probably come from his ability to stay completely open to what is in front of him right at that moment and knowing how to apply the knowledge he has about the human body and physical development depending on the situation. Emmet has a very clear view on physical practice, so if you’re confused about something he will guide your focus back to the essential and effective. If you want to know more about Emmet, here is my interview with him:
The Handstand Factory Retreat will probably be held once per year. For more information about the program check out their website (link below). If you have questions about the next retreat or any other questions, feel free to message them through the contact form on the website!
And here’s the link to the venue TADAH:
Maybe I’ll see you on one of the next retreats :).
The world is your playground so just go ahead and do whatever you love!