Do you think you could make the world a better place one handstand at a time? Meet Marysia Do, a yoga teacher who believes in the magical transformational power of handstands. It's not just a matter of strength and mastery of alignment, Marysia believes through the practice of handstands you can truly transform your body soul and spirit.
Her students go from the superficiality of "I just want to do a fancy yoga pose" to the much deeper spiritual side of the yoga practice of handstands. When you do a handstand your perspective of the world literally turns upside down. You create space in your body for new energy to come in and you see everything in your life differently. She believes through her practice of teaching handstands you realize how strong, beautiful and capable you are.
Marysia’s journey started with a DVD she found in a store near her home in Long Island and she furthered her interest in yoga by going to studios in Los Angeles during her college days. Moving to Singapore for her husband's work, she found her license in Chinese medicine and acupuncture was not recognized. So she literally turned her world upside down. Her focus went from medical practitioner to yoga teacher. But it would be her background in Chinese medicine which tries to find the roots to the medical issues that helped shape her unique approach, practice and teaching techniques for handstands.
Marysia’s approach to teaching handstands is very individualized. It is not method based, which is a fixed system that brings all students via the same exact steps to progress. Using her background in Chinese medicine, she looks at the person as a whole and tries to pinpoint the unique underlying issues for each individual student. She plays to their strengths and gets them doing handstands as fast as possible. In fact her students are all amazed at how quickly she is able to get them to do handstands. It's as if by magic and thus her yoga app is appropriately named Marysia Do Magic.
At the time she started teaching in Singapore the yoga practitioners were focused on the bendy flexible dynamics of yoga, Marysia was one of the first teachers to regularly teach a lot of the more powerful poses to that part of the world . She attributes her small stature and not overly muscular arms and shape to being more accessible and relatable to her students in Asia. Marysia embodies the yoga practice of handstands is quiet soft strength, which she feels is the opposite from upbringing of being loud, in your face East Coast forceful show of power.
Disrupting the tried and true yoga methodology did not come without obstacles. The racism she faced in Asia was no deterrent from her to encourage her students to recognize and embrace their individual power and strength. When a student flew all the way from Kuwait to Singapore for the weekend to have private yoga lessons she did her best to deliver. When the student showed her a picture and said, I want to do that pose,'' she didn't wag her finger in her student's face saying, "No, no, no, you are not ready for that." Instead she chose the positive route and replied, “If you think you are ready for it, then you're ready for it. I will do my best to get you there in the fastest way possible.”
It was incidents like these that led to her unique techniques and "shortcut" ways of getting her students to do the fancy poses and handstands quickly. Teaching handstands has also opened so many doors for her. Marysia has the opportunity to travel the world teaching thousands of people how to do handstands. From Africa to the Middle East and Asia, Marysia Do's students gush over how she provides the direction needed to help something just click in their yoga practice. Even working virtually with her yoga app the detailed teaching makes so many students around the world to feel like she is in the room with them. Marysia Do Magic yoga app allows students to feel strong and free which brings more peace and joy to their lives.
I tried her techniques first hand and they are indeed magical. I am not a yoga practitioner and my boyfriend and I did a private zoom session with her. We were enamoured with how fun it was to turn our bodies upside down. We really never did anything like that before. It made us both feel instantly different. As adults we rarely go outside our comfort zones and do something like attempt a handstand. But it is a profound feeling to turn your body upside down. It is a lot harder than it looks and takes a lot more power, concentration and technique than you think, but surprisingly it is not impossible.
Marysia believes no matter what body shape you have, you are stronger than you think you are and she wants to help prove that to you by teaching you how to do handstands. So when life gets hard, when you are filled with uncertainty or you just don't understand what the purpose to everything around you is, it might be best to just surrender and get upside down in a handstand.