Guinness Record attempt in Dubai on International Yoga Day

Dubai-based Ivan Stanley set a challenge for himself and stood on his head for 61 minutes to create a possible new Guinness World Record. (Supplied)

Wrap your head around this; but then again, such an attempt may not be suitable for the faint-hearted or those flailing in their fitness routines.

Dubai-based Ivan Stanley set a challenge for himself and stood on his head for 61 minutes to create a possible new Guinness World Record.

Trembling yet jubilant after completing this feat, Stanley spoke to Emirates 24|7 minutes after his feet touched the ground, saying: “It feels nice but a little disorienting. Those last five minutes were impossible, perhaps the longest of my life.”

A ‘shirsasana’ pose, or the headstand, is often called the king of asanas or postures in yoga.

A few minutes of standing upside down, balancing on your head, can send the blood rushing. However, the 41-year-old advertising professional chose this very posture to push his own boundaries in his journey of self-discovery.

He said: “In yoga, there is a concept we learn called ‘swadhyay’ or self-study. It is the moment when you go beyond your comfort zone when you start discovering who you really are; your true strength.

“I believe in pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and thought why not take the International Yoga Day as my stepping stone.”

Asked if he doubted he would be able to push those limits to headstand for 61 minutes, Stanley said he had full faith in himself.

“I have attempted 50 minutes earlier; and last week, I pushed up to 58 minutes,” he said. “That’s when I decided, one hour is good time to start with to set a record.”

Stanley continued: “It is a case of mind over matter. I was chanting the whole time I was maintaining the ‘shirsasana.’ After a while you just zone out.”
“But yes, around the 45-minute mark, I had an idea I was reaching the end, of what was happening around me. So, I just pulled myself together for the final few minutes.”
Record attempt
According to the Guinness World Records database, a headstand attempt has not been registered as a challenge as yet.

Stanley said: “When I contacted the Guinness World Records international office and the Dubai one, there was no such challenge registered with the organisation. We have registered the attempt and will send the video to them. Hopefully, we should know soon enough.”

While no official record exists, Stanley himself admitted there was an Internet video he saw one year ago of someone holding a headstand for 34 minutes.

Similarly, reports have emerged of certified yoga instructor Yogaraj CP who reportedly stayed in headstand posture for two hours and 40 minutes in September 2004.

However, the Hong Kong-based man holds no record of this, but does appear in the Guinness World Records for conducting the longest yoga marathon earlier this year, which lasted 40 hours and 15 minutes.

His attempt was broadcast live on YouTube, and over 1,200 yoga positions were conducted.

Ask Stanley what’s next for him and he laughed to say the only thing he wants to do now is “lie down for a while.”

He added: “I do want to thank my teachers who have been so patient with me. Yoga has completely changed my life.”


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