This workshop will focus on the fundamentals of hand balancing, beginning with Bakasana (Crow or Crane Pose). We will progress from this pose into other arm balances, focusing on Ashtavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose), Bakasana with straight arms, and Tittibasana (Firefly Pose) in order to explore and build strength in the shoulders, upper arms, and core. These poses will allow us to explore taking the weight of the body into the hands, building strength, balance, and confidence. From there we will move into inverted poses, focusing on PIncha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) and our “peak pose” : handstand. We will spend time discussing proper form, alignment and breath, as well as different ways to enter and exit these poses.
We will begin with a comprehensive sequence of seated and standing poses to stretch and open the body, focusing on the shoulders, back, hips, and hamstrings. We will also do a lot of strengthening work for the core, shoulder girdle, biceps and triceps- these are the primary muscle groups that will be utilized as we work with arm balancing and inversions. Throughout our time together we will focus on two of the major principles of hand balances, arm balances, and inversions: entering and exiting the poses (how to safely come into the posture and how to control your exits) and transitioning from one pose into another, gradually creating a flowing sequence.
A good way to determine if your upper body is strong enough to hold a full arm balance or inversion is to hold Downward Facing Dog for a minimum of three minutes. If you’re not quite there, no worries! This series will build that strength and progressively improve balance and flexibility as well. Arm balances are a fun, playful addition to your yoga practice, and inversions come with a pretty impressive array of benefits, both mental and physical. I look forward to exploring these poses with you!