I had every intention of posting last night, but I ended up being preoccupied with decorating this new addition to the apartment:
Nevertheless, I am really excited to tell you about the Inversion workshop yesterday at The Yoga Room. It was taught by one of their teachers, Marko, and I think he did a fantastic job. He began with a dharma talk that was all about the importance of process over final product; that, as much as we want to be able to do a handstand right now, the journey is the most important part. Lessons like this are what yoga is all about. What we learn on the mat is completely applicable to our lives off of the mat. Breaking down a handstand into steps and practicing each step slowly and purposefully teaches us the value of hard work and persistence. And when you finally reach your goal, it makes it all that much sweeter since you worked so hard to achieve it.
That is how Marko designed the workshop. We worked on several variations of headstands and handstands over the two-hour class, and he broke down each pose into different steps, giving us the option to stop where we felt comfortable, or move on if we wanted to challenge ourselves. My headstand practice is still on hiatus, which gave me the opportunity to really work on headstand prep, which is basically a downward dog with forearms and head on the ground. If you’ve never done this prep before, it is challenging! It really works your shoulders and core. I also practiced bringing one leg in to my chest, which really got my ab muscles fired up.
By the time we got to handstand practice, my core was nice and warm, which, as I’ve mentioned previously, is really important for inversions. We did several preps for handstand including L-shape against the wall and extending one leg up, which really helped me to get a feel for handstand away from the wall. There was also more core work that included hopping over a block with our hands on the floor, arms straight. This probably sounds easy, but it’s definitely work. When he finally cued us to go up into handstand against the wall, it felt like my legs floated up, as opposed to my usual method of flinging my legs as hard as I can until I reach the wall. I even managed to come off the wall for a few seconds. If The Yoga Room offers this workshop again, I highly recommend it!
Today I found a Yoga Today class that was dedicated to handstands and forearm stands. It was great to get in more practice, although I have to say my arms were tired from yesterday! So I did what I could and either took a childs pose or just watched the yogis on the screen when I needed a break. Marko made sure to let us know that consistent practice is the way to achieve our goal and I would have to agree; this 30-day challenge has definitely helped me to become more comfortable with turning upside down!