rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
HANDSTAND. I CAN HAZ.

A few minutes ago, I kicked up into handstand about 20cm away from the wall, and instead of landing my feet on the wall, somehow I stopped at vertical. And stayed there. Only for a second or two, but long enough to be amazed.

Oddly, it seems easier to go straight into it than to kick up into a handstand against the wall and then get off the wall.

There's also something shifting in my understanding of the alignment; practicing the other day, I had a sudden sense of it as standing on my hands, just like standing on my feet in tadasana, rather than as a balance or inversion. If that makes any sense at all, which I'm not sure it does. But that's what it felt like today when I held it.
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
*does the dance of inappropriate yoga glee*

Inspired by [personal profile] willful_zephyr, I got into pincha mayurasana for the first time ever.

I've been exploring inversions for the first time in the last couple of years -- they're among the hardest and scariest poses for me -- so managing a new one for the first time is always a big moment for me.
purpletopaz: (Default)
[personal profile] purpletopaz
Hi fellow yogis,

I come to you all with a question. I have a medal plate in my head replacing a part of my skull from a brain surgery i had years ago. I'm not allowed to put any weight on my head. No headstands, no wheel pose, nothing like that. Nothing where there is any pressure on the crown of my head at all. I am cleared to practice inversions so long as they are forward facing (i.e. downward facing dog), but not backward where i could slip and fall onto my crown (i.e. fish). My instructors aren't so great yet at remembering to give me an alternate pose that acomplishes the same opening or release as some of the poses I can't do.

So, I come to you all for suggestions. For example, much of the time I do bridge instead of wheel, but that is starting to get boring as I'm also using it for fish. I'm clueless what to use in place of headstands. So any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Right now I'm going either into downward dog or child's pose which are both far from my ideal. I know I'm forgetting other poses I can't do. So, if specifics come to mind, please volunteer them. I haven't been doing yoga all that long - about a year. So my pose name retrieval is still rusty.
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Since I recently achieved one of my dreams and learned how to kick up into a handstand against the wall, I wanted to share some of the excellent resources that helped get me there (and some I've found since then; if you've got resources to suggest, please please rec them in the comments).

Handstand is thrilling and wonderful -- wait, no, actually, for a lot of us it's terrifying and dispiriting and something we think we will never, ever be able to do. Dayna Macy says:

Trying to kick into Handstand leads me straight into the heart of fear and shame and negative body image, which I've hung on to since childhood. When I was young, I was amazed when other kids flipped up onto their hands. I watched the crazed joy on their faces as their bodies sliced through the air with abandon. I was never that kid—I never felt that kind of unfettered freedom and trust.

Which makes it amazingly powerful and liberating when you do it. Not to mention fun.

Cut for length )
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
A few days ago, I kicked up into handstand against a wall on my own for the first time and I have completely inappropriate levels of glee about this.

Credit for this goes to my Iyengar teacher, who introduced the idea of leaning a bolster* against the wall** in front of your head. That made a huge amount of difference to me, and stopped me from feeling that I'm about to concuss myself if I fall.

I can also vouch for the truth of what I'd read (but not believed) before -- that handstand against the wall actually takes less strength to hold than half-handstand (the one where you're in a L-shape with your feet on the wall).

It's the getting up there that's the tricky bit.

{*I don't have a yoga bolster at home, so am improvising with a sofa cushion.}
{**I don't have a bare wall at home, so am improvising with a securely locked door.}

(ETA: Mods, any chance we could have an "inversions" tag?)
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
As Downward Facing Dog is the first stage of handstand ...

... so Dolphin is the first stage of headstand.

Yes? No? Does this make sense to anyone else?
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I did headstand, I did headstand!

Okay, context is that I've always been terrified of going upside-down, and also anything that might put pressure on my neck, so I've never been brave enough to have a real try at headstand, and today I went to an excellent Iyengar class and did headstand and it felt weightless and easy and awesome.

(We'd been working a lot on broadening across the back and the teacher made some comments about the movement of the lats which somehow made things click, I think.)

So this was really pushing a limit for me, and now I am full of \o/, and I needed to tell the world (or at least the comm) *g*.

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