It’s a Balancing Act

Not all of us will be able to maintain this handstand. Some of us struggle to balance on the best of days. We often have lots of things on our minds and lots of things we need to be doing or places we have to be. Sometimes this can get in the way of our exercise routines. You can tell what sort of day you have had in your balances: some days you will be as steady as a rock and others you might be unstable and wobbling.

Here are five tips to help you to balance in a handstand pose:

  • Fix your gaze or drishti – here Shaz is staring between her hands, which really helps your ability to maintain balance.
  • Engage your core muscles, then squeeze your legs together and point your toes.
  • Be grounded by spreading your fingers and using them to make fine adjustments to your balance.
  • Shrug, then fully extend your shoulders.
  • Finally and most importantly, remember to breathe into the pose.

There are some superb progressions that will help you build up to, then finally maintain a handstand. The best way to learn those is to go and visit your local yoga studio and find someone to support you.

If you live near Stoke, we suggest booking one of Shaz’s classes so she can help you enjoy your journey to handstand.

 

Swanning It Up!

The Swan Pose is fantastic for people who want to improve the flexibility in their hips and spine. The sanskrit name for this pose is Ek Pada Raja Kapotasana. This is a great example of the different styles of yoga you may meet as you explore the topic. In some styles, it’s called King Pigeon Pose because of the way it pushes the chest out. The emphasis might be slightly different, but once you are in pose it will feel very similar.

As always, there are many variations on this pose if you’d like to make it easier – or want more of a challenge!

To make it easier, adopt a 90:90 position with your legs. If that’s too demanding, use yoga blocks to support you. The best option is to work with a skilled teacher who can help you move though the variations. To challenge yourself more, reach behind for your ankle with one or both hands.

You’ll notice the eye gaze (drishti) is to the sky. Another way to make things less challenging in yoga is to alter your gaze – start by looking forward then shift your gaze as you feel more comfortable and ready to move on.

There’s so much you can do with this pose. To explore it in all its glory, head to your local yoga studio for expert advice and coaching to learn the progressions that are most suitable for your needs.

This pose not suitable for you? That may be the case if you have issues with your knees, hips or ankles – an excellent reason to discuss any health concerns with your yoga teacher. Try Eye of the Needle Pose (Sucirandhrasana) instead… pictures and post to follow!

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme.