Warrior with a Difference!

What can I say? Sharon gives her warrior pose a completely new angle with this athletic arm balance. My first thought was for her safety, although I should have known she would be solid as a rock, not just physically but emotionally. My second thought was for the freshly painted walls in the custom-built, new studio. My third thought: “how on earth does she do that?”.

Fortunately Sharon shares her expertise freely and is happy to teach everything from a humble warrior to this advanced, off the wall version. The lettering on her leggings reads “willpower”, but perhaps it should be Sharon power! She is a fantastic and inspirational teacher to practise with, definitely not your run of the mill instructor (excuse the insider’s joke – she is based in The Mill Studio).

As happens with many of the best yoga teachers, Sharon’s style is completely unique; she may be admired and copied but is impossible to emulate. Knowledgeable from everything from Pilates to Yoga, she has been in the fitness industry for more years than she cares to admit and that experience shows when you visit her studios. It’s not just her expert instruction, the underpinning knowledge of anatomy and physiology or the latest fitness research, but the positive vibes and feelings of achievement you’ll leave the studio with, and the sense of connection that will be instantly apparent. You’ll know that you are in safe, capable, caring hands that are ready to support you as you take your journey to the next level.

The next time something or someone is driving you metaphorically up the wall, remember Sharon can teach you how to do it in style! If the advanced version of this posture is beyond you, as it is me, she’ll help you unwind and de-stress with balances that suit your skill level and experience. Whether your goals are fitness orientated or you have a different objective in mind, you can be sure you can enjoy the experience and the journey at The Mill Studio with Sharon. Click here to view our latest timetable and book a class.

As we always advise, please make sure you ask your health care professionals before you take up any new types of exercise.

Peacock Arm Balance

This arm balance looks incredibly impressive, but what is truly amazing is the ability to teach not just the balance itself, but the progressions that make this fantastic achievement possible. Fortunately, Sharon, pictured above, has the skills, qualifications and the expertise to do just that.

The balance is called peacock or Mayurasana and it is thought to symbolise concepts such as love or immortality. You may already be familiar with the peacock gesture (Mayura Mundra) in which you join your thumb to your ring finger.

As you can see from the picture, this posture strengthens the wrists and the forearms. Really good abdominal strength is needed to be able to sustain the pose. It includes an element of counterbalance with the legs held parallel to the ground, helping to stabilise and maintain balance. This pose will certainly challenge your muscles in an unusual way, ensuring that you develop significant core stability and strength.

You will need to focus your eye gaze forwards whilst shifting your weight forward, then experiment, playing around with your balance – perhaps floating one leg into the air at a time whilst you acclimatise before eventually floating both legs into the air, squeezing and engaging your inner thighs as you lift and balance.

The trick, if there is one, is to move your centre of gravity forward, allowing your legs to float almost naturally off the ground. You will feel a little like a human seesaw as you find the perfect equilibrium or balance.

Peacock is a really advanced posture, so it takes time and patience to be able to achieve it. It’s definitely not one you should try if you have any issues with your wrists, elbows or shoulders, but if chaturanga dandasana is one of your favourite postures, peacock might be one to try as your next challenge.

This is where a great yoga teacher comes into their own: they can help you learn all the progressions that build up to this posture and they can use props like bricks and blocks to help you get the feel of the posture safely and in a controlled environment. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be richly rewarded – the posture really frees the mind and the soul and almost feels like you are about to take off and fly – but you’ll need a fantastic, supportive teacher to be able to achieve the posture safely.

Sharon is an expert when it comes to chakras: her chakra meditation is quite the best I have ever heard. Peacock arm balance helps to energise the second chakra, known as Manipura or the naval chakra, which is thought to be the centre of vitality controlling our energy balance.

As we always advise, please make sure you consult your health care professionals before you take up any new types of exercise.

manipura chakra