Felt brandNEW today! Flex Friday! 💪
Play date yogi style.
So it’s been a couple of months since I’ve decided to start eating cleaner and exercising more often. By cutting down on processed foods and refined sugars I’ve lost a little over 20 pounds. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. ☺️ funeralformyfat
6 Steps to Perfecting a Handstand
1. Push-ups. Start doing as many push-ups as you can today and work your way up from there. Push-ups will help you gain the arm, shoulder, chest and core strength you need to master a handstand. If you cannot do push-ups, start with standing push-ups on a wall or inverted slightly against a counter or table top. Move to push-ups on your knees on the floor and soon enough, you’ll be able to do a true push-up!
2. Standing forward fold. Also know as Uttanasana, the standing forward fold/forward bend will give you the feeling of inverting at least the top half of your body. It will help your body adjust to the sensation of having your head below your heart. Check out the proper form and posture for Uttanasana here.
3. Wall Prep. To mimic the sensation of putting all your weight on your hands, you can stand 2-3 feet from a wall (depending on your height/arm reach), fold into a 90 degree angle at your hips, and place your hands against the wall. Push against the wall, reach your sit bones away from you, and engage your core.
4. Planks and Chaturanga. Much like the push-up practice, these poses will help you build arm, shoulder, core and chest strength and also help you practice balance. Try to go through some Vinyasa flows as well as holding each pose individually for as long as you can. Check out the proper form for plank and Chaturanga.
5. Supported Handstand. Practice doing a handstand against a wall, or with someone to grab your legs and hold you. Practice makes perfect, and you can practice a support handstand as many times as you need to before you do it on your own. Practicing against a wall will help you get used to the feeling of being inverted, and also help build your strength and balance.
6. Full, un-supported handstand! When you feel ready, move away from the wall and try a full, unsupported handstand. Use your core to lift your legs and body upwards and don’t forget to breathe! Breathing will help you stay balanced and focused. Check out the proper form and way to get into a handstand here, and try some different variations when you’re ready!
Good luck, Love and Light to all of you. Namaste.
(photo credit is unknown, was found via google search.)
How To: Mermaid Pose
Mermaid pose is an advanced variation of One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), and it has a lot of benefits for your body. It’s an amazing hip-opener, and it lengthens your back, hip flexors and quads; strengthens the core and pelvic floor; opens the chest and shoulders, and challenges your balance. As this is an advanced pose, be careful! It is meant for those who are comfortable in pigeon pose and should be avoided by those with lower back/spine injuries or very tight hips.
Poses to Prepare for Mermaid:
- Downward Facing Dog
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I)
- Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
- Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
- Lizard Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
- Start in Pigeon Pose with your right leg forwards. Bring your hands to your hips to stabilize your core and find your balance. Ensure that your hips and shoulders are squared forwards.
- Bend your left knee and bring your heel towards your buttocks. Reach back with your left hand and take hold of your foot. Take a few breaths here to open up your quad muscle.
- With your left elbow bent, slide your foot to the inside of your left elbow crease. Keep this position locked as you reach your left fingertips upwards.
- Now reach your right arm straight forwards with your palm facing in. Bend your right elbow and point your elbow up towards the sky. Grab hold of your left hand with your right hand.
- Draw your tailbone down towards the ground and lengthen your sternum up towards the sky. Try to square your shoulders and hips forwards.
- Balance and breathe here for 30 seconds, then release and find Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the other side.
Mermaid Pose can add lightness and grace to your yoga practice. Be sure to modify the pose as needed, and ease up if you feel any pinching or jarring pain in your back or neck. Here are a few simple modifications that will lighten or deepen the pose for you:
- If you can’t yet rest your foot in the crease of your elbow, use a strap. Loop a yoga strap around your back foot and hold onto both ends of the strap with your top hand. Let your bottom hand rest on your front thigh.
- If the full backbend is too intense for you, release your top hand back onto your lowered (front) thigh for support.
- If your front-leg hip does not come all the way to the floor, place a folded blanket under your hip for extra support.
- Keep your front shin as parallel to the front edge of your mat as possible. If your hips are tight, your front shin might angle back toward your opposite-leg hip. With practice, the flexibility in your hips will increase.