March 12, 2012

How Shakti & Shiva Kicking Your Asana Can Help You Rock Your Handstand & Float-Forward!

Photo: from Author

Learning to fly in handstand, or float the feet forward can sometimes take a student years to master.

Yeah, I know, we yogis are supposed to enjoy the journey and not crave the destination and all that jazz, but damn! Can’t we attain one little itty bitty handstand?  One moment of air between Dog and Standing Forward Bend? Is that too much to ask the gods?

Apparently, not.

Shiva and Shakti, who symbolize creativity and source, just decided to come all up in here and represent!  Or…maybe…it’s just me. Either way, prepare to take these two poses, and your body, to the next, turbo-boosted level.

But first, rewind:

When I was still a new yoga teacher, I felt uncomfortable teaching inversions and jump forwards because, well, I couldn’t do them. I don’t like offering advice about arenas of life or yoga I know little about, yet my Vinyasa flow students really wanted to do the handstand and were asking me how to  so I found myself at an impasse.

After years of being utterly frustrated with my seeming inability to progress in the arm strength, shoulder flexibility, balance and courage regions of my inversion practice, and becoming, like, Norman Bates’ Psycho-terrified at the prospect of ever leaving the wall, I decided to scrap the same-old, same-old instructions and use my anatomy knowledge and creative sequencing ideas to try something new.

The following video is one I made to introduce you to my Shakti and Shiva kicks, two moves that will help you chip away at these poses, understand your center of gravity in them, tone your arms and core and ensure that you too have the best shot at rocking these poses…in a mindfully fast-tracked way!

Note: Please warm up your shoulders before attempting these poses with 3-5 Sun Salutations and a shoulder stretch like Tabletop or Bridge. If you have severe shoulder injury, skip the Kicks entirely or do them much lower. Beginners: just kick lower, and stay in your best alignment. You will progress in time. 

Have fun!


 Prepared by Bob W./Editor: Kate Bartolotta


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