Tips for yoga arm balances & inversions
If the mention of arm balances and inversions makes your heart beat faster and your palms sweat, and not in a good way, then here is a good tip to get you started. Otherwise, come and join us at our masterclass for arm balances and inversions, for a playful exploration of these somewhat challenging poses and learn how to move from a place of fear to a place of fun!
The most important thing to remember with any arm balance or inversion is to move into it slowly. A common mistake I see all the time is people powering themselves forward into these poses without taking the time to align hands, elbows, shoulders, pelvis and move from the core. When the foundation of the pose is carefully considered and setup, when you move with more integrity and core strength, the feet start to float away from the floor with a lot more grace and a lot less effort.
Since our upper bodies aren’t used to supporting the weight of our lower bodies, it’s important to strengthen your core, upper back, shoulders, arms, and even the muscles in your hands and wrists to feel strong and stable enough to take a stab at a headstand or handstand. Target these muscles on your mat by doing these upper-body toning yoga poses, like Sage and Crow, and using these arm-strengthening tips during your next class.
Move Your Mat
It’s perfectly commendable to tackle inversions in front of a wall and/or with a spotter, so don’t be bashful about pulling your mat up to a wall or asking your instructor for a hand. This will relieve your anxiety about falling, which is often a huge obstacle that prevents people from trying inversions in the first place. Once you have some experience with safely holding yourself upside down without falling, you’ll have the confidence to try it out on your own.
Aside from the wall, the other props in the room can also help you with inversions. Straps placed securely around your upper arms can prevent your elbows from sliding apart in forearm stands. If you suffer from neck pain, placing stacks of blocks under your shoulders to do headstands offers relief. If your wrists hurt while practicing handstands, holding a block under each palm can take pressure off your wrists. Props are also great for trying out more advanced inversions.
Remember, arm balances and inversions help to cultivate a deeper sense of strength, stamina, and self-confidence helping you to feel physically stronger on AND off the mat.
If you would like to deepen your practice and get expert help, come and join me in a lighthearted workshop will include a slow deep vinyasa flow with a focus on developing the flexibility and strength to make these poses more accessible for everyone. We will spend a little time discussing and deconstructing the foundations, dynamics and technicalities of leaving the ground on our hands and the playful mindset needed to maintain balance.
The workshop is open to all levels and anyone interested in learning how to move into these poses. Just come with a playful attitude and leave with a greater understanding of these amazing postures… and a smile on your face!
The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.