It looks like many of you are like me, and have always had a secret desire to learn how to do splits. Handstands are another "trick" I've always wanted to be able to do. I guess seeing acrobats in the circus as a kid sparked my interest. If you have your heart set on getting upside down, here are seven moves to practice. Do them in this sequence, trying to master each step before moving on to the next one, and you'll be walking on your hands in no time!
I have been practicing yoga on my own for years, and I love it all . . . sun salutations, backbends, forward bends, you name it . . . except for the inverted poses. Despite my best efforts, I have never been able to get into them! Can you recommend any exercises to strengthen my upper body so that I will be able to do them, or do you have any other tips to help me take my practice to the next level? Should I have someone help me? Any advice you can offer will be much appreciated!
In my yoga classes, inversions are the poses most people have problems with, so you're not alone. They require balance, strength, and most of all the guts to be upside down. I believe it's possible for all healthy people to do them, so to hear my tips on how to get yourself there, read more
Inversions, in yoga, are the poses where you put your feet above your head. Meant to give your mind a new perspective, they allow blood to flow to your head to improve circulation, which can cure headaches and help relieve depression. Going upside down also increases strength in your upper arms, back, and abdomen. These poses require skill and patience, so be sure to practice these regularly.
Inspired by the Two-Minute Headstand video, Sugar user ditorres was curious about doing a handstand. While standing on your hands in the middle of the room takes an incredible amount of balance, you shouldn't skip handstands altogether – using a wall can help. Handstands not only build upper-body strength, they work your core as well. After sitting at a desk all day, putting the world upside down can be rather uplifting.
Music: "Lahore Connection" by Prem Joshua
I know you're dying to try it so read more
Doing a handstand against a wall is a great way to work on your upper body strength without having to concentrate on your balance. If you have a hard time kicking your feet up into it, though, grab a friend and give this a try.
I know it seems like the person helping is just flinging her partner into a handstand, but there's more to it then that. Want to know the trick? Then read more
Attempting to walk a treadmill while in handstand position may seem like an idiotic idea to you and me, but to a dumbass, it's brilliant. Let's remember that these dudes lack any thought whatsoever in their douchey little heads, so attempting the unthinkable is all they ever do. It's a way of life. So here goes nothing. . .
Not all women feel the same during menstruation. Some feel like sitting on the couch cuddled up with a heating pad and a pint of Ben & Jerry's, and others have tons of energy to go for a run. I'm a firm believer in listening to your body, but I also know that a little exercise can help alleviate cramps (and your rotten mood).
Doing yoga is great when you have your period because the movements are slow and gentle, and leave you feeling completely relaxed. The ongoing debate though is whether or not a menstruating woman should do inversions such as shoulderstand, headstand, forearm stand or handstand.
Some instructors think inversions disrupt the natural flow of your period, that it can cause retrograde menstruation, where blood flows in the opposite direction and can cause endometriosis. However, there is no scientific evidence that inversions can cause this.
Also, you're only upside down for a couple of minutes, so can that short amount of time really affect your flow that dramatically? Only you can answer that question. It all goes back to doing what is right for your body. If inversions give you energy and make your period symptoms more bearable, then I say go for it. On the other hand, if inversions put pressure on your uterus or make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, skip them. This applies whether you have your period or not. Yoga is all about feeling good, so do what feels right to you at that moment, and don't let anyone make those decisions for you.
When I walked into my first few yoga classes, I was intrigued by all the blocks neatly stacked against the wall next to the perfectly rolled-up mats. I soon came to realize that those different sized blocks had many useful purposes.
Blocks are often used by beginners and those with injuries to help them modify certain postures, but they are also used by experienced and flexible yogis as tools to get deeper into poses. I'm a huge fan of blocks, and here's why:
|Blocks can be used when doing standing poses to bring the ground closer to your hands if you can't quite reach yet.|
|Blocks can also be used in restorative poses to support your bones and the weight of your body. Iyengar and Kripalu classes often use blocks to deeply open certain parts of the body, or for relaxation poses.|
Want to see how else you can use yoga blocks? Then read more
Spring weather always reminds of how much I love doing handstands in the grass. You can really dig your fingertips into the earth to get some grip, and if you lose your balance - so what? You have a nice cushion of grass to fall on.
Doing handstand in the middle of space, with no help can be really scary. I'm a firm believer in using the wall to lean on, but you want to do it in such a way that you can work on your balance at the same time. You don't want to rely on the wall completely for support because then you'll never achieve the strength and balance to stay up on your own.
Here's something you can practice against a wall. Want to see? Then read more
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines self-defense, dance, music, and acrobatics.
It's a movement game that is played by 2, surrounded by a group forming a circle, or roda (pronounced ho-da) around them, playing musical instruments and singing to keep the tempo of the game moving along. Many of the songs are sung in a call and response format like Kirtan.
Capoeira does not focus on injuring the opponent, but rather it emphasizes skill. Capoeira becomes an improvisational conversation in which the players maneuver one another into vulnerable positions. Capoeiristas often prefer to show the movement without completing it, enforcing their superiority, so there is often no contact at all.
Only the hands, head, and feet are allowed to touch the floor as the players perform cartwheels, handstands, spinning kicks and acrobatics. The free improvisation of capoeira balances fluid and graceful dance-like moves with speed and cunning.
A Capoeira class increases strength, flexibility, coordination and self-esteem. The classes often include basic skills drills followed by "sparing." When I took a class I couldn't walk normally for a few days - my legs were so worked!!!! You've got to see Capoeira to get a real sense of what it's all about, so check out this video.
Want to see another video of Capoeira? Then read more