This week’s challenge focuses on inversion and arm balances, which is something that has always been a work in progress for me. Personally, my inversions progress is constantly hampered by my fear of falling over, which is why my inversions attempts have always been limited to the wall. But this time I am going to make sure that I start moving away from the wall and doing my inversions in the middle of the room. I have been so inspired by all the other yogis this week that I really want to start pushing past my comfort zone with regards to my inversions.
Can’t believe we are almost halfway through the challenge actually! April is flying by quick but not that I am complaining though! If you are new and if you want to join us for our April yoga challenge, check this post out! It’s never too late to join <:
Day 7: Side crow (Parsva Bakasana) with option for Fallen Angel
If you are feel more stable in your crow pose, the next arm balance that you can attempt is side crow! Side crow is a gateway to many arm balances, such as fallen angel and koundinyasana, and it really challenges your arm strength, core strength, and balance.
Roxan explains the pose of the day really well here. So check it out if it is confusing for you. If you prefer a video, check out this video by Sarah Beth Yoga, I used it to get into my first fallen angel!
Day 8: Perched pigeon / Flying pigeon
Similarly, this video by Sarah Beth Yoga helped me tremendously too. Similar to crow pose, side crow pose, fallen angel, and almost any other arm balance, the key lies in your triceps. It needs to be 90 degrees so that your knees or thighs can rest on your triceps and use them as a leverage. You also need to be able to tilt your weight forward so that you can balance more easily.
I opted for headstand instead because pinchamauyurasana is not in my practice yet. My tripod headstand has improved since the last time – it’s a lot more stable! Now the next step is to move away from the wall, sticking to the wall is not helping with my headstand progress! Be very aware of alignment in this pose, as you are not supposed to feel a strain in your neck and shoulders.
I opted for handstand prep because handstands are not in my practice yet. But this is a great pose to get used to the sensation of being inverted, and learn to shift your weight backwards (you’ll feel like you’re falling over) so that your hips are stacked on top on your shoulders <: You can either kick up into a handstand from there if you feel strong, or you can just alternate your legs on the wall and this will definitely work your arms, shoulders, and core! <:
I really like how this felt because I was playing around with shifting my weight around in my headstand. Opted for a headstand variation because my headstands are definitely a lot more stable than my handstand! But yes, it is important to start moving away from the wall. Many yogis have told me that they only saw actual progress in their inversions when they started doing it in the middle of the room. Yes you may fall out of a pose, and that’s how you learn <:
This is an arm balance that requires a lot of hip flexibility. I have written a fairly detailed yoga guide on how to get to your first eight angle pose here, so check it out if you haven’t. Most importantly, you will need to have those chaturanga arms, a basic for almost all sorts of arm balances because that gives you enough leverage to place your weight on your arms. If this is not accessible to you yet, you can always work on opening up your hips first!
Apologies for a last post this week! I actually started on this post on Monday, but only managed to publish it today. I want to blame work but that’s an excuse right? Haha! Anyway, this week’s yoga challenge is on backbends, and it’s definitely something that I have to work on because I’ve always had a pretty stiff back. It’s a humbling week for me and definitely reminds me that I have so much more to learn in yoga!
And if you’re new, check out last week’s roundup here.
Let me know how this month’s yoga challenge is going for you! <: Have a beautiful week ahead everyone!