'Practice, practice; all is coming' said Patabhi Jois, author of the Ashtanga sequence. Never has this been more true that for inversions - where we have to confront a natural, and well - sensible, fear of falling. Learn safe practice and practice 10 mins a day and it really will come. Set a goal for a few months... around Christmas perhaps for an inversion that scares the pants off you, and go for it!
Its really important to cultivate patience, self love and tapas/discipline as you practice. Yoga is seen historically as a 'darshan' - which translates as a philosophical 'way of seeing'. Your practice should help you to see your lift and self in new ways. What is SO potent about inversions is that they literally and figuratively turn your world upside down - and you see the world and yourself from a completely different perspective. If you are a person that has a tendency towards shyness, fear and doubt - this practice is like medicine to bring on more fire, more confidence and self esteem! These are poses that I for one was terrified of, so have faith and go for it!
1. Set your goal: Christmas Party Trick: - Pincha and Headstands?!
2. Commitment: Make sure you spend 5-10 mins a day every single day on any of the following.
3. Face your Fear: You will only learn your inversion - by DOING it. Don't dither on just the isolation exercises or read a ton about theory - calmly and wisely JUST DO IT! Make sure you try headstand 1, 2 or pincha just 5 times every day. Don't over do it, you only have 5 goes so make each attempt count.
4. Mental focus: Eliminate doubt in the mind, and really want the poses to break through inevitable fears that come up. You have a steady method here, so don’t rush the process and you will be safe and strong and you will be able to do it within a couple of months. Set some fun affirmations into your phone to go off and get a friend to take a pic of you upside down so you can SEE yourself!
YOUR 10 STEPS to FLIPPING YOUR WORLD!
Begin by re-aligning posture and practicing engaging core by lifting pubic bone up.
Lie on stomach – take time to do 3-5 mins of cobra/shalabasana to strengthen back, pushing into pubic bone to stabilize lower back and focus on extending spine more than lifting it.
Lie on back: core work – knees to side for obliques, crunches for upper rectus abs (lift chin away from chest), pubic bone lifts for lower rectus and transv abs.
Dolphin press ups x 10, arms in headstand 1 position.
Childs pose (10 breaths visualizing yourself in headstand!)
Headstand 1 – knees to chest, against a wall (3 mins practice – set timer)
Hold high plank for 10 breaths pressing through hands and arms and hugging gluts and thighs
Tripod headstand, pressing through hands – knees to upper arms, hold knees to chest for 3 breaths before lifting legs up together. Rest childs pose.
Line up arms for Pincha: Come from DD forward to bring shoulders over elbows and press into fore-arms – using fingers and knuckles to rotate shoulders back and feel core turn on x 5
Lift right leg up x 5 and ‘press, lean and lift’ into pincha against wall. X 5 on the left also (even if less easy to come up – don’t want to neglect the weaker side completely.