8 Tips for Mastering Arm Balances and Inversions
By Kevan Gale • September 25th, 2012 • 8955 Views
Arm balances and inversions are a fun part of yoga practice that will help to build strength, improve balance and increase mental focus. But what if you’ve never done an arm balance or have yet to master the inversion? Is there still hope?
Growing up, I was “that kid” who flailed about in his front yard, trying again and again to turn upside down into a handstand. I was flat out defeated by handstands and told myself that I would just leave them for gymnasts and skater dudes. So when I began practicing yoga later in life, I resigned myself to the fact that arm balances and handstands were off limits for me. That all changed when I learned to have fun with my practice, and most importantly, learned to fall.
Learning to fall can help us overcome our fears of turning upside down, while keeping us safe. For instance, if you’re entering a headstand without the assistance of a wall, and feel an unsteady waver, tuck your head and roll it out in a somersault. Or if you’re turning upside down into a handstand and feel the telltale signs of a fall, walk your hands out in front of you to avoid flipping.
Once you’ve mastered learning to fall, here are 8 other tips that may help you with arm balances and inversions:
1. Open – Opening key areas of your body with your yoga practice will make balancing easier. Target areas such as hamstrings, wrists and shoulder girdle.
2. Visualize - Studies have shown the power that mind training can have on the brain’s ability to rewire itself, and mere thought can alter the function of our gray matter. In yoga, this means that by visualizing or mentally rehearsing an inversion or arm balance, we can yield powerful results in our physical practice.
3. Be Present – Is your mind wandering to your to-do list? Are you worried about what you might look like in class? If your mind starts to wander to other places, reel yourself back in to the present moment and start your balance over.
4. Move slowly, move mindfully – The brain’s ability to sense relative positions and movements of different body parts is improved with slow, mindful actions. So, take it slow and enjoy the journey of coming into each yoga pose.
5. Breathe – When you’re in a pool, exhaling will make you sink...
Yoga, Focus, Balance, inversions, handstand, safety, fun, arm balances, yoga practice, breathe, kevan gale, kevan, 8 Tips for Mastering Arm Balances and Inversions, learning to fall, overcome fears, visualize