Over the weekend I took a Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) workshop with the amazingly inspiring Jodi Darlage at TSA. Although I've been working with it for a while now, I have a lot of fear/mental blocks associated with this pose and can't seem to bring myself away from the wall, so I went to her workshop hoping to break through some of these barriers. In Jodi's 2-hr workshop, she spent a lot of time demystifying the pose, breaking it down, and preparing the body for coming into it before taking us into the full pose--first close to the wall, and then further away. I never did come into the pose in the middle of the room, but was able to work with a partner to get closer than I ever have before...and, I was able to knock down a number of my own mental barriers surrounding the pose, a process that contributes to the many reasons why yoga is so challenging, so exhilarating, and so educational all at once.
I'm going to keep working with this pose, and hopefully by the end of 2011 I'll be able to post a picture of myself in the pose, away from the wall :) In the meantime, I'll deal with the aftermath of the workshop by stretching out + applying china gel (if you don't have some, buy it immediately!) to my ridiculously sore shoulders & back.
For your education, I've listed some of the basic information that I've picked up about Forearm Stand below:
Helpful tips for working with this pose:
-work with a block between your hands (place bottom corners of block between L shape of thumb and forefinger to ensure hands don't come together)
-work with a strap around your forearms to keep the elbows in/prevent arms from spreading wide once you get into the pose
-gaze at the sweet spot between your hands (as you can see Laura doing so well in the picture above!)
-squeeze ankles together to activate core and low belly muscles
-work with your front body towards wall (not kicking up towards the wall) and walk your legs up the wall until you come to a pike position. Practice lifting one leg at a time off of the wall to build up strength in the shoulders and to avoid relying on the wall
-don't forget to breathe!!!!
-Strengthens the shoulders, arms, and back
-Stretches the shoulders, neck, chest, and belly
-Improves sense of balance
-Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Cautions with Forearm Stand*:
-Back, shoulder, or neck injury, headache, heart condition, high blood pressure
Anatomical Focus of Forearm Stand*:
-Brain, Pituitary, Arms, Shoulders, Legs, Spine, Lungs (basically the whole body :)
*Information pulled from Yoga Journal. Click here for their VERY helpful step-by-step description of how to get into the pose.
And lastly, check out the pictures of Laura (from our yoga photoshoot) in both Forearm Stand and Scorpion (Vrschikasana). She can ROCK THEM OUT. Look out for paintings of her in this pose coming soon...
Share: What poses cause this mental block for you? Have you overcome some of your own "scary" poses? If so, what helped you push past your comfort zone and embrace the experience?