Friday, July 2, 2010

Pose of the Week: Handstand

I thought I'd be practicing up a storm this month. I'm stuck in California without a car, TV, or much furniture.. so what else would there be to do? It turns out, there's a lot of free TV on the Internet, and I've gotten really into a few bad, melodramatic, teen shows. That's right. Instead of practicing yoga for two hours a day, I'm spending my free time watching teen soap operas on my 13-inch laptop screen. I'm not ashamed. But I have decided I need a little extra motivation to get my yoga mojo back. A pose that I will work on for at least a few minutes a day, even if it's just during the annoying commercial breaks that interrupt my shows.

In honor of my new favorite TV show, Make It or Break It, about Olympic gymnastics hopefuls (who are, of course, always caught up in love triangles and other silly teenage drama), I'll work on my Handstand for a few days.

It's sometimes fun to just kick right up into Handstand on an impulse, but I've found it's better to do at least a few poses to work up to it (especially when the pose is just a dangling carrot to get you to get up and get moving.) My goal is to start working toward Handstand in the middle of the room someday. Here's my prep plan:

1. Open the hamstrings so I can comfortably get into position to kick up: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

2. Arms and Core: Plank Pose, Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), Bakasana (Crow Pose), and one of my favorites--Wild Thing!

3. Backbends. If I'm practicing moving away from the wall, I want my body to be ready for the inevitable: flipping all the way over and ending up in Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow Pose). So I'll practice a few of those before I kick up, too.

What pose are you working on this week?