Category: Fitness

handstand scorpion

this will be a quick post on yoga.

it’s been quite sometime since i’ve been vrischikasana-ing. It is my favourite pose, yes, but the one pose that i always wanted to master gracefully is the handstand. and subsequently the handstand vrischikasana.

I really really need stronger arms for that because after 1-2 hour of balancing and core poses and then when it’s time to deepen my asanas, my arms would totally die. Not only arms, sometimes wrist as well.

Normally i will save up all my energy and stamina for my one hour of advance ashtanga in class, knowing this is the only class that happens to be really fun and challenging and i’ve been to his adv hatha & ashtanga for about… 2 years+ now. Having an instructor who knows your limit is really good sometimes. Kok knows that no matter how challenging a certain pose is, i will still challenge myself to do it and sometimes it amazes myself that certain advance poses are pretty easy for me.

i know my strengths and my weaknesses in my body.

i am very flexible. i have strong legs and good balance and sometimes, focus.

BUT

i have super weak arms and super weak core abs. (which is the most important for yoga) .

both really do not gel well with yoga actually.

hence i can do all the flexing balancing and bending and flo poses easily.
but when it comes to arm balancing… gah. i can do the poses, but only if i have the energy and enough stamina on my arms and abs. sometimes i have to struggle a little for example like the Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose) where it combines arm balancing and core abs… i will totally fail. if the poses are done at the beginning of the class, no problemo, i have all the energy in the world to go to the pose, but most of the time, this is not how yoga works. The poses are build on sequence and you warm up your body with a lot of crazy poses before finally giving it the ultimatum boost.


This is a yoga handstand. im not sure how other handstands work but in a yoga handstand, you move slowly and surely from bottom up. your legs will stick together and once you are pretty balanced, you lift your head up and look towards the floor and breathe, balancing for as long as you can, minimum, 5 long breaths. the best is if you can do it repetitively, ie ;- downward dog – handstand – downward dog – handstand and repeat at least up to 3-5 times. the most i can go is 2. 🙁 because after the 2nd round, i know my arms is totally dead. T_T any subsequent trial will fail. 🙁


Once you are confident, slowly arch your back more, head lifted up a lil more and you bend your legs towards your head, building a vrischikasana sequence. balance and breathe for as long as you can. and then you come down gracefully, back to handstand and then one leg down to the floor.

my challenge for now, is to overcome my weakness to be able to go to these poses by myself gracefully. strong arms is key, something i have been repetitively talking about in all my yoga posts.
sounds easy but ergh, not really. i hate weights. not because it doesnt work or anything but because i find it a lil boring and less motivating like movements or dance or martial arts. so what im doing is  adding a lot of variety into my workout in order to strengthen my arms.

doesnt seem to work. so does it mean that weights is the only answer here? any ideas from fitness enthusiasts out there? how can i make my arms stronger? perhaps i can start lifting water bottles while working in the office =.=”

hmm

-J

strenghten your core

my usual regular class with kok is not happening today. a replacement teacher came for the advance class and 5 minutes after the class start, almost half of the peeps walked out.

the instructor teach all basic core poses and some of the regulars cant stand the basic class so they all left before we actually go deep into the practice.

altho the replacement instructor dint teach hardcore poses like kok… but his class is interesting nevertheless. his focus is more on opening up the chest and lengthening the spine. we had to get it really right like the pros as in 90degrees angles and such.

 

Felix (the instructor)  kept making me the example to the whole class.. T_______________T

first he commented that all the students did the downward dog wrong. and we were supposed to be like advance students so my guess was some got pissed off and walked away =.=”

then he commented that i did it right but in a way still wrong and ask me to demonstrate my dwdog to the whole class.

apparently my dwdog will be in a perfect form if i open up my chest more =.= and do not arch my back. it was kinda confusing actually but also a learning experience. i couldnt “open” my chest any more and all i could do is bend lower to the dog and in actually.. that wasn’t suppose to be the way. the focus should be on opening up the chest more..

we continue to deepen our asanas by doing a series of crazy backbending, which again, focuses on opening up the chest.

first.. the standing backbend.

it’s crazy………. felix can do a standing backbend thats is so freaky i dont even know how to describe.

it was crazy painful to stay in this position. i was screaming for help =.= then felix commented that it will be a little tough for me coz i have round shoulders. (T__T yea its sad.. hunchback family trait)

then we move on with some basic core poses like the warrior poses but on the advance variation. the trick to a good warrior pose is not to arch your back but to tuck your tailbone in and again, to open up the chest.

finally we came to the highlight of the class.. more backbends.

we did one round of Urdhva Dhanurasana so that felix can check the way how we normally do it. =.=
then he commented that i do it beautifully because i’m flexible and made me demonstrate to the class again. T.T then comes the part where we move on with variations. everyone was so used to doing the wheel pose with the knees wide apart but when we were to place our knees in between a block and keep it there for as long as we can.

it was torturous. T.T

our back hurts like hell after that.. T___T

then the highlight of the class was Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana(Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose) which looks like this

T_____________T

the key to mastering yoga… is to always master the basics and core first. the core meaning your abs.
flexibility comes in second. and frankly speaking.. i suck at core. T___________T i hate abs workout cause it makes me breathless.. T.T

to end the night.. felix told the class that it’s normal that yoga practitioners gets drifted from the basics once they get used to some poses. and being flexible is actually not a good thing. it actually meant that you’re actually ill =.=”

that got me so worried i raised up my hand and ask what sickness.. =.=”

apparently people who are flexible are mostly bones =.=”. And so, all the twisting and flexing comes from the bones and not the core muscles. so eventually one fine day.. we will crash from working our bones too much and that’s not good. the most important thing is to work up our core muscles so that the muscles support our poses and not our bones.

😀 i’ve learnt new things and yes.. it’s enlightening. 🙂

***

my back hurts like hell now. although it’s a crazy class but i enjoy every bit of it. namaste felix.

now all i wish is a good night sleep.

Lokah samastha sukhino bhavanthu.
(May this world be established with a sense of well-being and happiness.)
love. peace. harmony.

-J