Feeling highly motivated after experiencing the @dylanwerneryoga Arm Balance Evolution workshop at @indabayoga with @dianakamkina. An opportunity to get educated from one of the best at arm balancing, Dylan's a great teacher and it was a real privilege!
Back to practicing these today. After lots of 'oh so close!' attempts I managed to complete a rep with a longer hold at the end. I surprised myself with how I managed to get past the 'sticky' part of the move.
The difference today:
Before each set of attempts I practiced a breathing technique to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system aswell as practice integrating it into the movement itself.
I've been reading about the nervous system recently and have tried a type of yogic breathing. The yogic breathing involved raising the arms on the inhale and then pulling the arms down powerfully on a strong exhale (both through the nose). Inspired by this I have found it effective for this movement to swap the order of the breath around. I.e. inhale as the arms bend and exhale - through pursed lips on the push.
Swipe to see the 'rehearsal', where I will only do one breath per rep. When it comes to attempting the actual exercise it still takes me a while to stabilize the body and lowen to the floor, (and get back up!) so there are multiple breaths, but just before the big initial push away from the floor I will prepare to do a power exhale through pursed lips to trigger the sympathetic nervous system as well as help with intra abdominal pressure for spinal stability.
Again, it took a few more breaths to actually complete the move but the initial 'power switch on' helps.
The rehersal drill by itself is good for getting the body 'hyped' up for a stretngthy attempt!
Between sets -
I practiced breathing very differently, longer breaths with a 3 count in each direction, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, to help the body recover...so I could try more attempts!
If you are doing a strength exercise it's definitely worth taking a moment to think about how you apply your breathing. Anything to make a big challenge slightly more possible it a good thing!
I wanted to try maintaining balance without looking at the ground for a number of reasons, so many I've put them in a list! -Challenge technique/ability: i.e. is the technique ready for this?
-Challenge memory and concentration (remembering the different essentials to apply e.g. push ground, squeeze legs together etc)
-Explore a new variation to better understand alignment and how the proprioceptive system can find and permit 'stacking' of the body
-Very useful practice for capoeira as you always look at your opponent as much as possible to always be ready, even during inverts!
-Just fun -Pure curiosity
-Test the vestibular system with different information (i.e. I'm looking towards the horizon instead of the floor)
-To get out of my comfort zone -Provide new stimulus to the central nervous system to promote more movement potential
Enough geek? 🤓
It took a few goes but happy to get some balance! Super nice to train outdoors when the weather is good
The experience of hangtime is becoming more frequent for Jaime @cosmickidsyoga and the belief is steadily growing. Another super practice from her today! 😊
Training key areas before inversion is part of the process.
Between sets we also talk about the approach in terms of mindset aswell as the physical technique. Steady mind for steady reps
Proud of Jaime @cosmickidsyoga to get a great handstand today!
She has achieved her hold time target for the training plan, a super effort. Her frequent practicing of the drills is really showing. Great attitude, patient, persistent, reflective, diligent. Totally deserves it!
After studying a lot at home today I was able to squeeze a bit of gym time in. Great to see this movement starting to come together. It's a real test! I decided to keep the range small today to start to learn the technique.
I have @wbrown7 to thank for this challenge ✋
I included a 'lucky toe point' to show some of the little pre-rep/set rituals I try to help remind myself to include concentration on important areas (in this case toe point/ankle tension). Depending on the day I might do a mini pelvic tilt rehersal or shoulder flexion or toe point move to rehearse contracting the relevant area.
It really is quite a bit of focus but it's fun when it all comes together!
A different entry into tuck planche! The straddle press is feeling more solid than ever. It's nice when a technical exercise becomes one you expect to get more often than not get (before fatigue kicks in). You become a bit less precious over the rep and have more space to think on the task in hand. E.g. Lean over enough, remember to shrug, straighten legs as much as (currently) possible etc. Nice challenge @wbrown7 !
Now time for a bath with magnesium salts to help the body recover!
Back practicing these today, first time I've got close to 3 reps of each. The transition from diamond back to straight legs is the trickiest part. Trying to squeeze the glutes harder during this part seems to help stabiltise the transition.
Between attempts I sometimes now close my eyes and breath in and out through the nose three times. A basic technique to settle the mind and highten ones awareness to their own body. I believe it also helps teach patience. Practice, reflect, adjust, progress
When the plan is done and you feel like exploring... I was curious to see if I could jump to a handstand hold. This became a mini side project today. The underpinning of the traditional handstand position remains super relevant: scapula protraction, posterior pelvic tilt, abdominals on. The more I train this move the more I realise it's as much about mental preparation and focus as it is about physical preparation. Swipe to see a 'wall version' of the elbow plank hollow drill, including a more challenging progression where the arms lengthen. I like exploring with the wall to simplify floor drills and further understand them. This may well help people learn the handstand position and required areas of contraction. I've personally progressed many times through simplifying a classic drill.
An enjoyable practice working on handbalance skills and form, with arms now in a narrower position. Much to practice and develope. I'm grateful for the advice from @wbrown7 , a talented dude. There is always more to learn and new challenges to try. I've included a forearm stretch that has helped my forearms recover which I'd recommend to anyone training handstands, swipe to see