Forearm Balance/Pincha Mayurasana

I will load each week’s content below in the tabs. The most current week will show first in blue, but you’ll be able to click the boxes in grey beside the blue tab to view previous content.

One inspiring cue:

Cue for one-leg Dolphin (see pic below): Begin in Dolphin Pose with your legs facing the wall. Leave enough room so that when you lift your leg for one-leg Dolphin, your foot doesn’t hit the wall. Lift your right leg up and press strongly through your toes as you imagine them reaching for the wall behind you. Now, rotate your outer right thigh down so your hips stay level. Combine this with week one’s cue, and you’ll feel more length and control in the pose.

Why?
If you’ve ever kicked up into Pincha Mayurasana, you know that, at first, balance is not easy. Keeping your hips level in one-leg Dolphin by rolling the outer thigh of the lifted leg down, makes it less likely that you will over-rotate at that hip, which can cause you to lose your balance when you kick up.

Would you like a full hour practice that will prep you in both strength and flexibility for Pincha Mayurasana? If you missed the video I made for you last week, click here to go to my Favorite Finds page and a 60-minute yoga practice that preps you for the forearm balance! You can also go directly to my website and click on “Free Yoga Classes.”  Here is what an instructor who took the class said:
“Just finished your online Pincha class. I have not tried it since my surgery. I felt strong enough and open enough to try it at the end of class. I stuck it! Thank you Pam!”

One inspiring tip:

Practice Dolphin Pose with your heels on the wall. Lift your right leg and press the ball of your right foot into the wall with your toes pointing down. Then, with your core engaged and the action of pressing through your forearms, begin to float your left foot off the ground. You may even be able to lift your left leg until your toes point to the sky, getting a real sense of what it feels like to come into full Pincha Mayurasana. Check out the pics below to help guide you through this incredible tip!



One inspiring song:

“Waking Up My Soul” by DJ Taz Rashid

One inspiring quote:

“Calm is the magic elixir that brings you to a place of balance, harmony, and peace.”

 

One Inspiring cue:

I reached out to physical therapist and yogi, Lara Heimann, and asked her to give me one of her favorite cues. Ready?

Come into Pincha Mayurasana and lean into the scapulae/shoulder blades. That’s it! So simple and yet so effective at stabilizing the pose!!

Why?
Lara suggested that this cue helps to “consolidate” the pose. So, I got down into Dolphin pose and leaned into my scapulae. Sure enough, the pose felt stronger because I had the sense that I was being supported by my upper back! She also recommended keeping the head down vs. gazing forward.

One inspiring tip:
Use a yoga wheel to help you lean into your scapulae. When using the wheel, you will have minimal weight on your head, unlike Pincha Mayurasana where your head is floating. Scroll down for my video on how to do this.

Note: if you don’t have a yoga wheel, you can place a bolster up against the wall, come into Dolphin pose, and lean your shoulder blades into the bolster. The idea is to get used to the feeling of shifting your weight far enough over your shoulders so you can then lift your feet.

BONUS!

Click here for this week’s special Favorite Find!

I’m sharing an hour flow class that I made for you to use as part of your home practice. In keeping with the monthly theme, you’ll be working towards one leg Dolphin and/or Pincha Mayurasana. Enjoy!

One inspiring song:

“Astral Plane” by Valerie June

One inspiring quote:

WHAT IF…
There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19.
And what if…
If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…
That all is interconnected.
What if…
the virus is here to help us?
To reset.
To remember.
What is truly important.
Reconnecting with friends and community.
Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.
Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.
Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).
Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.
As invitation to turn inwards – a deep meditation – rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.
To reconnect with self – what is really important to me?
A reset economically.
The working poor. The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the U.S. The need for paid sick leave.
How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?
To face our mortality – check back into “living” life rather than simply working, working, working.
To reconnect with our elders, who are so susceptible to this virus.
And washing our hands – how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember? But, yes, we did.
The presence of Grace for all.
There is a shift underway in our society – what if it is one that is favorable for us?
What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?
In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful/more kind to our environment.
An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.
This was a time for a change, we all knew that.
And, change has arrived.
What if…
– Gurpreet Gill

One inspiring cue:

Once you arrive in Pincha Mayurasana, push up and away from the earth with your arms. Then, imagine a basketball touching your forearms and inner elbows and squeeze inwards to create the feeling of tightening your grip on the basketball (you can also do this in any Dolphin variation).

Why?
The action of gently squeezing/hugging your arms around the basketball will engage your pecs and lattisimus dorsi, which are both big muscles that cross the shoulder joint. When you take advantage of consciously using these bigger muscles, you “power up” the pose and create more shoulder girdle strength and stability.

You can also use a block to help activate the pecs and lats in both Pincha Mayurasana and Dolphin. Click below for a one-minute video on how to do this, which is this week’s Favorite Find.

One inspiring tip:
As a way to prep for Pincha Mayurasana, use a strap in Dancer’s Pose/Natarajasana to help create resistance around the shoulder joint.

Here’s how:

1) Make a small loop at the end of your yoga strap.
2) Place the loop around your right foot.
3) Holding onto the strap with one hand to begin, lift that arm overhead and then grasp the strap with the other hand as well. Your arms will look like they are in the same position as Pincha Mayurasana.
4) Use the weight of your foot in the strap to add resistance for your shoulders as you press your hands up towards the ceiling. Your arms will slightly straighten as your heel comes closer to your glute.
5) Repeat pressing up on the strap and then slightly releasing.

I posted a video on my Instragram account (@pamudellyoga) yesterday of how to execute the prep pose described above. Check it out here!

One inspiring song:

“Rise” by Blinky Bill, Sage

One inspiring quote:

“May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all of days of your life.”
– Apache Blessing

One inspiring cue:

Once you arrive in Pincha Mayurasana, lift your legs up and out of your low back as your hip points draw towards each other. You can use this cue for full Pincha Mayurasana (see image above) or one-leg dolphin (below).

Why?

Part of being able to practice a stable forearm balance is being able to create a “lift” away from the earth. By lifting your leg(s) up and away from your pelvis, you begin the action of taking out any overextension in your low back so you can better balance your legs over your hips and shoulders. If your legs go too far forward or back, balance is lost. 

You’ll likely have a small curve in your lumbar spine as you kick up into the pose, but the lift of the leg(s) away from your pelvis will help give you more control. Additionally, the cue to “draw your hip points towards each other” is especially helpful for both balance and core stability.

One inspiring tip:

Practice this cue in one leg dolphin pose first. As you apply the cue, also root down through the length of your entire forearm. This pose is all about equally balancing out the lift of your legs with the rooting of your forearms.

One inspiring song:

Moonshine by SaQi

One inspiring quote:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

– Nelson Mandela

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