5 More Tips to Forearm Balance
Part of the joy to practicing yoga and life is learning. There is always something new to learn. Life never needs to be dull, we simply chart a course, prepare, practice, and play! The 3 p's!
If there is a dream you have in life it is important to take the time to sit with it. Let it stew for a little while, not too long, and then start asking questions. Look for answers. Test that information and see what works for you and what doesn't. Take note and watch how you get closer and closer to manifesting your dream!
In the spirit of always learning and going on adventures, here are 5 more tips to the Forearm Balance pose. Try them on for size and remember, it comes down to showing up. There is no fast path, no shortcut. What fun would that be? Where's your sense of adventure? So I invite you to give it a go!
Tip #6 - Discipline = Freedom
It can be difficult at times to go to our mat and practice. Maybe we create excuses, maybe we have legitimate reasons that keep us away. This is when it becomes beneficial to make an appointment for yourself on the mat. Everyday whether it's a few minutes or an hour, go to your mat.
Many times this creates the structure we need for a strong practice. It fosters discipline and we find freedom. Our bodies are more energized and open, our minds calm and clear.
We will use the belt to create discipline and strength in the arms.
Take a belt and make a loop. Make it as wide as your shoulders.
Wiggle the belt up your arms - above your elbows.
Plant your forearms on the floor. Elbows beneath shoulders. Hands, palms down, in line with your elbows.
Soften between your shoulder blades, curl your toes under.
Root through the forearms and lift the hips up and back.
Your forehead will most likely rest against the belt.
Take a few deep breaths and then rest in child's pose.
Tip #7 - Stay strong, stay bright, and share the love!
It's best to develop a strong inner core and sense of self. We cultivate a relationship with ourselves and become strong in who we are and the gifts we have to share with others. Then it is easier to be welcoming to others and celebrate their gifts. We say yes to life! And as life comes rushing in we practice viveka - discernment. The things that enhance life we continue to welcome in. Those things that diminish our light we say no to.
Forearm Plank with Block
Starting like we did in tip #2 (click here for a refresher).
From table, place your elbows on the floor beneath your shoulders, palms gently squeezing block.
Root through the forearms, especially the underside of the wrists.
Soften between the shoulder blades.
Walk your knees back about 10 inches.
With toes curled under, draw the belly in, move sides of the waistline towards the sky, and carefully lift your knees away from the floor.
If you're breathing steadily and your back feels safe, lower one knee at a time towards the floor.
Stay strong and lifted through your core.
With good form hold just the forearm plank for 5-10 breaths. Or tap the knees to floor 5 times each side.
Tip #8 - Integrity in Action
The goals we have set in our lives can be great motivators. But what happens when you want to achieve a goal so desperately that your are tempted to cut corners? We lose integrity, stability, and trust. This upside down forearm balance requires patience in our practice and realizing that to rush the process robs us of the true treasure - trust and confidence in ourselves.
Stand with feet hips distance wide and parallel.
Using a yoga block (or full tissue box). Stand with arms bent, elbows close to ribs, forearms parallel to the floor. Place the block between your hands.
Slowly maintaining the bent armed position, rotate the arms (hands gently squeezing block) so the elbows point more to the sky.
Maintain integrity, by keeping the sides of the waistline back (avoid popping the rib cage forward and overarching the back.)
If you lose your core and arch the back, don't go so far.
Tip #9 - "What's in the way IS the way." Mary O'Malley
From Mary O'Malley's book, What's In the Way IS the Way"titled above:
"To open to the way things actually are, rather than always trying to make Life be what you think it should be, is the most courageous and healing thing you can do."
Upside down pigeon box will give you an opportunity to face your strengths and weaknesses along with fears and hopes. Which will you follow?
After practicing tips 1-8, this will be a little friendlier. It's always nice to have a friend nearby to spot too!
By a wall, come down to baby dolphin with the block between the palms. The ball of your foot touches the baseboard.
Root through your forearms, look at the floor between your forearms, and soften between your shoulder blades.
Lift your hips up, then slowly reach a leg up the wall. You can start higher than your hips and then walk your feet down to hip height.
Again root through your forearms, upper arms resist as you press the center of your chest towards the wall.
Press the tops of thighs up towards the ceiling to create a lift and lightness in the upper body.
If you feel steady and a little saucy try lifting one leg away from the wall. Keep pressing the forearms down and reach up through your heel to get your core working!
Breathe and smile! This too shall pass.
Tip #10 - Rise and Shine!
The time has finally come to put our practice into play. I have a teacher who says, "Show up and Grow Up!" Now is the time! All the preparation from the previous poses has brought us to this place.
This is one of my favorite variations for getting into forearm balance. You'll notice that the head is down and your gaze point is towards your toes.
Facing the wall, come into baby dolphin (Tip #1 - click here to see it in action). Knees beneath hips, shoulders over elbows, soften between shoulder blades, and palms around block.
Palms gently squeeze block as you lower the crown of your head towards the floor (it may touch). Soften between the shoulder blades.
Root through the forearms, curl the toes under, and lift your hips.
Press the back of your head against the block, look at your toes. Step your favorite leg in and just like the handstand tips (click here for a refresher), using the strong bent leg push off and swing your straight leg to the wall.
Once both feet are on the wall, press down through your forearms, slide your heels up the wall and to the sky. You might find that your head has lifted a few inches above the ground. If this is the case look between your forearms to the floor.
Come down the same way that you came up. Lower one straight leg to the floor and then the other.
Feathered Peacock Pose - Pincha Mayurasana
Here's one of my favorite variations - palms squeezing the block. Traditionally the palms are flat on the floor.
Strike a pose!
Our 21 Day Challenge starts today, April 1! It will run from April 1 - 29. (Challenges will be posted on Instagram, Facebook, and via the 21 day challenge newsletter) where we will use these tips to build core strength, boost our energy, and lift our spirits! I hope you will join me in this special journey, you are sure to see a difference in the way you feel and look at life!
Sign up here for the FREE 21 Day Yoga Challenge!
with light and love,