pincha mayurasana

5 More Tips to Forearm Balance/Pincha Mayurasana

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.

  1. Take a belt and make a loop. Make it as wide as your shoulders.

  2. Wiggle the belt up your arms - above your elbows.

  3. Plant your forearms on the floor.  Elbows beneath shoulders.  Hands, palms down, in line with your elbows.

  4. Soften between your shoulder blades, curl your toes under.

  5. Root through the forearms and lift the hips up and back.

  6. Your forehead will most likely rest against the belt.

  7. 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

  1. Starting like we did in tip #2 (click here for a refresher).

  2. From table, place your elbows on the floor beneath your shoulders, palms gently squeezing block.

  3. Root through the forearms, especially the underside of the wrists.

  4. Soften between the shoulder blades.

  5. Walk your knees back about 10 inches.

  6. 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.

  7. If you're breathing steadily and your back feels safe, lower one knee at a time towards the floor.

  8. Stay strong and lifted through your core.

  9. 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.

  1. Stand with feet hips distance wide and parallel.

  2. 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.

  3. Slowly maintaining the bent armed position, rotate the arms (hands gently squeezing block) so the elbows point more to the sky.

  4. Maintain integrity, by keeping the sides of the waistline back (avoid popping the rib cage forward and overarching the back.)

  5. 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?

  1. After practicing tips 1-8, this will be a little friendlier. It's always nice to have a friend nearby to spot too!

  2. By a wall, come down to baby dolphin with the block between the palms. The ball of your foot touches the baseboard.

  3. Root through your forearms, look at the floor between your forearms, and soften between your shoulder blades.

  4. 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.

  5. Again root through your forearms, upper arms resist as you press the center of your chest towards the wall.

  6. Press the tops of thighs up towards the ceiling to create a lift and lightness in the upper body.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.  

  1. 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.

  2. Palms gently squeeze block as you lower the crown of your head towards the floor (it may touch).  Soften between the shoulder blades.  

  3. Root through the forearms, curl the toes under, and lift your hips.

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.

  6. Breathe!

  7. 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 InstagramFacebook, 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,

 

 

 

5 Tips to Forearm Balance/Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)

5 Tips to Forearm Balance

 

 

"Being colorful", boy that phrase can pack a wallop!  It’s not always meant as a compliment.  Yet, when I think about some of the colorful characters I’ve encountered in my life - they are the ones that seem to be most alive.  They are the people with the sparkle in their eye.  Mischief in their grins.  And adventures in their back pockets.  You know you’ll be living when you are around them.

So why is it that we avoid being colorful ourselves?  Or maybe it’s just me :)   I love colorful characters and am always drawn towards them.  They are like the peacock waving those brilliant feathers that seem to hypnotize you and draw you into their orbit.  They have developed a comfort being in their own skin - bien dans sa peau.

They know that they will not please everyone and at times might even offend by sharing their true colors and thoughts.  But the colorful characters I'm drawn to are the ones who act from the heart. The words they share come only if they are necessary and the timing is right.  They cut right to the heart of the matter - no wasting of time.  They act from the place of LOVE.

These are the wise ones who know how to step in and offer healing words and salves.  Why?  Because they know their true hearts and they can see that place of love and goodness in others.  They are the helpers in the crisis and chaos.  There is no hesitation to jump in and offer service.  Remember dear ones,  it isn’t all bravado.  There are big feelings these colorful characters must work through too.  Thing is, these bright beautiful souls are the willing ones.  Willing to show up and do the work.  They know they will fall at some point.  Then with a smile, they pick themselves back up and start again.  

I invite you.  Join me in this playful journey of learning and practicing the feathered peacock pose.  Let’s find our colorful selves my possums!  :)  (Bonus points if you know the colorful character that term of endearment comes from!)  

 

Tip #1 - Find Out What it Takes

The path to Forearm Balance (Pincha Mayurasana) is one of patience and tenacity.  We have to know that we're going to fall down on this path.  It's part of learning.  The question is, can we fall with Grace?  And with what heart feeling will we rise back up and try again?  Fall down 7, get up 8 with a smile :).  

We start at the beginning with baby dolphin pose.

  1. Using a yoga block or full tissue box is a wonderful addition.

  2. Start on your knees and lower your forearms to the floor. Elbows beneath shoulders. Hands shoulder distance wide.

  3. Place a yoga block between the hands. Thumbs up, palms gently squeeze the block, outer edge of hand roots into the floor (especially the underside of the wrists).

  4. Looking between your forearms, soften between your shoulder blades.

  5. Move your hips back a few inches and lower your head, so your ears are inline with your arms.

  6. Take a few deep breaths.


Tip #2 - Anything precious is worth the effort and the wait.

Patience and perseverance.  

This pose continues to be a challenge for me. Oddly enough I did experience a breakthrough when I was 7 months pregnant.  Big bellied, center of gravity completely shifted. I was waiting for my precious little one to arrive.  Journeys need time.  Be patient with yourself.

  1. Starting from where we ended in Tip #1.

  2. On your knees (that are hips distance wide), place your forearms on the floor (elbows beneath shoulders, palms gently squeezing a yoga block).

  3. Soften between the shoulder blades.

  4. Look between your forearms.

  5. Maintain the upper body's actions, curl the toes under, and lift your hips up and back.

  6. Root through the forearms, lengthen from the base of your heart all the way up to your sit bones.

  7. Anchor the outer hip creases back.

  8. Relax your head and neck - ears in line with upper arms.

  9. Breathe. Turn the corners of your mouth up 😉


Tip #3 - What's Wrong with Being Confident?

Pincha Mayurasana is also known as the feathered peacock pose.  And peacocks are known for strutting their stuff!  This pose requires that you tap into your confidence and self-esteem and share your beauty.  This can be unnerving for many of us to be so bold and bright.  Without the confidence we'll be too timid to try.  With too much confidence we will lack the strength to go the distance and find balance.

So with a playful heart we try to find the path of the middle.

  1. Take a belt and make a loop that is about as wide as your shoulders (or a little wider for tight shoulders) when it is folded in half.

  2. Slide one arm into the loop.

  3. With your arms behind you, slide the other arm into the loop and wiggle it up above your elbows.  

  4. Stand tall - lengthen from hips to underarms.

  5. With elbows slightly bent, draw the shoulder blades towards each other and down the back.

  6. Maintaining those actions of step 4 and 5 press the upper arms out into the belt.

  7. Keep the sides of your waistline drawing back - tummy engaged. Lengthen the tailbone towards the floor.

  8. If you can maintain all those actions, straighten your arms and lift them a little higher!

Shine bright like a diamond!


 Tip #4 - Soften and Ask For Help

A peacock feather can represent the eye of God and remind us that we are not alone in our journey. Because we have free will, it is up to us to soften, surrender, and ask for help when we need it. Remember you can always call on your angels.

  1. Set up 2 yoga blocks, shoulder distance wide. (No blocks? Try the coffee table.)

  2. Place the back of the upper arms on a block.

  3. Bring palms together as you walk your knees back.

  4. With torso parallel to the floor, gently press the upper arms down into the blocks as you soften between the shoulder blades.

  5. Lengthen from the base of the heart back to the sit bones.

  6. If your breathing is steady, fold your forearms toward your upper back and bring your hands towards the base of your skull.


Tip #5 - Rise from the Chaos

We practice and prepare ourselves for those moments off our yoga mat.  Those moments when our world is thrown into chaos and we still need to figure out how to function. What do we do when our world is turned upside down? Do we have the strength to go on? Which way is up? How do we rise from the ashes? This is where the beautiful feathered peacock pose comes in to help. Use the Dolphin push-ups to gain strength in your arms, upper back, and legs. And figure out which way is up as you are in this unusual upside down position. Discover that strength, hope, and faith that you possess deep down inside.

 

  1. Like Tip #2, start on all fours, place the elbows beneath the shoulders, this time gently interlace the fingers.

  2. Root down through the forearms (especially the under side of the wrists) and lift the hips up and back, allow your neck and head to relax.  Take 3 deep breaths.

  3. Look towards your hands and slowly lower your chin towards your hands.

  4. Lower as far as is breathable and keep the tummy engaged.  If you sag in your back or there is pain, you've gone too low. Only go to the point where you can maintain integrity in the pose.

  5. Root through the forearms and lift the hips back up .

  6. Your spine like a sewing needle goes up and down, while the shoulder blades engage - drawing towards each other and towards the hips.

 

 

Keep playing, keep trying, fall down 7, get up 8 with a smile.   

Stay tuned for our 21 Day Challenge starting April 1 - 29 Challenge (challenges will be posted on InstagramFacebook, and via the 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 love,