Yoga Inspiration ~ Reach Your Heart Forward

Yoga Teacher Marysia Weiss in Handstand to Planche’!

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk”

~ Dalia Lama

“Reach your heart forward!” This is the mantra for getting into Planche’ from Handstand.

In yoga, as in life you will not get much out of something if you don’t put your whole heart into it. You can’t just dip a nervous toe into the ocean of yoga and expect enlightenment, peace and joy to wash over like a tsunami of zen.

Rather, these things are hard won victories paid for by many sweat-soaked hours in Warrior 2 and various other means of yogic torture. (oh did I say torture? I meant bliss…of course..)

Likewise putting your heart out there usually means risking it being hurt or worse metaphorically  speaking when it comes to matters of the heart.

Of all the difficult things you will learn in life and in yoga one of the hardest is letting your heart lead the way, risking it, or being vulnerable. The great conundrum, is how can I give it all, yet still stand in my strength?

This is the work of Handstand to Planche’,…talk about putting your heart into something, and “out there ” while maintaing your strength. It is a wonderful thing when yoga and life mirror each other. Hope this inspires you lovers and yogis to do the same.

Put your whole heart into whatever t is you are seeking. Planche’ your heart out past what feels safe. If you are waiting for the right moment, stop waiting, that perfect moment never arrives.You have to go for it!  All the while maintain your core values, your dignity and your strength.

“You’ve been walking the oceans edge holding up your robes to keep them dry. You must dive deeper under, a thousand times deeper!”

~ Rumi

Yoga Inspiration: Kristin Olson Presses to Handstand!

Here is some more handstand press up yoga inspiration!

Ironically, me and my yoga teacher friend Kristin Olson (check her out over at the K.O. Yoga blog and read her post on the Top 10 Reasons that Handstands are Awesome!) both got our press to handstand the very same night at my friends Brock Cahill’s class over at Yogis Anonymous. I have always been told that good things happen in three’s, so I guess that means you are next!

Unleashing the Magic: What Handstand Will Teach You

brian la river handstanding aloneYoga is not achieved by mere reading of the scriptures.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika I.65

Fresh back from Wanderlust Festival I am feeling inspired by the many yogis I met over my three days I spent “yoga-ing” it up on top of the mountain. As Brock and Krista Cahill’s assistant during my time there I had the pleasure of helping a lot of these fine yogis levitate 9,000 ft in the air in what for some of them, may have been their very first handstand! What an amazing experience!

What struck me in particular was the focus, effort, patience, and persistence these yogis showed. Nobody comes out of the womb handstanding, so if you want to learn how you must be willing to fall.

I would be willing to argue that the willingness to fall is one of the surest signs that someone will be successful at finding their handstand. I know from my personal experience when I became comfortable with falling was when I began to finally “get it”.

Handstand really brings up those spooky fear of the unknown. Learning it becomes an excercise in believing, and trusting not only in your own abilities but that if you fall (and you will sometimes) that everything is going to be okay.

Unlike poses like Warrior two you can’t see what is coming at you so easily, and you aren’t firmly rooted to the earth in preparation, you must learn to let go and believe that the universe (or the person spotting you) will catch you.

Believing that everything will be okay releases the magic. There is little room for doubt when you are balancing on your hands. If you want to receive what the universe has to offer you must let go and believe.

Floating, Flying and Balancing: A Guide To Yoga Wrist Care and Proper Alignment

Angela Kukhahn and Marysia Weiss in doing handstand at Yogis Anonymous. Photo by Jim Knowles


How to care for your wrists when practicing yoga. Tips on how to modify your yoga practice to prevent wrist injury and what to do if you have already injured your wrists and still want to practice yoga.

These tips are especially helpful to the yoga student who is interested in inverting, arm balancing or practicing flow yoga.

Do you dream of balancing on your hands, suspended between the Heaven and Earth transcending all reason while mocking gravity? Well, I thought so…but first let’s take a moment to talk about what you are balancing on, your hands and wrists!

TIPS AND GUIDELINES FOR WRIST CARE…

1. Take a moment to look at your palm, the are peaks and valley (the center of your palm is a valley for example, so is the area between the index finger thumb, and the center of the wrist) When placed on the floor the weight should mainly rest on the peaks, or fleshy mounds of the hands, and the rest distributed evenly through the extended fingers

2. The Median Nerve passes through the center of the wrist. It is important not to collapse on a nerve; I think that one is self – explanatory. (I mean it just sounds bad!) To avoid doing this grab the floor with your hands like you are palming a basketball. For most people this requires them to lift the forearms further away from the floor.

3. Never practice arm balances, or for that matter any weight bearing exercises on a soft, squishy surface. Sand, carpet, and super cushy mats fall into this category. Anytime the base of your wrist dips below the fingertips it is in hyperextension.

4. Spread your fingers WIDE apart from the thumb to the baby finger. This will insure that your weight is evenly distributed on your hands, protecting your wrists.

5. Here are some options if you are experiencing wrist problems. If you feel a strain in your wrist, try using a yoga wedge or a slant board to lift the base of the wrist and reduce the angle. The wedge has many uses and can be good for  Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana), but I also like using two blocks tipped up against the edge of a wall as well. Also good to try is making fists, using Foam Dumbells, special yoga gloves or alternate Dolphin Pose with Down Dog when your wrists get tired. Of course, Child’s Pose or Cat/Cow are always wonderful options as well.

6. Sometimes soreness in the wrists is due to a lack of conditioning, so take a day off and relax : )

7. Remember to stretch the wrists gently, and perhaps give yourself a mini wrist massage. Yum!

8. Finally, if you have hot, intense, shooting pain you should see a doctor, as much advice as I can pass along it is not a substitute for a qualified medical practitioner.

Happy wrists = joyful arm balancing, inverting, floating and flying!