Home Prac­tice

Build core strength and face your fears with this pow­er­ful se­quence to prep for Adho Mukha Vrk­sasana (Hand­stand), from Jolie Manza, founder of Yo­gaKoh.

Yoga Journal - - CONTENTS - By Jolie Manza

WHEN PRAC­TICED REG­U­LARLY, in­ver­sions build up­per-body strength, con­nect you to your core, and of­fer a new per­spec­tive on your prac­tice. The work you put in to find bal­ance on your hands (or head) can help you meet the chal­lenges you face in your day-to-day life. Like any ob­sta­cle, mas­ter­ing in­ver­sions takes quite a bit of fo­cus, courage, and a will­ing­ness to try, but the re­sults can be in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing.

Go­ing up­side down with con­fi­dence re­quires ded­i­ca­tion: build­ing strength, learn­ing to use your core for sta­bil­ity, and keep­ing your legs light and en­er­gized so they can bal­ance above your hips.

The first time I found my bal­ance up­side down, I re­al­ized the un­tapped po­ten­tial of my in­cred­i­ble body. I was hooked. But I also found the jour­ney chal­leng­ing at times. A mo­ment of clar­ity came when I re­al­ized how un­der-uti­lized some of my mus­cles were. We are so ac­cus­tomed to re­ly­ing on the ma­jor mus­cles that help us nav­i­gate our pedes­trian lives (think quadri­ceps and bi­ceps) but when asked to call upon the sub­tle mus­cles in our hands or low belly, we don’t quite know how to en­gage them or how to use them to our ben­e­fit.

Hope­fully this se­quence will help you wake up the parts of your body that you will need to call upon when go­ing up­side down, in turn, stim­u­lat­ing your mind! Be pa­tient but coura­geous as you search for your (ver­ti­cal) po­ten­tial.

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