The aim of this course is to have fun while getting fit and strong learning some of Yoga and Gymnastics most enjoyable skills. Mastering handstands and backbends has just as much to do with eliminating fear, opening your mind and embracing challenges, as it does benefiting every aspect of your physical body.
To master handstands and backbends, you will need:
This week we will introduce you to how the whole body works to enable handstands and spine extensions (backbends).
We will assess everyone’s general level then spend about 25-30 mins on core skills and drills.
Each class includes active handstand and backbending drills
For handstands your shoulders need to be stable and strong. For the bridge postures, shoulders need to be strong and flexible.
The drills this week have the added benefit of reducing shoulder and neck pain as the area increases in strength and mobility.
How does a session on hamstrings improve handstands? You’ll see, after work on releasing hip; glute and hammy tension, how much more freedom you’ll have to kick into handstand. And for those who can already kickup- the stretchy and strong hammies are one of the key requirements for press handstands.
Fun bridge variations are also possible once your hips and hamstrings are more open
Don’t underestimate how important strong back muscles are to supporting a straight line handstand.
We will really delve into safe bridge poses for those who are new to backbending; and strong bridge variations for those who have joined the course to go deeper.
Anyone here for the tips and skills to work on standing to bridges; handstand to bridges and walkover variations will learn all the tips and techniques in this class.
With all our body parts working, let’s spend an evening upside down. We go back to the basic headstand. Basically anything we want to master on our hands, from basic kickups – to presses to upside down lotus poses; we should master in headstand first.
Forearm balances are the ultimate shoulder strengthener and are the best pose to teach the biomechanics of free balance handstands.
And finally- the handstand. we will focus on correcting your posture if you are newer to handstands; or offering fun and challenging variations if you are more advanced. Areas such as: free balancing; press handstands; walking on hands will be covered here
Most of this session will be strengthening and deepening your backbends. If you’ve had back pain and previous injuries, we will go through a set of back therapy exercises. For those who are here to go deeper, we will work on:
deep bow poses
ustrasana / kapotasana
bridges and standing to bridges.
This class can include handstands at the end
This class starts with active handstand drills focusing on l shapes handstands; scissor kicks; bunny hops; pike handstands…
and then we will look at each student’s alignment; shape & body positioning – the final elements that enable you to either:
kick up in handstand
hold a handstand comfortably
or support yourself freely off the wall.
Putting it altogether.
This session summarises the last 7 weeks. You will be left with the drills and skills to keep practicing and improving.
We will show you how to adjust a partner in handstands and help each other deepen bridge poses.
This class includes a few other gymnastics skills like rolls and cartwheels… who knows you may want to join our intro to gymnastics course next time!