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Yoga

Handstand Clinic at Surya Nanda Yoga Studio Aug 23, 2015

Handstand Clinic at Surya Nanda Yoga Studio

A detailed pose-by-pose articulation of a 2-hour handstand workshop
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines

Subbing for Mechele and Steve
I'd been a regular participant in Mechele and Steve's Sunday Handstand Clinic - it's a great community and this dynamic duo are simply FAB. I got a message from the studio asking me if I can substitute for this Sunday as they can't make it. Hmmmm. Handstand has long eluded me despite my marginal gains. This offers me the opportunity to research and develop a sequence that may unlock some hidden secret...and of course, share to the class.

Disclaimer
Let's get this clear at the outset - I'm NOT packaging myself as the Handstand Master. There are yogis in Cebu who deserve that title - not me. I've long been practising on my handstand for years now. I can put myself vertically on a handstand with considerable ease - but I can't hold my handstand into a steady-state. Not yet. I know the techniques enough to teach it, but just like anything else, it boils down to practise...practise...and more practise.

The techniques listed here are by no means the definitive be-all and end-all to a successful handstand. Every successful handstander (for lack of a better word), will probably have his/her own developed technique. But give this technique a fair chance as it has proven to be of benefit to many subscribers.

handstand clinic

Dependencies
In order to perform a good handstand, you have to develop your core and shoulder muscles/flexibility first. Even if you have the technique and the balance, if you don't have the power for the inversion, let alone to maintain it, it would be extremely difficult to achieve or hold the handstand. Given that, the asana warm-ups to this session will be focused on the core, shoulder openers, wrist conditioning and upper arm strength.

In your private yoga practice, give greater emphasis on doing Navasana (boat pose - front abdominal muscles), Vasisthasana (side plank - obliques), Salabhasana (locust pose for lower back muscles) and Chaturanga (push-up motion for shoulder power).

Expectation
Let's manage your expectation first - you won't be able to do a handstand just by attending this clinic. Handstand is a difficult asana that takes years to develop. It demands strength, balance, focus, stamina and requires full body coordination from the top of the head to the feet. But just like everything else, with persistent practice, you will at one point nail the handstand.

Benefits

  • Perception Organs - it puts the perception organs (eyes, ears, tongue, nose, brain) below the heart and facilitates blood flow. It doesn't have to fight gravity
  • Internal Organs - it displaces the internal organs upwards neutralizing the downward push of the diaphram when breathing
  • Strength - handstands do not only strengthen the shoulders and upper arms, but the entire body as well because it requires a full body conditioning workout.
  • Flexibility and Mobility - even though a handstand looks static, the entire body needs to be tuned up for flexibility and mobility for the individual body parts to do their part in sustaining a handstand (eg - shoulder openers)
  • Body Awareness - awareness of what your body is doing in space. This helps us in other sports and activities
  • Fun - handstands are the coolest!!!
  • Mindfulness in your Training - learn to deal with what the body can and cannot do. You become more accepting
handstand clinic
Handstand class: Lambert, Gee Co, Ryan Suedo, myself and Jessica

Class Instruction Begins Here

Beginning Asanas
Alright, let us begin:

I LIGHT WARM UP STRETCH

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II SHOULDER OPENERS
A flexible shoulder opens up to properly align the body into a handstand

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LYING DOWN

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III CORE
A strong core is an essential component to a successful handstand. Surprisingly, core is also the key to protecting your wrists. A strong core increases the efficiency of the rotator cuff muscles, which in turn stabilizes the shoulders allowing it to carry more load and lessen the load passed on the wrists.

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IV WRIST CONDITIONING
The wrist has many moving parts and quite vulnerable when we subject it to bear weight, transfer weight and repetitive movement. Over time without proper support, an injury may happen. Also, on a handstand, the writsts bear the full body weight. Keep in mind that on an upright pose, two thick ankles support our body weight - now, we transfer that same load a pair of wrists half the size of ankles.

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V HANDSTAND ELEMENT FOCUS
There are many elements to a successful handstand and they must all be unified together at the same time to make it work. A weak link in that chain can cause the handstand to fail. Handstand requires full body coordination.

We will all go to the wall and practise our handstands with isolated focus on the elements that we need to engage. We won't stay too long on the handstand so as not to tire-out the little muscles we need to keep our handstand stable.

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VI HANDSTAND CONDITIONING EXERCISES
This routine was done last because it doesn't require balance - just brute power. Handstand requires the use of minor muscle strands that easily get tired. We want to use these fine muscles for balance and execution for the above - to conserve energy.

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VII WINDING DOWN

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Class Instruction Ends Here


--- TheLoneRider

Bibliography:

Yoga-Sequence Series

The following people like this:

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Janet Cang
Janet Cang
Mechel Zapanta
Mechel
Zapanta
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Gee Co
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Steven Rosello
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Ruth Lee
Ruth Lee
Kelvin Wu
Kelvin Wu
Darla James
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Maricris Montecillo
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Biboy Bunal
Surya Nanda Yoga
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Facebook Users

Reader Comments:

Rica Hernandez GomezRica Hernandez Gomez
(24 August, 2015) Good job Gigit! Can I join?

Mechel ZapantaMechel Zapanta
(24 August, 2015) Awesome and interesting blog. Wanna join ur class one day!

Janet CangJanet Cang
(24 August, 2015) Making this my homework

Google Map Cebu City, Philippines

tourist attractions in Cebu City tourist attractions
  • Tops in Cebu City Tops - hilltop offering panoramic view of the city
  • Taoist Temple in Cebu City Taoist Temple - temple on a hillslope in Lahug with panoramic view of the city
hotels in Cebu City hotel
  • Hostel Seven Cebu - newly opened, resto/bar, central location, solo/group travellers
    Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
  • S Hotel Cebu S Hotel & Residences - new hotel, luxury rooms, central location
    827 M. Velez corner Andres Abellana St.
cafes in Cebu City resto / cafe / bar
  • Fujinoya Fujinoya - new and refreshing twists to Western style desserts using Japanese techniques
    Wilson St., Lahug, Cebu City - tel. 888.6075
  • Bad Boys Wingz Bad Boys Wingz - Buffalo Wings, unique versions of sauces! Great service, accommodating staff, bad boys vibe
    Kasambagan, Cebu City | (032) 415 4811
yoga in Cebu City yoga
  • Love Yoga World Love Yoga World - yoga studio
    11/fl, Skyrise 2 Tower, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
  • Yoga Now Yoga Now - first Yoga and Wellness studio in Mactan offering daily Yoga Classes
    at The Yacht Club Mactan
mountain biking in Cebu City mountain biking
  • Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure - MTB tours, bike sales and repairs. Bed and Breakfast + Resto Cafe + wifi
    1298-b V.Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City | 0942.959.7451

More Information about Cebu City

Suggested Destinations in Cebu

  1. Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
  2. Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
  3. Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
  4. Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
  5. Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
  6. Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
  7. Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
  8. Barile Waterfalls - Barile
  9. Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
  10. Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market



Aug 23, 2015

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