Laying the foundation is turning into my favorite metaphor these days. Adulthood, for me, means getting better at the skills I’ve been working towards for a very long time, but it also means forgetting what being a beginner is like. Being a beginner requires starting from the basics, which I know no one wants to be basic these days, but without the basics, the stepping stones, or the foundations, you can’t expect to fully understand the advanced parts of what you’re learning. Those foundations are your tools – learn them, and you will always have a use for them.
When in doubt, plank it out. But really, this is the pose YOU need to build towards arms balances and inversions.
When I started practicing yoga some seven years ago, it quickly became one of my favorite activities. I practiced regularly five to six times a week, and I realized, this is hard work for my body (and mind). But I started from the beginning and tried to soak in every detail of building a pose from the ground up that my teachers would tell me. The classes I took (and loved) were sequenced in a way that each pose was preparing you for the next pose, or preparing you for a peak, and most likely very challenging, posture that came towards the end of class. The process just made sense. And it taught me that a pose as simple as standing on your two feet with your arms by your sides would set you up for every pose to come.
Inversions are having a moment these days. A big moment. Whether you’ve been practicing for a long time or you happen to find yourself at a studio (ahem, Flex & Flow) where challenge and play are highly encouraged, then inversions have most likely entered your life. They’re not only challenging. Practicing inversions provides many benefits of going upside down like they are energizing, help build focus, strength, and confidence, and teach us to let go and play a little in our lives.
Inversions teach me where I am in my yoga practice. I definitely have ‘the fear’ in my inversion practice. Falling is just a fact of life when you’re practicing balancing on your hands for the first or fiftieth time. For years my inversion practice consisted of kicking up into handstand at a wall and hanging out there for a while. It was only years later that I realized, I was not putting in the work to be able to sustain an inversion away from the wall.
There’s a quote I read somewhere and I couldn’t tell you where or who it’s by, but it says, “The work will teach you how to do it”. No matter what you’re doing in life, there’s no way to learn and get better if you do not work towards it from the beginning, and if you do not lay down the foundations to support each building block of learning.
This week, I went live on Fit Approach’s Facebook page with prAna to talk about and demonstrate the Strength to Invert, which turned out to be laying the foundations to balance on your hands.
Everytime I work on inversions, I remind myself of these things:
- Put in the work. Day by day, this work will add up. You will succeed.
- Know where you are in your practice. Don’t get discouraged. Everyone was a beginner at some point. Keep working.
- Go for it. Take what you’ve learned. Don’t overthink it. Know where you are going, and go there.
Okay, lovelies, I’ve got exciting news about prAna below that you should definitely check out. If you want to chat more about where you are in your yoga practice, your fears, your feats, and everything between, leave a note below.
Happy Friday and happy inverting!
prAna is my go-to brand when I need a new yoga outfit to teach or practice in, when I ’m headed camping and I need layers upon layers to stay warm, and also for new denim (they have a killer denim selection, y’all). It’s also my go-to apparel line because they care about everything they make from the materials (eco-friendly) to the labor (fair labor practices) to the design (stylish and functional). I guess you could say I’m a fan.
As you know we teamed up with prAna for this SweatFest session and they dressed me head to toe in the Ashley Capri and Balletic Tank, and now you can get dressed head to toe in prAna gear because prAna is throwing a FLASH SALE just for our Sweat Pink community. Get 25% off when they shop at prAna.com now until tomorrow night (12/15 at 11:59 pm PST). Just use the code prAnasweatfestF17. Feel free to share far and wide with your audience, because this is too good not to!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by prAna. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all the brands that support the Sweat Pink community!