Empowered Handstand Challenge
In the last few months it seems like handstands are all the rage in yoga. This is most likely a result of the instagram frenzy that has made its way into pop yoga culture. I have no issue with handstands or yoga selfies themselves however what makes the EMPOWERED HANDSTAND CHALLENGE different, is the progressive, step by step approach that will build the: strength, stability, balance, mobility and awareness over time. It also takes the emphasis off the handstand itself, allowing us to remove the blinders that prevent us from harnessing the potential for growth in the moment. It is theses moment to moment opportunities in the postures that bring the greatest potential for learning if we are available to receive their teachings. The sharing of real honest pictures and stories, is required for growth. Be open to learning, failing, making mistakes and being curious just like a child. I have assembled a specific sequence of asanas (poses) and exercises, that will awaken the muscles needed to make handstands EMPOWERING, which is not addressed in the social media challenges i have seen thus far.
The Empowered Yoga Handstand Challenge teaches us to shoulder our responsibilities. It requires us to create stability in the area of our body that is most prone to “instability” Because the shoulder joint has such a vast range of motion, it is also very unstable. Normally this scenario works, allowing us to perform many tasks with our arms and hands, however there is the exception of balancing on our hands.
Anybody who has ever looked at a skeleton, the size and shape of the bones could easily make the assumption that we were made to stand on our feet and not our hands. In fact I can think of at least a dozen good reasons not to EVER do a handstand.
So WHY do it then? What is all the fuss about anyway?
Shouldering our responsibility involves creating a strong stable foundation out of the shoulders before moving on the “fancier” and “flashier” postures. We can get everything we need from the foundation poses; the fancy flashy poses are just for a little bit of fun and challenge.
As much as the handstand challenge, develops strength and suppleness in the arms, shoulders and core, it more importantly develops those mental attributes that infuse our lives with sensitivity and resilience; including patience, calmness, focus, discipline and perseverance intelligence and wisdom. (and again these can also be developed through much safer exercises as well)
What: Each day there will be a specific posture (asana) of focus (weekends off). Take a photo or video of yourself performing each posture. I will do my best to comment on your photo, giving some helpful tips and support (the more honest you are the more effective this support will be) You can also find me at Empowered Lab ( a 2hr workshop style class with lecture and practice) We will also be posting some cool (slightly nerdy) information on anatomy and psychology on the blog as well as videos with fun exercises that will increase strength and stability.
Who: Anybody (seriously all ages, sizes, abilities. This is not your usual handstand challenge in fact you don’t ever need to even attempt a handstand)
Where: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
When: August 1st 2014
How: Repost This Graphic. Post a Picture or Video on your Social Media of choice and tag @getempoweredyoga (Instagram) @MicheleTheoret (Twitter) and Empowered Yoga or Michele Theoret (Facebook) #empoweredhandstandchallenge
Why: This is your intention behind why you are doing something. Intention allows us to direct our psychic energy aka attention. What we feed our attention to grows over time (I will elaborate on the SCIENCE behind this in another blog until then check out Simon Sinek) The biggest obstacle I have found both personally and with thousands of clients is the ability to stay committed to an intention over time. At first it is easy, even exciting, however over time this excitement gets replaced with frustration and boredom especially when the prize does not come easy. (Remember discipline and perseverance)
The clearer you can get on your intention (your purpose or WHY?) the easier it will be to stay aligned when things get challenging, uncomfortable and shaky (remember those vows….in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad..)