these looser studio pants are replacing yoga pants…watch and see.
As you can see, I put my shirt inside out at first. Oops haha. The panda wanted to hide himself.
Ask and ye shall receive! Your step by step guide to Pincha Mayurasana or Forearm Balance.
Keep in mind, this takes a ton of shoulder and core strength and as always, PLEASE use a wall until you are comfortable with the balance.
First things first, start in Dolphin. This posture is great for strengthening the shoulders so add it regularly to your practice along with planks and lots of downward facing dogs. VERY IMPORTANT: You want to make sure you are pressing through your shoulders, not caving into them. Almost like you’re trying to push the floor away from your face. Elbows should be shoulder width apart with your wrists in line with your elbows. Like you are creating two sides of a box, you want two parallel lines. Fingers should be spread wide and palms pressed flat on the ground.
From there, lift one leg towards the sky, still maintaining that strong foundation in your shoulders. A building won’t stand on a weak foundation, right? I am much more comfortable lifting my right leg and kicking with my left than the other way around. So you may have to experiment with which leg gets lifted.
Now here comes the tricky part: getting the rooted leg up to meet the other. Energetically reach through the toes of the lifted leg, like there’s a string tied to your toes pulling you towards the sky and with the teeniest of little kicks, engage the hell out of that core, nice strong shoulders, bring the rooted leg up to meet the other.
At first you’ll probably notice that you have a banana back going on. That’s okay as long as you are supporting the bend in your back with your core. Don’t just let all that weight dump into your lower back. You’ll feel more stable that way too. Eventually, through practice and many repeated attempts you’ll be able to straighten yourself out. Again, that’s all core engagement.
When you get to a point where this is comfortable and you easily find your balance, you get to have fun. Leg variations in Pincha are my FAVEEEEE. Here are a few of my go tos.
The other thing you want to keep in mind is exit strategy. There is going to come a time when you need to get yourself away from the wall. It will actually start to hinder your progress because you’ll always know it’s there for you to rely on. Get comfortable being on your forearms in wheel. The easiest way out, if you start to fall is to just let yourself land in a backbend. If that is not an option for you due to the flexibility in your back, you can also lift off your forearm onto your palm with one hand as you’re falling. It’ll make you go off to the side more and you can land on your feet instead.
So that’s about it! This one is tricky and I think you’ll find that a lot of it is just practice practice practice to build up the strength necessary to hold it.