Pincha Mayurasana is one of the toughie inversions, moving on from Shoulder Stand, Headstand and perhaps arguable Handstand and not only have I seen my students struggle endlessly with this posture, I myself have found it challenging to say the least. My aim as a teacher is to make every posture enjoyable for myself and my students and if possible to provide a little insight into how we can not only strengthen our bodies but our minds as well.
So, of course we need shoulder strength and core strength to ping us up into Pincha but more than that - we need mental strength. I´m not talking about will power, super ego or competitiveness, no, I´m talking about courage. The courage to stare fear in the face and then let-it-go. Fear feeds anxiety, depression, jealously, rage, it stops us from moving on in life and trying new things - it stops us from having the happy life that nature intends for us all. If we can let go of our fear both in life and in our yoga practice you will be free; free to fly, free to dream and free to be happy.
You see, yoga is just life training really. Kicking up into an inversion is a way to train and strengthen you mind, body and soul. So, now enough of my spiritual chitter chatter and for those that want some practical tips, here we go:
1. Make it fun. Build pincha into your practice with fun and energising kick-ups from dolphin, this will have all the students in the class laughing which is the perfect remedy to fear and loathing!
2. Hug in your elbows to avoid face splat.
3. Never look back, where your eyes go your body will always follow. Instead keeps your eyes focussed on the mat allowing the line of energy to remain straight from your lumbar to your crown chakra.
4. Don´t allow the weight of your body to dump into your little wrists, balance the weight along both forearms, shoulders, elbows and hands - keep this in your mind as you are practicing by repeating this mantra; balance it, balance it, balance it!
5. Take it slowly, practice gracefully and have patience. If you try to kick up too quickly you will simple topple over, remember to kick up one leg at a time and engage all of your body from your finger tips to your tippytoes.