29 Jul Build Your Forearm Stand Step by Step
FOREARM STAND // Step by Step
English Name: Peacock feather pose, or Forearm stand
Sanskrit name: Pincha Mayurasana
It’s interesting to read about the myth behind Peacock feather pose in the Myths of the Asanas. In Indian mythology peacocks are often used by the Gods as a vehicle to fight evil demons. The peacock is the only enemy of the cobra and not only is it able to kill and eat the snakes and ingest the powerful poison but it is able to transform the poison into beauty and grace.
Peacocks are famous for their beauty and are considered to have regal qualities, but don’t be fooled; they are incredibly ferocious and fierce fighters. They represent fearlessness, faithfulness and lightness. It leads its life with regality and serenity. We try to emulate those same qualities within ourselves. To be able to transform the negativity of the world around us into beauty.
The peacock represents the Earth with all of its colourful temptations. It’s an earth bird, as it doesn’t fly.
The asana Forearms stand is a challenging pose to attain balance. It’s often said we have to overcome pride, fear of falling and fear of showing weakness.
Both literally and figuratively we have to practice supporting ourselves and carry our own weight in this pose.
Because of the challenge of this asana i wanted to create a ‘tutorial practice’ series. In real time i offered this series over the course of 7 months. It was supposed to be over 5 months but i had some issues with menopause and didn’t have the energy and balance to make the last video. My life has literally been turned upside down by menopause 🙂
In this blogpost i share with you what we do in each video and let you know how long i recommend you practice each video, but know it is very individual and depends on where you are at in your practice. The key is to not rush. 7 months might feel like a long time. You might “get” the pose in this amount of time, it might take you less, it might take you more.
Enjoy the journey and have fun with it. Nothing drastic is going to change in your life by being able to balance in this pose, but what can have lasting impact is what you learn about yourself on the journey toward balancing in it and how you can overcome the fear of supporting yourself when turning upside down, fear of showing weakness, not being strong enough and pride. This is what we are working on. Turn upside down what might be dimming your light and holding you back from shining your light.
Anything can transform with practice. Slow and steady over time.
Let me know how it goes.
Anita Goa 🙂
Practice 1 is about developing core strength, staying close to the ground, finding stillness.
We work on core and shoulder strength with variations of planks, feeling the floor by staying close to the ground and creating opening in the upper body. Practice this video at least 2x a week for a month, or longer. It’s important you practice it until it feels easier.
Practice 2 builds on practice 1. We continue with strengthening core and shoulders but also get into the serratus muscle which is so much involved in the forearms stand. I offer dolphin pose which is a challenging pose to hold. It requires strength and flexibility. more on dolphin pose. Practice this video 2x a week until it feels easier. Feel free to include practice 1 as well.
Practice 3 takes it a step further. Now that we have developed a strong foundation we turn ourselves upside down by using the wall. In my humble opinion it doesn’t matter how much core or arm strength you have; if your nervous system isn’t used to being turned upside down; it’s hard to find balance upside down. So we spend time against the wall upside down in a very safe way. In this way [over time] your nervous system will know how it feels to have the pelvis over the head instead of the head over the pelvis which we are used to.
We practice L shape, split shape and different arm positions using the wall as our support.
It can be hard to know if you are in the right place going into the L shape. Use another set of eyes; whether from a friend/partner or film yourself to see where you are in space. It’s not so easy to feel in the beginning, but with practice you will know where you need to be.
Also practice this until you feel your upper back muscles feel stronger. You are conditioning your upper body in a way they are not used to, so it will take time for them to gain strength and feel like they are supporting you. Initially you’ll feel sore in your trapezius, rhomboids and top of the shoulders in particular. Don’t rush, take your time. This is a lot to ask of your upper body so give them time to settle in.
Practice 4 is so much fun. We continue to use the wall as our supportive friend, but this is where you will feel all your hard work is really paying off. You will feel strong and confident that you have the strength to do this.
We work with the split pose against the wall to try to find the balance and get the foot off the wall.
I show you different tools i like to integrate when i was trying to find this balance. I couldn’t find my abs engaged upside down for the longest time. I show you how it helped me to a yoga block.
Practice 5 is where we put everything we have practice together into a practice still using the wall as our supportive friend but without being dependent on the wall. Do not fear. Trust yourself as you integrate everything i’ve taught you about engaging your shoulders and your core. I also show you how you can use a block, a belt, a yoga bolster and a yoga wheel, plus how the different arm positions are integrated using these tools.
TADA! Your consistent practice has paid off. Now you have built a solid foundation for your forearm stand. Keep practicing consistently and you will find yourself balancing more effortlessly away from the wall.
Let me know how it goes.