there’s something about doing inversions that makes you feel strong. Being able to stand on your head, or your arms, or your hands, kind of makes you feel like you can do anything. The kind of feeling you might gravitate towards during times of uncertainty.
There are plenty of research showing that exercising is good not just for your physical health, but also for your mental health. When we exercise, our body produces endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body. No wonder we always feel good after an exercise.
What makes it even better though, is that if you stick with it and stay disciplined, you’ll start to see improvements and feel so much stronger. I think this is one of the reasons why I love starting the day with a yoga practice. When you start off the day feeling strong, it just gives you the feeling that you can handle whatever life is going to throw at you that day. Okay maybe not that dramatic, but you know what I mean. You just feel a lot more confident than you would otherwise.
Now that everything feels so uncertain and we don’t really know what is going to happen even in the next few days, I find that focusing on taking back control through physical exercise has been massively helpful. Being on furlough has the effect of making days feel unstructured, so sticking to a routine and giving yourself a project help a lot. So, in the physical fitness department, my project/goal for this lockdown is learn to do a handstand. It’s definitely going to take years to perfect, but I think right now I’d be happy to be able to kick up to a handstand and hold for (at least!) a second.
Practicing Ashtanga yoga has helped a lot in terms of building an upper body strength, but supplementing it with other forms of exercise will accelerate your progress for sure. I’ve been working on arms and shoulders more, and have definitely felt a difference. Core is key too though, something which I haven’t really paid that much attention to.
Some videos you might find useful:
- Kino MacGregor’s Shoulders and arms workout
- School of Calisthenics’ learn to handstand
- Kino MacGregor’s L sit core strength workout
- Gina Scarangella’s handstand tips & drills
- Yoga with Briohny’s handstand basics