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A YOGA POSE YOU CAN FLEX: #TEAMGNC’S CANDACE TEACHES THE FOREARM STAND

 

Learn the proper form of a forearm stand and practice by strengthening the required muscles.

 

Can’t watch Candace’s whole video? Read the full transcript instead.

Hi, everyone. My name is Candace Cabrera, and I'm a yoga instructor, personal trainer and entrepreneur. I'm really excited to join Team GNC and bring my expertise to help you live well. To me, living well means setting yourself up for success and moving with intention. These days, you see a lot of seemingly complicated yoga poses on social media and it can feel really intimidating to try to practice those poses, but don't worry, because I'm going to be breaking down forearm stand, otherwise known as Pincha Mayurasana, to make it more accessible to you. All right, everybody, let's get to this. I'll meet you over at the yoga mat.

When you're working your way into these more advanced athletic poses, it's really important to keep in mind your posture and alignment within the pose so that you don't injure yourself. If you keep that intention, you move with intention, you work slowly getting into it, it'll help you to prevent injury.

Some things to consider. You may want to strengthen through your psoas, you may want to strengthen through the adductors and through the glutes and hamstrings. How do you do that? Well, I'm really excited to share a couple of tips and tricks, some exercises to help you strengthen so that you can come into a beautiful forearm stand.

All right, let's strengthen the psoas. For this exercise, you'll need a resistance band. Your psoas starts around T12, and you have it on both sides. It goes through your body and connects to your lower body. Come down onto your back, strengthen the core all the way around. Take your resistance band and put it just over the arches of the feet. Lift your legs so that your shins feel like they're parallel to the ground. Keep the core braced, flex your feet, spread your toes, and then lift your arms. Watch my shoulders, you want to reach the arms away. From here, begin to extend the right arm and left leg while keeping the right leg stable. As your right leg works against the resistance of the band, you're strengthening the right psoas. We'll go over to the other side and you can continue like this. This should help you in your posture as you get into forearm stand.

For this next exercise, we're going to be focusing on the adductors, that's your inner thighs here. For this exercise, you're going to need some sort of props. I've got a box here, but you can use an ottoman or a couch. Come down onto your mat when you're ready and lie on your side. Bring your top leg onto the box. You can be on your forearm or you can be on your hand, but wherever you are, you want to push the mat away so that you're not sinking into the shoulders. Activate that core strength all the way around and begin to put a little pressure into your leg so that you feel your adductors fire on. Bring your top hand to your hip and slowly begin to rise up and squeeze this bottom leg in. Hold here for 10, 15 or 20 seconds, and then when you're ready, begin to release and take it over to the other side.

All right everyone, the next exercise we going to work on is for the glutes and the hamstrings. When you strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, you'll have more control when you lift that leg up. You don't need a weight, but you do need a pair of socks. Slide your socks on and then come off your yoga mat, fold it in half. You'll sit on the edge of the mat and come to lie down, feet will stay about hip distance and draw your heels in towards your hips. Tuck your chin, press down into your heels and lift your hips up to full extension. Keep your core strong as you extend your legs. Continue to press through the heels and pull them back in. You'll feel this right away through the hamstrings and the glutes. Incorporating this movement into your workout routine will help to strengthen those glutes and hamstrings for more stability as you get up into your forearm stance.

All right everybody, let's get into Pincha Mayurasana, or forearm stand. Let's start in downward facing dog. You can pedal out your legs, this is going to help get you that flexibility that you need to get the leg up. Then when you're ready, you can slowly lower down onto your forearms. You have the option staying here in dolphin pose with the forearms parallel, or you can bring the hands into a prayer position and begin to shimmy side to side on the forearms to pull the skin pretty taught. Push the ground away. When you're ready, begin to rise up onto your tip toes and walk your feet as far forward as you can. Lift your leg, do a couple hops off that bottom foot, and then when you're ready, slowly come into it. Keep pressing the ground away, squeezing the legs together, core strong. When you're ready, slowly begin to lower out of it.

Those are the basics for getting into forearm stand, or Pincha Mayurasana. If it feels overwhelming or intimidating, don't worry about it, just focus on the different pieces of the puzzle that you need to work on so that you can come into a really strong and stable forearm stand. For forearm stand, you obviously need some upper body strength for sure, but don't forget about the psoas, the adductors, the glutes and hamstrings. These exercises will really help those seemingly forgotten muscle groups so that you find more stabilization and better alignment in forearm stand.

There you have it. Thank you so much for practicing with me. Be sure to like this video, comment, and subscribe for more. See you next time.