In the study of yoga, you may encounter the concept of Samskaras, or subtle impressions of past actions. These patterns, often known as wheels can be both negative or positive. They show up in our relationships, our work, and even in our physical practice and when on repeat can absolutely create an increasingly greater challenge for us.
I struggled so much with finding stability in pinchamayurasana, or forearm stand. I had an established handstand practice and therefore felt that I should know how to do the pose which further perpetuated my frustration. I found myself in a cycle (Samskara) of thinking I should be able to do it, struggling to find hang time in it, and then getting frustrated for at least a year instead of looking into the actual components of the pose. I finally chose to revisit this asana with a different approach and found the pursuit of the pose much more enjoyable as well as eventually, doable.
Here are some poses that I found extremely helpful in preparing the key areas of our bodies for pinchamayurasana aka : feather of the peacock.
Child's Pose with palms at the base of neck
Balasana is a beautiful pose to recruit the smooth, steady breath, to stretch the spinal muscles, and to visualize your joy in the pose.
Forward Fold with a bind for shoulder opening
Hamstring flexibility is very important as we need to have the ability to get our hips over our shoulders. This bind is also a nice, accessible stretch for our shoulders that we need to open up for the pose.
This asana helps to invite in the shoulder / arm alignment, the grounding action of our arms to find lift, and the opening of both the anterior and posterior shoulder region.
This pose adds the element of weight bearing on the forearms and shoulders and aids in firing up our core that we will need for pinchamayurasana.
Dolphin Block Party
Dolphin pose is ardha pinchamayurasana or half feather of the peacock pose. I love to place a block between my thumbs / index fingers to help my hands remember the hand alignment most stabilizing. Often when our shoulders are tight or fatigued the hands will move towards one another and the pose lacks the support it needs.
Another “fun” one is to squeeze a block horizontally between your forearms. It’s a helpful drill to recruit the rotator cuff muscles and build muscular memory!
Dolphin with extended legs
By lifting one leg, the transferring of weight can be explored one leg at a time. I also like to do this at the wall to experience the load bearing in the upper body that is quite similar to the full pose.
Forearm Stand at the wall
These poses helped me a tremendous amount in opening where I needed more mobility, and strengthening where I needed more stability; I hope you find them to be helpful for you as well!
500 - E-RYT
Yoga Medicine Therapeutic Specialist