I am still buzzing as I type this – it’s the first workshop I attended since starting Bend and Ascend, and it exceeded all my expectations. The workshop took three hours and if I manage to retain half the information I learned today, my practice will improve dramatically. Inversion workshops don’t ever promise you’d be able to do a handstand by the end of the session, but they give you all the tools you’ll need to achieve it if you keep working on it.
It started with a nice long warm-up, focusing heavily on shoulders and wrists, awakening the core, stretching the neck, and learning the correct alignment in order to be able to build towards doing a handstand. We followed it up with a conditioning section, such as dynamic front body line variations and hollow body holds to get used to that sweet feeling of your spine aligning in a straight line. We also got to work on arm balances, getting used to shifting the weight over wrists and controlling the position of the body with our fingers. Then, Anna advised everyone on several variations of headstands, and ways to condition the body by pressing to headstands.
That brings us to the main event of course – handstands! We got to practice many variations with and without the use of the wall, working in pairs to support each other and get a feel of kicking into a free-standing handstand, learning exercises that would eventually allow you to press to handstand, including negatives; and even trying our luck getting into a one-handed stand. Sounds crazy but thankfully all the participants, Anna included, were keen to try anything thrown at them, cheering each other along and gasping in awe when one of us would succeed.
I feel that I can’t talk about this workshop without talking (well, gushing) about Anna who made it happen. I am a great admirer of Anna’s, as I imagine are most people who meet her. Her great passion for yoga made her spend her last money to go to Bali for a YTT course just so she can do what she loves. She has an extensive background in gymnastics and contemporary dance, and as of lately, she is also involved with a circus company training to be an aerialist performer. Having that amount of skill requires a lot of hard work, and Anna is one of the most disciplined people I know.
So from my experience, most people’s first reaction to meeting Anna is usually “okay, I want to be as awesome as she is”. Yet somehow, she happens to be the most down-to-earth person I know. She is humble and fair, and will do her best to help you achieve your goals if you come to her for help, be it her yoga classes, gymnastics workshops or private training sessions. She deserves every good thing coming her way.