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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Briohny & Dice

Oh yes, this yogi couple are as beautiful/gorgeous in real life as they are on TV ads and YouTube videos. But what's more important is that, having taken two workshops today led by Briohny & Dice (at Pure Yoga HK as part of the "Bryce Yoga Asia Tour), I've come to realise they really are super lovely/nice, youthful and sunny inside too.

The workshops I took today were all to do with inversion or going upside down (I'm told these asanas are particularly great for the body as the brain and heart get some serious blood rushes!). Some of the poses weren't exactly easy (come on, handstand in the middle of the room without falling flat on the face?) but the double sessions were easily the most fun yoga classes I've ever had to date. Each session began with some warming up exercises, including a bit of crunching that activated the core (boy, am I glad I took that Core class earlier this week; boring that it might be, it did help me prepare me for what I had to do this afternoon). 

Seriously, don't be fooled by how easy Dice runs up that wall;
without core strength that is IMPOSSIBLE

Among the many principles that we learnt today is that in order to go up (or fly) we need to push down hard onto the ground, for instance in poses like bakasana and handstand. In bakasana/ crow or crane, those hips and heels need to kinda shoot up to prevent the pose from going pear shape. There are also all these (subtle) movements in the shoulders and thighs that help to provide stability ... one involves (when upside down), shoulder blades down, spread the upper back and then tug in a little those shoulder blades! So no need to press together the shoulder blades at all! Oh, and of course, a strong Core always helps! 

Hips up, man

I actually know some of these tips before but Briohny & Dice have such a lively way to teach and explain that there was not one boring moment in the classes. They are actually a great double-act. As Briohny just had a baby (like, three months ago ... though she hardly looks like she was preggers so recently) a lot of demo was done by her hubby ... and by way of teasing, she would ask him to demo more and more really difficult poses (doing handstand blind-folded!!!) and Dice was such a good spot and performed them all. We were all just totally wow-ed. Interestingly, Briohny says there are poses that she used to be able to do before giving birth but now she can't cos she has to rediscover her core strength ...a teacher in the class then quipped: "welcome to our world!" 

Some great tips on side plank

Dice does make yoga look so easy and effortless

Well, that certainly is my world cos my core is still very close to non-existent ~ though I have to say I'm getting a lot better with my "pressed" handstand (i.e. handstand without the kicking), especially if my standing leg is on a block, or two (another trip they showed us this afternoon). Though the "pike" is still difficult for me to do (probably due to tight/short hamstrings) ... I think my legs start to shake in that position ...

Briohny and Dice (with me looking
  disheveled in the middle) 

Anyway, I walked out of the last session feeling great and rather pleased with myself, knowing that I hadn't wasted my afternoon (and was privileged enough to have shared an afternoon with such a perfect couple!) I feel what I'd learnt today could be a springboard to something better and bigger in the future, whether it's in my practice or my life. There was one moment during an inversion that I felt I'd made some sort of leap forward. This is my fifth year practising yoga and I get very excited every time I feel I have moved forward. Like recently I started to get deeper with my split. I can't wait to go to Koh Samui for my "de-stress" yoga retreat ... I feel that my time there will be an extension of/to what I'd experienced this afternoon ... joy and purpose.    

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