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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pete Guinosso ~ More Core and Less Neck (3)

So here is the surprise: I wasn't gonna practise yoga today (since I had two classes already earlier this week) but my friend Louis told me there was this workshop @ our studio that was, like, Free (well, we only had to make a charity donation) so I was, like, why not. It turned out to be a great session with an America yogi (hailed from San Francisco) called Pete Guinosso on, yup, arm balances and inversion ~ my favourites! 

Yogi Pete Guinosso

Perhaps because there are other workshops taking place at our studio this weekend, there were only half a dozen of students @ Pete's workshop, which, actually was brilliant because the instructor could pay more attention to each of us individually. And sure enough, Pete did just that and I have to say this guy is sharp. He almost immediately noticed I unnecessarily engage my neck A LOT. And he showed us how, if we broaden our upper back (okay, draw the shoulders in, down and broaden), that action  frees up the neck (and it works) ... so I will try to do that in down dog -- or in which other poses that is applicable. No wonder my neck hurt so much after my last inversion workshop with the Bryce couple ... I think I was automatically tensing my neck a lot (maybe due to nervousness). 

And since this WAS an arm balances and inversion workshop, activating the Core was a must so we began the two-hour class with some (literally) Hard Core exercises -- and that alone was energy draining (but more on this later ... for there was a reason for that). Then we almost went straight into handstand. Just like what Briohny and Dice told us, when we are doing the handstand, we need to activate our Arms, Palms and Fingers (actually, like how we activate our legs and feet when we are standing up or walking) and Pete reminded us of that, and -- voila -- when I paid more attention to my arms etc, I felt an immediate sense of stability, which I never felt before (of course, my activated core also helped) ... so that was a bit of a revelation (just like when I realised when doing the headstand I really need to push my forearms down onto the ground for a sound and firm foundation). 

And the third thing I learnt at the workshop today is that I am NOT breathing enough; and I tend to hold my breath when I'm upside down so another thing to remember in the future: less neck, more core, more arms/hands/fingers, and more breathing (and not shallow breathing). 

Finally, the reason why I was so tired, so quickly was because the studio we were in was, like, HEATED ... yes, in the middle of summer, here in Hong Kong, we were practically doing inversion/arm balances in a Hot room. Crazy. I'm surprised I survived cos, at one point, when I moved from down dog to warrior 2, I almost passed out ... anyway, I feel great this evening and am SO glad I took the class.

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