Floating Straddle Balance Progressions

Douglas Adams once said that secret to flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Thankfully, the secret to floating upside down is a LOT easier! Here are 6 FeetUp exercises to help take a hands-on approach with hands-free inversions. There are plenty of variations to explore, so take some time and play with your movement practice.

Tick Tock Legs

 

Start with bending one knee to draw a circle with your foot to move heel behind opposite leg: down, back and around. Switch from side to side before trying both legs at the same time. Gorgeous!
CHALLENGE LEVEL: BEGINNER

 

Tree Leg with Extension

 

With one leg extended upward, bend opposite knee outward while sliding heel towards pubic bone (Inverted Tree pose). Straighten bent leg to half straddle before bringing heels back together in FeetUp Asana. Alternate from side to side while maintaining an even breath.
CHALLENGE LEVEL: BEGINNER

 

Hip Twist Split

 

From FeetUp Asana, rotate hips to the right and open up to inverted split (left leg forward, right leg back). Return to center and try the other side (hips left, right leg forward, left leg back). Once comfortable, try extending opposite leg forward in the direction of your twist as you add a full rotation while unwinding to a wide straddle. Try this in both directions a few times before adding a leg split switch at the end of the rotation after the straddle. The slower you go, the smoother the flow!
CHALLENGE LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE

 

Butterfly to Straddle with Wavy Legs

 

Take a few deep breaths in an inverted butterfly pose. Play with opening and closing your knees from this position before extending legs into wide straddle. From straddle, try bending and extending one knee at a time to create a wave-like movement.
CHALLENGE LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE

 

Floating Straddle Balance w/ Toe Grab

 

It’s time to explore a balanced inversion with only one hand to support! From inverted wide straddle, slowly reach one hand forward from frame towards your toes. Carefully work down the leg towards to build confidence before attempting both hands at once. Try sending the hips back to help counterbalance. Look mom, no hands!
CHALLENGE LEVEL: ADVANCED

 

Straddle Balance to Feetup Asana

 

Once you’ve made it this far, take a moment to congratulate yourself. GREAT JOB! Get ready for the ultimate challenge. Start by finding a hands-free floating straddle in which you don’t need your hands but know EXACTLY where they will be if/when the time comes. Keep core engaged with a consistent breath as you work towards extending your legs outward. and up to FeetUp Asana without using your hands. By this point, you should feel comfortable using your shoulders, hips, and legs to find balance while inverted. Not there yet? Go back and master the earlier variations. You got this!
CHALLENGE LEVEL: VERY ADVANCED

When it comes to safety, focus on how things feel instead of how they look… ESPECIALLY with a hands-free inverted practice. Be safe, have fun, and ENJOY THE RIDE!

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  1. Pingback: Jean-Jacques Gabriel: FeetUp Teacher Profile - FeetUp® Yoga

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